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Claire Ceriani Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday Your Donation in Action

This Giving Tuesday, see your donation in action. Miles for Migraine empowers people living with migraine to live full and productive lives by reducing stigma and advancing research, education, and treatment. This year, we have partnered with 24 headache centers across the country to fund and steward fellows training for a specialty in migraine disease. Our strategy is simple: engage more doctors in research and treatment so that we can cure this disease.

An example of this is a vestibular machine (funds were given through Miles for Migraine grant) that is now being used at the Jefferson Headache Center. This story is provided to us by Claire Ceriani and edited by the Miles for Migraine team. We need your help to ensure more doctors are trained in the field of headache medicine and focused on migraine research. Please read how your donations are being put to work in migraine medicine, and consider supporting our work this #GivingTuesday.

Giving Tuesday, Your Donation in Action

A vestibular migraine is a form of migraine during which people experience dizziness, vertigo, or unsteadiness, which can be more disabling than the headache itself. 30-50% of migraine patients experience dizziness with some of their headaches. Vestibular migraine is understudied, and many patients remain undiagnosed. I have spent the past year of my fellowship setting up a vestibular migraine clinic. Many of the patients I see have been misdiagnosed with other causes of vertigo or given no diagnosis at all.

A key diagnostic tool used in the vestibular migraine clinic is the Neurolign Dx 100. It is a head-mounted goggle (similar looking to virtual reality goggles) that uses eye-tracking technology to assess the vestibular (balance) system. ENT clinics may use devices like this to evaluate eye movements and vestibular function, however, the goggles I use can also assess reaction time and cognitive function. Many of my patients describe themselves as feeling “slowed down” or “in a fog.” The cognitive symptoms of vestibular migraine have not been well- studied, and I hope to better understand how these symptoms manifest in people with vestibular migraine.

Giving Tuesday

Where do Giving Tuesday Donations Go?

Purchasing the Neurolign DX 100 goggles for my clinic has allowed me to offer so much more to my patients. In 20 minutes, I am able to conduct a series of tests in the office that help me to rule out other causes of vertigo that might need further evaluation. My patients were invited to participate in a research study in which eye movements, vestibular function, reaction time, and cognitive data are collected, along with a detailed clinical history of their symptoms. I am using this data to learn more about the presentation of vestibular migraine, in
order to improve its recognition and diagnosis. I am hoping that patterns will emerge that will be able to predict the best treatment options for a given patient based on the individual’s symptoms and presentation.

Most of the patients I see are enthusiastic about participating in the study. The consequences of having a poorly understood and underrecognized disease, such as vestibular migraine, have been difficult for the patients. Vestibular symptoms can be difficult to diagnose and challenging to treat. It has been very rewarding for me to spend time working with my vestibular migraine patients. While I am helping them to better understand and manage their symptoms, they are helping me learn more about vestibular migraine.

Donate to Giving Tuesday Miles for Migraine

Are you inspired by these advocacy stories and want to donate to  Miles for Migraine? All or part of your donation may be tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. Please consult with your tax advisor. Funds raised help with our operational costs so that we can continue to produce races and youth camp events. Money raised through donations and race registrations goes directly to medical organizations researching migraine.

Tell your Advocacy Story

Do you have an advocacy story to tell? What is one of the most memorable advocacy experiences in your headache disease journey/daily life? Try to recall a time when you practiced advocacy. Perhaps you shared your story, posted on social media, or attended an advocacy event such as Headache on the Hill or a Miles for Migraine event. Looking back on that experience, what did you notice? Did you experience a negative moment such as shame, stigma, or a positive moment such as joy, hope, or relief? If there was conflict, did you resolve it or was it a conflict that still affects you today? If the outcome was positive, how did that make you feel? Did the outcome cause you to advocate again for yourself? How has your most memorable story shaped you today? There is no right or wrong way to share your story.

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