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American Headache Society Meeting Report

Learning more about Migraine and other headache disorders was at the top of my agenda when I attended the 53rd annual scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in Washington, D.C., June 2 — 5.

This annual meeting is my biggest learning opportunity of the year, attending the same sessions that doctors attend for their continuing medical education. Each year, it gets easier to understand these medical presentations, but some of them are still quite complex. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of doctors there who are kind enough to sit down with me and help me understand the parts that go shooting over my head.

he session topics this year included:

  • Maltreatment and Headache: Epidemiology, Neurobiology, Evaluation, and Treatment. This session reviewed studies showing a connection between abuse and Migraine and headache.
  • The Role of the Thalamus in Migraine.
  • Mechanisms and Clinical Targets of Chronic Migraine: Clinical Perspectives and Advancements.
  • Controversies in Headache Medicine: Detoxification for MOH is Not Necessary. Addressed the controversial topic of whether patients need to be “detoxed” from the medications causing medication overuse headache before they can progress with their treatment.
  • Migraine and Genetics: New Findings and Implications for Clinicians.
  • Premonitory (Prodrome) Phase of Migraine.

In addition to the major presentations, there were scientific paper presentations to hear, research posters to view, committee meetings to attend, networking to be done, and people to catch up with.

Most of the doctors who attend these conferences are Migraine and headache specialists, and it’s always refreshing and impressive to witness their passion for the field and their compassion for their patients. Many of them are Migraineurs as well, and that’s why some of them chose this specialty.

As usual after one of these conferences, my head is still spinning with all I learned, the people I talked with, and processing it all. In some of my future posts, I’ll be sharing with you some of what I learned so we’re all better informed and better prepared to work with our doctors as treatment partners.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Joseph Perez
    8 years ago

    Terri, how can I fnd more information on the issue of detox required before treatment? My neurlogist headache specialist has taken the position that my headaches are all due to my taking pain meds ) which were prescribed by him and my primary care physician. Thank you-Joe Perez.

  • Teri Robert
    8 years ago

    Let’s try that link again and see if I can make it clickable —

  • Teri Robert
    8 years ago

    Joseph, it should be mentioned that even the experts don’t agree on this one. I’ll be writing more about this in the future. In the presentation at the conference, they discussed some studies where Topamax and Botox began working without detoxing. If you want to look for published literature on this, you might try PubMed at

  • Chave D Sladia
    8 years ago

    C A D A S I L an autosomal DOMINANT genetic disorder that causes cognitive vascular impairment a burden of illness similar to that caused by and often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Some early symptoms of CADASIL can be numbness, MIGRAINE headaches , mood disorders and TIA’s. CADASIL is often misdiagnosed as MS. If you suffer from any of these symptoms or there is a family history of stroke, Alzheimer’s or MS ask your doctor about CADASIL.
    Migraine attributed to genetic disorder: Proposal of a new category.

  • Charles Andrew Lininger
    8 years ago

    No mention of CAM?

  • Chave D Sladia
    8 years ago

    What is CAM please

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