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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 $140 for online membership

Future of headache: a personal view

My first contact with headache was when I trained as a neurologist with Chris Diener in Essen, and it is fair to say that as a young doctor I could easily have become interested in stroke or epilepsy. But I did not. Instead I became more and more fascinated by a disease that is rewarding for a clinician (because thankfully we can help so many patients) as it is exciting and puzzling for a scientist. It is certainly fair to say that I would have not chosen headache if Chris Diener had not crossed my way (or rather I crossed his) and directed me towards a still rather neglected pain syndrome. I later had the fortune to meet my other academic mentor, Peter Goadsby, who certainly settled my wish to devote my career to headache research. I have been working clinically in the field of headache for nearly 20 years now, and my research interests focus on headache, pain, neural plasticity and functional imaging.

My main focus is on clinical research, and my main goals are to further stimulate and promote young researchers, a goal which is shared by the other members of the IHS board who consequently helped to organize 2 IHS-IASP joint meetings for younger researchers in Hamburg and Siena. I believe it is extremely important that young scientists in the field of headache and pain know each other and build new networks. I would even go so far as to suggest that the future for headache research will depend on how much we inspire young doctors and bright scientists to devote their strength and ideas to headache. How do we achieve that? Mentorship certainly continues to play the biggest part. As a society our additional goal must be to help foster new ideas, raise awareness, promote research collaborations between various disciplines and - most of all - inspire young people. Clinical and research of headache certainly has all it takes to intrigue young doctors and our commitment is to make this even more rewarding. One way is surely to bond with physicians and scientists who are already interested in and even share some of our quest – the societies of IASP and EFIC are brothers in arms, if I may say so. It is my aim that the IHS will continue to bond with pain researchers whilst strengthening the uniqueness of headache research with a particular emphasis in encouraging younger researchers. In the end – it is the young doctors we don’t know yet, young doctors and researchers who make our devotion their own, young people of the future who will keep the IHS attractive and forceful. I am thankful to my mentors that they passed on this knowledge.

Arne May
Universitäts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf (UKE), Germany
a.may@uke.uni-hamburg.de

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