Special Interest Section Profile: Migraine and Vascular Disease
Find out more about how the Migraine and Vascular Disease Special Interest Section works to research the relationship between migraine and vascular disease
The American Headache Society is home to a diverse selection of Special Interest Sections that connect members with shared expertise and interests to collaborate on research efforts, develop practice models and provide multidisciplinary participation in support of the Society’s mission.
The Special Interest Section focused on Migraine and Vascular Disease aims to improve the lives of those living with migraine who are also affected by vascular disease. The Migraine and Vascular Disease section strives to help healthcare providers better identify the risks related to other diseases by raising awareness around the connection between migraine and vascular disease.
Section Chair Rebecca Burch, MD, FAHS, shares more about this section’s current and ongoing work, as well as her vision for the future.
Name of Special Interest Section
Migraine and Vascular Disease Special Interest Section
Name of Section Chair
Rebecca Burch, MD, FAHS
What is the mission of your Special Interest Section?
The Migraine and Vascular Disease Special Interest Section is focused on the relationship between migraine and vascular disease. The interest in this group initially arose because there is an epidemiologic relationship between migraine with aura and an increased risk of stroke. We are interested in questions around this relationship: Why is this happening? How do we reduce the risk? How do we treat it?
What are some recent projects your section has been a part of?
The most recent big project that our group was part of was a systematic review of the risk of stroke associated with combined hormonal contraceptives in women who have migraine with aura. The review began with the goal to gather enough information to lead to a revision of the guidelines around this area of migraine. While we didn’t find enough evidence, our next project is to gather more evidence in this area.
What are the future goals of this Special Interest Section?
We plan to continue working to generate evidence of the connection between migraine and vascular disease because we see the need for it in the practice of headache medicine. We are looking to find out more about vascular risk factors in the migraine population.
Another goal we have is to raise awareness of the risk factors related to stroke and vascular disease in people with migraine. There have been a number of studies showing that migraine is a risk factor for heart disease, particularly later in life, and perioperative stroke. Our section works to raise awareness to hopefully treat those conditions early.
How is this Special Interest Section making an impact in the field of headache medicine?
We hope to make our impact by looking at how we can get more evidence so that we can make decisions based on data on the connection of migraine to vascular disease. My hope is to get people excited about being a part of the research and a part of the data gathering.