Farah Ashoka started getting bad headaches as a schoolgirl and was usually dispatched to the nurse, given paracetamol tablets, and told to rest. For years, she suffered in silence until she sought expert help in her late twenties. “By the time I saw a neurologist, I was at about 29 migraine days a month,” she reveals.

Speaking to Dr Naji Riachi, Consultant Neurologist at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City and Khalifa University College of Medicine as Clerkship Director of Neurology and Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, in episode 1 of Gulf News and Novartis’ six-part Mind your Migraine vodcast series, Farah says that even with the diagnosis, life was tough. She suffered fatigue, loss of memory, and even loss of vocabulary, eventually leading to her quitting work.

What affected Farah as badly as the migraine was people’s misconception that it is just a headache when in fact it’s a chronic condition. Dr Riachi offers light at the end of the tunnel for patients like Farah as he discusses cutting-edge FDA-approved treatments that include injections. “Now we have subcutaneous injections that have really been such a joy to have because they are almost like a miracle,” says Dr Riachi.

If you endure migraines or know someone who does, this series is for you. Episode 1 drops on May 25. Tune in to listen to the podcasts.

Mind your Migraine

A Gulf News-Novartis Initiative to raise awareness about migraine in the UAE, the six-episode vodcast series sheds light on symptoms, triggers, treatments, and common misconceptions. Each episode will feature a senior neurologist in conversation with a patient.

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