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a step forward for the recognition of the rights of those who suffer from it

On Monday 19 September starting at 3.00 pm the Aula Magna of the Didactic Center of the Policlinico hosts an important conference entitled Chronic headache as a social disease: state of the art which sees the participation of experts and representatives of associations.

The event aims to take stock of the path that has been taken to date and the steps still to be taken for the recognition of disability for some forms of chronic headache in light of the approval of Law 81/2020 with great commitment by institutions, health professionals and patients. In 2020, chronic headache was recognized by Italian law as a “social disease”, a great step forward for the recognition of the rights of those who suffer from it: the right to have a correct diagnosis in specialized centers, the right to obtain adequate therapy and the right to an assessment of the level of disability caused by the disease.

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It is important for Modena to host this conference – Dr. complimented Claudio VagniniDirector General of the Hospital – University of Modena – which addresses a social issue of great interest on which our company and our city are historically at the forefront. The professor. Emilio Sternieri first, prof. Then Alberto Pini and now Dr. Simona Guerzoni have contributed in a fundamental way to the development of projects and paths, bringing this pathology to everyone’s attention making Emilia-Romagna one of the most advanced Regions on this issue”.

The Modena Polyclinic now hosts a third level Headache Center. Center that aims to take charge of chronic forms, the evolution certainly more complex and difficult to frame both from a diagnostic and pharmacological point of view. Together with the Centers of Bologna, Parma, Ravenna, with which we have a close collaboration, the administration of new headache therapies is managed at regional level: Monoclonal Antibodies and Botulinum Toxin. These drugs have been a huge breakthrough in the treatment of pathology, as for the first time we can use specific drugs for the treatment of migraine, while previously we used drugs born for other pathologies and adapted. “This is a great research result – he added The wagonwhich has always seen our company at the forefront, thanks also to the close collaboration with the University. ” To date, the same Center is engaged in clinical trials that will lead to the release of other specific drugs in the coming months.

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Migraine represents one of the neurological disorders with the greatest epidemiological, economic and social impact – explained the doctor Simona GuerzoniHead of the Headache Center of the University Hospital of Modena – so much so that the World Health Organization considers it the number one cause of disability in the world in the 15 to 49 year old segment of the population. In Italy, migraine affects about 12% of the population, about 7-8 million people and mainly affects women with a proportion of 3 to 1, so much so that 90% of patients who access our Center are women.”

Migraine, like other forms of headache, is a condition that tends to be underestimated and under diagnosed this leads to a delay in the proper administration of care.

It also makes the picture worse the onset of comorbidities which may include psychiatric pathologies, for example, depression, anxiety, hypertension and inflammatory pathologies, thus contributing to further increase the degree of disability of patients. When migraine evolves into a chronic form Patients find themselves having to live with headaches for over 15 days a month and the continuous pain, but invisible and difficult to make understood by those who do not suffer from it, has an impact on all the fundamental aspects of a person’s life: family, study, work, social life.

Unfortunately – adds the doctor Guerzoniwe are in the presence of an under-diagnosed disease. The patient struggles to take the right paths, at the beginning the pathology is often managed independently. Indeed, we see patients after 20 years of pain. My advice, therefore, is not to wait and not to underestimate the symptoms from childhood. The paths are there, use them. “

In 2020, chronic headache was recognized by Italian law as a “social disease” – he added Lara Merighi, Lay coordinator of Al.Ce. (Cephalalgia Alliance) Group Italia – CIRNA Foundation Onlus – a great step forward for the recognition of the rights of those who suffer from it: the right to have a correct diagnosis in specialized centers, the right to obtain adequate therapy and the right to an assessment of the level of disability caused by the disease. Much has been done but much remains to be done: improve health care, harmonize the various regional regulations, follow up on the implementing decrees “

Focus on the headache

Headache is pain localized in the skull, caused by the stimulation of pain-sensitive intracranial structures. It is chronic when it strikes for at least 15 days a month. There is certainly a familiarity at the basis of chronic headache which are impacted by factors, different from patient to patient, which can trigger the crisis. Among these are hormonal variations, climatic variations, stress, change of habits. For this it is useful not to underestimate the symptoms and to monitor them.

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The conference program

The conference program is dense and of great interest to professionals, institutions and patients. After the greetings of the authorities – Gian Carlo MuzzarelliMayor of Modena, Dr. Claudio VagniniGeneral Manager of the Modena Polyclinic, Prof. Carlo Adolfo PorroMagnificent Rector of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia – the theme will first be introduced with a speech by Dr. Grace Sances, Head of Diagnosis and Treatment of Headaches, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, National Neurological Institute, Pavia who will briefly illustrate the incidence of the disease, the diagnostic-therapeutic aspects and will retrace the steps that led to law no. 81 of 14 July 2020.

The issue of the patient’s process and the problems to be faced will also be addressed, because the “social” recognition of the pathology does not automatically entail the recognition of disability.

Finally, the topic of the importance of the implementing decrees and the “battle” carried out to date for the implementing decrees will be introduced (QUESTION FOR IMMEDIATE ANSWER IN THE COMMISSION 5/07755 – Legislature: 18 / Announcement session: 663 of 23/03 / 2022).

The word will then be passed to one representative for each Italian regionwhich in 5 minutes will present a form from which will be highlighted: identification of the second and third level centers of their region of belonging (to have a quick mapping region by region), presence of any routes in the region of belonging (PDTA or other – to see what was done before and after the 2020 law) and finally personal notes.

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It will then be the turn of the government representatives, Sen. Paola BoldriniVice-president of the XII Permanent Commission “Hygiene and Health” in the Senate and Hon. Giuditta PiniMember of the XII Commission “Social Affairs” at the Chamber of Deputies who will illustrate what steps have been taken and what steps are still to be taken towards the approval of the implementing decrees, essential for shaping the law.

Finally, the floor will be given to patients through an intervention by Lara Merighi, lay coordinator of the Cephalalgia Alliance. The debate with the audience will then follow and also via streaming.

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