What affects 90% of Americans and costs our economy $31 billion annually?
Headache disorders cause more than 1% of all disability and 9% of all lost labor in the US every year. Headache disorders are the most prevalent neurological disorders, affecting more than 90% of all Americans. US annual direct and indirect economic costs of headache disorders exceed $31 billion.
Yet, the National Institute of Health (NIH) expended less than $10 million in 2006 toward all research on headache disorders, comprising less than 0.05% of its total budget.
We live in a world of mismatched priorities. Decisions are made based on political and financial influence, not the facts. Thirty-six million Americans annually, including 25% of middle-aged women and 19% of veterans of the Iraq War suffer from this debilitating and chronic pain. Yet, there is no NIH intramural research program on headache disorders, nor any NIH grant review wholly devoted to pain research, let alone headache disorders.
We all know someone who suffers from headaches or migraines. My wife, Sheila, missed endless days of work in a silent, dark room waiting for the pain to pass.
We need a congressional hearing, the very first of its kind, to air publicly the facts about headache disorders, including their resultant disability, stigma, suffering, inadequate therapies, and federal neglect.
I’m asking you to sign a national online petition that will be presented to members of Congress, urging them to hold such a hearing. Please sign the petition and ask everyone and anyone you know who cares about someone suffering from a disabling headache disorder to sign as well.