The director of headache medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital talked about the often-overlooked realm of primary headaches beyond migraines as well as the importance of developing targeted treatments and increasing understanding of their pathophysiology. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 7 minutes
"I think the key for most headache disorders is that we still have so many gaps in our pathophysiology. We're learning things through functional MRI, where single parts of the brain are active, and what neuropeptides are released during certain headache disorders. But we still have certain gaps, which makes it hard for us to have targeted treatments. I think that's something that we all, in headache medicine and professionals, are looking for constantly. We are all looking for other targeted [therapies] that may help our patients better."
In the field of headache, much of the attention for conversation often goes to the well-known and widely reported condition of migraine even though headache medicine extends far beyond the primary type of headache. Being an often-overlooked domain, this highlights the importance of unraveling the complexities of nonmigriane headache disorders as well as discovering essential considerations such as for diagnosing or prescribing treatments for these conditions.
Recently, Jihan A. Grant, MD, division chief and director of the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Center for Headache Treatment and Translational Research at Mount Sinai, presented a talk on nonmigraine headache disorders at the 2023 International Congress on the Future of Neurology (IFN) Annual Meeting, held September 22-23, in Jersey City, New Jersey. After the meeting, Grant sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the main takeaways from her presentation and insights from her own clinical practice.
In the interview, Grant explained how healthcare providers can effectively differentiate between primary and secondary headaches, given the prevalence of secondary headaches. She talked about some of the key diagnostic considerations to make when dealing with trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, and how often they present. In addition, Grant spoke about the challenges that headache medicine professionals often face in developing targeted treatments for headache disorders, and the current avenues that are being explored to address these gaps.