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Welcome to the website for the International Headache Society

The International Headache Society (IHS) is the world's leading membership organisation for those with a professional commitment to helping people affected by headache. As a charity, the purpose of IHS is to advance headache science, education, and management, and promote headache awareness worldwide.

This site promotes the Society and its activities, and is the home of the Society's international journal Cephalalgia. We welcome Society members and all who work or seek information in the field of headache.

David W Dodick
M.D., President, International Headache Society

Only $140 for online membership




A life dedicated to a neglected malady

My interest in headache dates back to 1987, when I first examined a so-called recently described chronic paroxysmal hemicrania patient. After writing a monograph on this interesting headache in 1988, Professor Ottar Sjaastad invited me to join his group in Trondheim for a PhD thesis. The defence took place in Trondheim in September 1992, under the supervision of Professor Sjaastad and Linda White. The work entitled “Vasoactive peptides in the ocular/forehead area. Association with headache” involved basic research on the effects of various neurotransmitters, peptides and drugs on isolated vessels and various neuropeptide levels in a greater occipital nerve stimulation model I specifically developed in rats.

From the clinical perspective, headache patients were examined on a daily basis under the supervision of Professor Sjaastad. After returning to Brazil, the head of the Department of Neurology, Professor Sérgio Novis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, asked me to create, lead and develop the headache sector in our facilities. My professorship was obtained in 1995, allowing us to establish the master and doctoral programmes on headache. The first doctoral thesis was written by my colleague Professor Péricles Maranhão-Filho, on the effects of sumatriptan on an isolated chick retina spreading depression model. Working at the same university where Leão developed his career, we were particularly proud to initiate the modern headache academic activities in this very area. Having replaced Professor Novis as the head of Neurology, 12 theses were produced afterwards involving various aspects of headache, regular courses and seminars for residents and undergraduates were established, and a regular headache out-patients unit was developed. In 2006, I spent 4 months at Nouchine Hadjikhani Laboratory in Boston with a Fulbright scholarship, were we studied aspects related to aura and neuroimaging.

I am an active member of the Brazilian Headache Society and the Brazilian Academy of Neurology, where I have been involved with several educational initiatives. I have been a member of the IHS classification committee twice. In Brazil, a country with relatively poor social and health standards, a high quality centre for research, education and specialised care in headache for thousands of patients represents a crucial achievement. I am deeply committed to the advance of headache education and science in my country and worldwide as well as to the promotion of this branch of medicine as one of the most relevant for the benefit of all untreated sufferers.

Maurice Vincent
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

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