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Welcome to the website for the International Headache Society

International Headache Society (IHS) is the world's leading membership organisation for those with a professional commitment to helping people affected by headache. 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.

Alan M Rapoport, MD

International Headache Society President


Only $120 for online membership

My vision

Reading Dr. Livening’s book “On Megrim, Sick headache,” published in 1873, compelled me to the field of migraine, which I joined in 1996.  Influenced heavily by his detailed description of the many aspects of migraine, I became fascinated with the complexity of the disorder and the various paths it travels in the brain.  Eighteen years later, I am more absorbed than ever in translational research on the different symptoms that accompany migraine. Being funded by the NIH, my translational research operation focuses on photophobia, peripheral and central sensitization, inflammatory and immune responses, post-traumatic headache, and endothelial dysfunction.  This research takes us into the retina, hypothalamus, thalamus, cortex, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, meninges, and bone marrow.  I no longer believe it is possible to hit a grand slam and identify one factor, one mechanism, or one brain area that “causes migraine.” Maybe most critical to my current thinking is the recognition that the direction of translational research in headache should be reversed. Instead of using the traditional ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach, it may be more productive to adapt a ‘bedside-to-bench’ approach whereby all questions that can be answered in humans should be answered in humans and all that is required from animal studies is to test hypotheses that have been defined in patients but could not be tested due to ethical limitations involving high risk/low benefit ratio.   Last year, I was honored to be elected to the IHS Board of Trustees.   As a Board Member, I look forward to fostering communications among those working to push the envelope on innovative research headache.


Rami Burstein
John Hedley-Whyte Professor of Anaesthesia and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School
Vice Chairman of Research, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Academic Director, Comprehensive Headache Center, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians
Boston, MA, USA

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