The World Health Organization Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders and the headache revolution: from headache burden to a global action plan for headache disorders

Matilde Leonardi*, Paolo Martelletti, Rami Burstein, Arianna Fornari, Licia Grazzi, Alla Guekht, Richard B. Lipton, Dimos Dimitrios Mitsikostas, Jes Olesen, Mayowa Ojo Owolabi, Elena Ruiz De la Torre, Simona Sacco, Timothy J. Steiner, Nirmal Surya, Takao Takeshima, Cristina Tassorelli, Shuu Jiun Wang, Tissa Wijeratne, Shengyuan Yu, Alberto Raggi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders was developed by WHO to address the worldwide challenges and gaps in provision of care and services for people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders and to ensure a comprehensive, coordinated response across sectors to the burden of neurologic diseases and to promote brain health across life-course. Headache disorders constitute the second most burdensome of all neurological diseases after stroke, but the first if young and midlife adults are taken into account. Despite the availability of a range of treatments, disability associated with headache disorders, and with migraine, remains very high. In addition, there are inequalities between high-income and low and middle income countries in access to medical care. In line with several brain health initiatives following the WHOiGAP resolution, herein we tailor the main pillars of the action plan to headache disorders: (1) raising policy prioritization and strengthen governance; (2) providing effective, timely and responsive diagnosis, treatment and care; (3) implementing strategies for promotion and prevention; (4) fostering research and innovation and strengthen information systems. Specific targets for future policy actions are proposed. The Global Action Plan triggered a revolution in neurology, not only by increasing public awareness of brain disorders and brain health but also by boosting the number of neurologists in training, raising research funding and making neurology a public health priority for policy makers. Reducing the burden of headache disorders will not only improve the quality of life and wellbeing of people with headache but also reduce the burden of neurological disorders increasing global brain health and, thus, global population health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Brain health
  • Global burden of disease study
  • Global campaign against headache
  • Health promotion
  • Migraine
  • Tension-type headache
  • World Health Organization

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