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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.

Lars Edvinsson
President, International Headache Society

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Focus on child and adoleslcent headache

My journey with migraine started as a sufferer when I was a medical student at University of Jordan. A few years later, I worked with Ian Forsythe in Leeds (UK) who introduced me to his research on paediatric migraine. As a paediatric neurology trainee in Cardiff (UK) with Sheila Wallace, epilepsy became my main focus, but when I moved to Aberdeen, George Russell took me back to headache, where I gained my Doctorate (DM) degree researching the epidemiology of headache and migraine in schoolchildren, recreating the famous work of Bo Bille in Sweden. I started a headache clinic at Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow in 1996, which gave me a clinical and research platform to further study clinical characteristics of different headache disorders and syndromes related to migraine.

In the UK, like other places, headache in children is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Education, training and networking were badly needed. I ran a series of headache symposia and teaching sessions within the annual conferences of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) and British Association for the Study of Headache. I wrote and edited “Childhood Headache” (2002 and 2013) and co-edited “Headache in Children and Adolescents: a case-based approach” 2016. I developed web-based headache teaching modules and contributed to the development of the BPNA’s Childhood Headache Teaching course (CHaT), now in its 6th year, benefiting over 500 paediatricians.  

On an International level, childhood headache gained recognition, thanks to many eminent clinicians and researchers, and I am honoured to chair the IHS Child and Adolescent Standing Committee (CASC) following in the footsteps of Professors Cicek Wöber-Bingöl and Vincenzo Guidetti. During the past 5 years I oversaw an increased presence of children’s headache at the IHS congresses, and CASC took an active role in networking and promoting childhood headache education in conferences across the world including Brazil, USA, UK, India, Dubai, Russia, Morocco and Egypt.

Supported by the IHS Board and local professional organisations, CASC ran a large and well-attended conference on childhood headache in Chisinau, Moldova in May 2018. The conference consisted of lectures and workshops given by international speakers and local experts addressing scientific and practical issues. A similar conference is planned for March 2019 in Turkey and further initiatives will be explored to visit other countries where needs are identified.
In supporting research, CASC contributed and facilitated projects with “Lifting The Burden – the global campaign against headache” in order to study the impact of headache in children and adolescents in different parts of the world.
CASC, working with the Clinical Trials Committee over the past year, has developed guidelines to help researchers conducting drug trials in the prevention of migraine in children, using evidence-based recommendations and best practice where available. The guidelines went through a rigorous consultation process and will shortly be published in Cephalalgia.

Ishaq Abu-Arafeh
Chair, Child and Adolescent Standing Committee
Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, UK
Email: iabu-arafeh@nhs.net

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