Friday, October 14, 2011

International Association for the Study of Pain | Global Year Against Headache

SEATTLE, October 17, 2011 – The Global Year Against Headache launches today, bringing global attention to one of the most common, painful and disabling conditions affecting people throughout their lives. Sponsored by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), and working in close cooperation with the International Headache Society, the 12-month campaign focuses on education for health care professional and government leaders as well as public awareness.

Headache disorders are the most prevalent of the neurological conditions and among the most frequent of medical complaints seen in general practice. They take many forms, including migraine, tension-type headache, trigemino-autonomic cephalalgia (cluster headache), primary stabbing headache, primary sex headache, or rarer conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia or persistent idiopathic facial pain. Half of the general population experience headache during any given year, and more than 90% report a lifetime history of head pain. The most severely disabled 3% experience a headache such as chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache at least 15 days per month. Headache disorders contribute to a considerable loss of work time and productivity.

Led by headache experts Jean Schoenen, MD, PhD (Belgium), Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD (USA), and Arne May, MD, PhD (Germany), the initiative will mobilize IASP's 7,000+ members and 86 national chapters, and forge partnerships with other organizations, to:

• disseminate information about headache worldwide;
• educate pain researchers as well as health care professionals who see the issues associated with headache firsthand in their interactions with patients;
• increase awareness of headache among government officials, members of the media, and the general public worldwide; and
• encourage government leaders, research institutions, and others to support policies that result in improved pain treatment for people with headaches.

As part of the Global Year Against Headache, IASP offers, in cooperation with the International Headache Society (IHS), a series of fact sheets for clinicians and health care professionals that cover specific topics related to headache, including epidemiology of headache, different headache types and classifications, genetic factors leading to headache, headache in childhood and adolescence, hormonal and vascular changes associated with headache, approaches to study and treatment, and more. These fact sheets are translated into multiple languages and available for free download from the IASP website. Also available on the web to download are posters promoting the Global Year. The association and its chapters will also sponsor meetings, symposia, pain camps, media interviews, publications, and other efforts to promote education on issues surrounding headache. For more information, visit:

About IASP: IASP brings together scientists, clinicians, health care providers, and policy-makers to stimulate and support the study of pain and translate that knowledge into improved pain relief worldwide. IASP holds a biennial World Congress on Pain®, sponsors grants, symposia, and programs to support pain research, and publishes books and a scientific journal, PAIN®. IASP is a non-profit international organization based in Seattle, USA, and is recognized as an NGO by the World Health Organization (WHO). On the third Monday of October, IASP launches an annual Global Year campaign to raise awareness of different aspects of pain.

About IHS: Founded in 1981, the International Headache Society is an international professional organization working with others for the benefit of people affected by headache disorders. The purpose of IHS is to advance headache science, education, and management, and promote headache awareness worldwide.