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New Instrument Developed to Measure Impact of Migraine on Patients' Lives When They Are Not Experiencing an Attack

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., February 14, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- The intense throbbing and disabling physical pain that is the hallmark of a migraine attack may not be the only disruption sufferers endure. There may also be an impact of migraine that patients experience when they are not having an attack, often termed interictal burden. According to new data presented today at the National Headache Foundation's Fourth Annual Headache Research Summit, the newly developed Migraine Interictal Burden Scale (MIBS) is the first tool designed to measure the interictal burden that may be associated with migraine. When used in clinical practice, the MIBS can help healthcare professionals better understand how migraine might disrupt their patients' daily activities when they are not experiencing an attack, and therefore better assess the total impact of migraine in order to make more informed treatment decisions. The study was sponsored by Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc.

Previously, only instruments designed to measure the ictal burden of migraine (or the pain and suffering patients experience during an attack) were available to healthcare professionals. In this study, researchers uncovered items that measure the impact of migraine that occurs between attacks. They developed the 16-item MIBS which measures the burden in four key areas: disruption at work and school, interference in family and social life, difficulty planning activities and emotional consequences. The researchers hypothesized that as patients may be frequently thinking about when the next migraine attack might strike, they may limit activities not just during at attack but also in between attacks.

"In addition to the pain and disability patients experience during a migraine attack, migraine may also affect patients' lives and the lives of their families in other ways," said Dawn Buse, Ph.D., lead study investigator and Director of Psychology at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "Patients reported feeling frustrated, guilty about missing family or work activities, and helpless because their headaches controlled their lives. We are currently tailoring the MIBS for use in clinicians' offices, to help them improve communication with patients about the impact of migraine and to assist them in creating comprehensive treatment plans."

To develop MIBS, researchers identified 30 items based on clinical experience and focus groups with migraine sufferers. Questionnaires designed to learn more about the impact of migraine between attacks were mailed to approximately 2,500 migraine patients in the general population. Statistical analysis helped the researchers to identify 16 questions that best measure the interictal burden of migraine. A shorter version of the instrument for use in a primary care setting to help guide treatment decisions is currently under development.

"While some medications can help relieve the pain felt during a migraine attack, there are other treatment options," said Richard B. Lipton, M.D., study author and director of the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "Preventive medications may reduce the burden of migraine during and between attacks."

Migraine is a chronic, debilitating condition that is under-diagnosed, undertreated and misunderstood. Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from migraines, and less than half are properly diagnosed with the condition. Recently, the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study showed that almost 98 percent of people with frequent migraines take medications, but a large majority reported their lives are still negatively impacted by the pain and disability associated with migraine. In addition, approximately 40 percent of frequent migraine sufferers could benefit from preventive therapy, yet only 13 percent typically are on a migraine preventive medication.

About Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc.

Headquartered in Titusville, N.J., Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc., focuses exclusively on providing solutions that improve neurological health. The company currently markets products for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and acute and preventive migraine treatment. Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc., in conjunction with internal and external research partners, continues to explore new opportunities to develop solutions for unmet healthcare needs in neurology.


     Kere Thomas

     Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc.

     (609) 730-6588

CONTACT: Kere Thomas of Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc., +1-609-730-6588,

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Posted: February 2007