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AAN 2021 | Mindfulness meditation vs. headache education for migraine treatment

There is a significant need for non-drug-based treatment of migraine, with most patients discontinuing medications due to side effects or inefficacy. Rebecca Wells, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Winston Salem, NC, shares the findings of a randomized controlled trial (NCT02695498) of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) compared to headache education in adults with 4-20 migraines a month. Participants attended in-person classes of MSBR or headache education, and change in migraine frequency was assessed as the primary outcome. The results showed that both trial arms demonstrated comparable clinically meaningful reductions in migraine frequency. However, only those in the MBSR arm showed improvements in headache-related disability, depression scores, quality of life, and experimentally induced pain intensity and unpleasantness. The findings suggest mindfulness may be beneficial in treating total migraine burden as part of a comprehensive treatment approach. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.


Dr Wells reports the following disclosures:
•American Pain Society Grant, Sharon S. Keller Chronic Pain Research Program, (PI-Wells)
•NIH-NCCIH K23AT008406 (PI-Wells)
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.