Sunday, 22 January 2012

Great news for migraine sufferers

This week I attended the spectacular launch of the National Migraine Centre, of which I have the privilege to be on the board. 

The event, complete with jazz quartet, took place at the very grand Haberdashers' Hall in the City of London close to the Centre, which is in Charterhouse Square, behind St Bartholemew's Hospital. The evening celebrated not only a snazzy rebrand of the City of London Migraine Clinic, the former name for the Centre, but also to publicise new, cutting-edge services available to all migraine sufferes across the country.

Our Medical Director, Dr Giles Elrington, gave a fantastic and highly entertaining presentation on migraine to the gathered audience so even long-term sufferers like me learnt a thing or two. Did you know, for instance, that one in five people in the UK suffer from migraine? Giles outlined causes and some of the most current therapies. He talked about the research that was happening at the Centre including work with botox that can be injected into the head and is proving extremely effective.

The philosophy of the centre is that we "pride ourselves on our philosophy of care, which is based on medical excellence combined with an approach directed towards each patient’s individual needs. Our aim, to improve the lives of people with headaches and migraine, is at the core of everything we do. In turn, how we work is always based on that aim and so the person at the centre of everything that we do is you – the patient."

Giles talked about the many thousands of patients who had been successfully treated and our growing ranks of celebrity migraine suffers like Francis Rossi of Status Quo or the legendary Pam Ayres, as well as our migraine champions, prominent people who, despite suffering migraine, lead successful, productive lives.

During the evening I enjoyed meeting and talking to patients whose lives had been radically improved by coming to the Centre and were pleased to turn out to support this exciting new phase in our development. 

The NMC is a social enterprise that offers world class service by conducting funded research and paid for services that connect migraine sufferers with the best available care. Led by its CEO, Heather Sim, it has become recognised for the quality of its service and innovation and I really do enjoy being part of the board, which is working to do what we can to bring these services to as many folk as possible.

I started to have migraine in my teens and they have been a feature of my life ever since, though I can't say that any treatment I got from GPs over the years was nearly as effective as that which I found at the NMC. It's a visit that can really change your life because not only do they explore treatment with you but they put a great deal of effort into helping you understand what triggers your migraines, providing you with the kind of expert analysis that makes all the difference. 

Finally I dug out this Pam Ayres poem that mentions migraine, which like all her work makes a wonderful read.

Yes I'll Marry You ~ Pam Ayres

Yes, I'll marry you, my dear,
And here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed
When the baby starts to cry
And I hear a knocking
And it's creepy and it's late
I hand you the torch you see
And you investigate
Yes I'll marry you my dear
And you may not apprehend it
But when the tumble dryer goes
It's you that has to mend it
You have to face the neighbor
Should our roggie cat attack him
And if a drunkard fondles me
It's you that has to whack him
Yes I'll marry you
You're virile and you're lean
Your house is like a pigsty
I'll help you keep it clean
That sexy little dinner
Which you served by candle night
As I do the chappatis you can cook it every night
It's you who has to work the drill
And put up curtain track
And when I've got a migraine its you who gets the flack
I do see great advantages
But none of them for you
And so before you see the light
I do I do I do I do!


  1. Hi,

    have you had your Vitamin D levels checked? This link may be of interest to you.

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  2. Thanks for that I will check it out, there is a great deal about Vitamin D in the press today

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  4. One in five people in the UK suffer from migraine? That would result to a large group of people. I may somehow believe it because most of the time, we only though what we feel is only a common headache where in fact it is already a migraine.

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