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Migraine: Stigma in Society

  • Episodic Migraine (S. Nahas, Section Editor)
  • Published:
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Migraine is a prevalent disease with a substantial socioeconomic impact. However, stigma affects social attitude toward migraine, accruing additional burden on individuals with migraine and isolating them from a society that should be supporting them.

Purpose of this Review

This review will discuss the following concepts: (1) the emergence of stigma toward migraine and its impact on medical care; (2) internalized stigma among those with migraine and its detrimental effect on quality of life and patient-physician relationships; (3) the structural impact of stigma on research funding, workplace support, and specialized care; and (4) strategies for “rebranding” the disease and alleviating stigma toward migraine.

Recent Findings

Recent literature on condition rebranding offers strategies on how to define and communicate migraine to the public.


Rebranding of migraine to alleviate societal stigma is paramount. This involves use of unified language, education, and advocacy.

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Research partially funded by The Groten Family Fund

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Correspondence to William B. Young.

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Simy K. Parikh and William B. Young declare no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Episodic Migraine

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Parikh, S.K., Young, W.B. Migraine: Stigma in Society. Curr Pain Headache Rep 23, 8 (2019).

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