The country's first migraine center in the East: 'A lot of misunderstanding about the disease'

The country's first migraine center in the East: 'A lot of misunderstanding about the disease'

In his migraine clinic in Watergraafsmere, neurologist Hans Karpay sees that migraine patients often do not receive appropriate care because they have to deal with biases and misunderstandings. These biases exist among healthcare providers, their own environment, but also among patients themselves. “A lot of times patients think it's their fault.”

Migraine is not just a headache, it is a serious disease. This is the message from neurologist Hans Karpay. With his son, he opened the first and only migraine clinic in the Netherlands. “Patients come from Zealandia-Flanders to Groningen and from Den Helder to Maastricht,” says the doctor from one of Watergraafsmeer's treatment rooms.

The migraine clinic treats about 130 patients weekly. The clinic offers different treatment methods, including CGRP inhibitors and Botox injections to block pain signals. Anyone with a basic package can go there.

Karpay emphasizes the need for better recognition and treatment of migraines and highlights the stigma and misconceptions surrounding the disease. “Many patients I talk to think their migraines are their fault. It's because they worked too hard or were under stress. That's not true. I have people here who live as calmly as possible for years and still can't do it.” A function of pain.”

He also believes that the patient is not always taken seriously by the environment and other health care providers. “There is often a stigma attached to migraines, that they are just a mild headache. While it is a serious, hereditary disease for which there are more and more good treatments available. But you still often hear: ‘Just take paracetamol.’ This has to be the change.” “Very few people are treated with such prejudices, while appropriate care is often available,” says the doctor.

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