Sarker Lab Emory University

Generalizable NLP Framework for Migraine Reporting from Social Media


Migraine is a highly prevalent and disabling neurological disorder. However, information about migraine management in real-world settings is limited to traditional health information sources. In this paper, we (i) verify that there is substantial migraine-related chatter available on social media (Twitter and Reddit), self-reported by those with migraine; (ii) develop a platform-independent text classification system for automatically detecting self-reported migraine-related posts, and (iii) conduct analyses of the self-reported posts to assess the utility of social media for studying this problem. We manually annotated 5750 Twitter posts and 302 Reddit posts, and used them for training and evaluating supervised machine learning methods. Our best system achieved an F1 score of 0.90 on Twitter and 0.93 on Reddit. Analysis of information posted by our ‘migraine cohort’ revealed the presence of a plethora of relevant information about migraine therapies and sentiments associated with them. Our study forms the foundation for conducting an in-depth analysis of migraine-related information using social media data.


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