13 million migraine patients in Turkey: Neurologist

13 million migraine patients in Turkey: Neurologist

13 million migraine patients in Turkey: Neurologist

Some 16 percent of the Turkish population suffers from migraines, which corresponds to 13 million patients, a prominent neurologist has said. 

Ömer Karadaş of the Gülhane Education and Research Hospital made the comments on July 22, marking World Brain Day (WBD) – a regular yearly activity of the World Federation of Neurology for improving awareness and advocacy related to neurological diseases. The theme changes every year, with the theme of 2019 being “The Painful Truth About Migraine.”

“Migraines are the most common brain disorder. Some 16 percent of Turkey’s population suffers from migraines. We have 13 million migraine patients in our country right now,” Karadaş told Anadolu Agency following a presentation held at the Neurology Clinic of the hospital in Ankara.

“Alternative treatments have taken the place of medicinal treatments. We have a variety of medicines but also other methods such as nerve blockers, migraine shots and botulinum toxin treatments alongside cognitive-behavioral treatments. The success of these treatments come through the personalization of each treatment to the patient,” Karadaş told the agency. 

“When a patient needs treatment, their case needs careful analysis and then a personalized treatment rather than prescribing standard treatments right away,” said Karadaş.

According to Karadaş, early symptoms of migraines include headaches that last four to 72 hours, one-sided throbbing headaches that worsen during physical activities, nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to lights. Those who experience such symptoms should seek medical help, he said. 

Migraines are also three times more likely to affect women than men and mostly affect those between the ages 20-50, according to Karadaş.

Another neurologist who marked the day was Turkish Neurosurgical Society chairman Şerefnur Öztürk, who held a presentation in Istanbul in a culture center. 

Öztürk said that every one out of five women experiences migraines, whereas for men this rate is 1 out of 10. “And globally, migraine arises in every one person out of seven,” said Öztürk.