The search for a cure for migraine – one of the most disabling illnesses in the world

More than half a million people in Ireland suffer from migraine, and this can have a serious impact on their ability to reach their potential.

This article originally appeared on The Journal.

MIGRAINE HAS BEEN described as an invisible illness.

There are almost no external signs of discomfort, and migraine sufferers are well between attacks.

However, migraine is one of the most disabling illnesses in the world.

Dr Eddie O’Sullivan, director of the Migraine Clinic in Cork University Hospital, explains: “[Migraine] symptoms have the impact that the patient can’t function. Patients frequently have to lie down in a quiet, dark room and stay there until the attack has resolved.”

It has far-reaching implications in terms of performance, in terms of reaching your potential, which we see from how disabling the attacks are.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, published in 2015, migraine on its own was found to be the sixth highest cause of years lost due to disability  worldwide. Headache disorders collectively were third on the list.

Migraine affects an estimated 12-15% of people around the world and approximately 500,000 people in Ireland.

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