New initiative to support pediatric migraine research is announced

March 20, 2009

NEW YORK, March 20 -- Today, the Migraine Research Foundation (MRF) announced a new initiative to promote and support research in pediatric and adolescent migraine called FOR OUR CHILDREN. The new program is a multi-faceted funding plan intended to further the understanding of migraine and its causes and treatments in the critically under-served population of children and adolescents.

Migraine is very common in children - about 10% of all school-age children suffer from migraine. Half of all sufferers have their first attack before the age of 12, and migraine has been reported in children as young as 18 months. In addition to the attack-related disability itself, childhood migraine can significantly impair a child's quality of life and may result in missed school and inability to participate in normal childhood activities.

"While research in adult migraine is grossly under-funded, the study of migraine in children has been almost completely neglected. In fact, many people are completely unaware that children suffer from migraine," said Joel R. Saper, MD, Director of the Michigan Head Pain and Neurological Institute and Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of MRF. "Also, pharmacological treatment geared towards this younger population is rarely investigated, and physicians struggle with adapting adult treatments to kids."

"There is nothing more devastating than seeing your child suffer from a severe migraine and not being able to help. We need to learn about how migraine operates in children and how we can better manage it and hopefully, prevent it. FOR OUR CHILDREN will help focus the work where it is so greatly needed," said Kirsten Heinemann, whose 16 year-old son Erik has suffered from migraines since he was eight.

To further the FOR OUR CHILDREN program, the Migraine Research Foundation will raise funds to provide seed money grants to researchers who demonstrate innovation in the study of pediatric and adolescent migraine. In addition, MRF plans to offer a special For Our Children Research Award to a medical resident, and a For Our Children Fellowship to encourage the entry of new talent to the practice and study of pediatric migraine.
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The Migraine Research Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to raise funds for innovative scientific research to further the understanding of the causes and mechanisms of migraine, to develop improvements in treatment for sufferers, and to find the cure. The Migraine Research Foundation provides more funding for migraine research than any other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States.

For more information about FOR OUR CHILDREN, how to donate and/or volunteer, contact Joan Kaplan at (212) 249-5402 or jkaplan@migraineresearchfoundation.org.

Migraine Research Foundation

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