Headache Center

The Weill Cornell Headache Service is an outpatient center within the Department of Neurology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Weill Cornell Headache Service employs a comprehensive approach for diagnosis and treatment. The process is individualized for each case, and includes a detailed headache history, neurologic exam, neuropsychological assessment, and other state of the art diagnostic and testing procedures as needed.

Do you need a specialized headache center?
The answer is YES. Though headache represents one of the most debilitating conditions in all of medicine, it remains one of the most neglected. Studies have shown that both physicians and patients commonly ignore and subsequently under treat headache. At the Cornell Headache Center we believe most headaches are a chronic disabling problem that can be accurately diagnosed and properly treated.

What is a headache?
We think of headaches as either primary or secondary—that is a symptom of another underlying condition. The primary headaches are mostly migraine and migraine-like disorders. The clinical definition of a migraine is as follows:

Clinical features of a migraine headache include:

  • throbbing pain
  • one sided in location
  • moderate to severe intensity
  • worse with exertion
  • associated with nausea/vomiting/light sound, smell sensitivity

What causes a migraine?
Below is a PET/MRI image of a "migraine in action". A migraine caught live by modern technology. We see the color changes representing the changes in blood flow as they sweep across the cortex of the brain. In other words, migraine has a definite pathophysiology, genetics and scientific basis.Currently available treatments include:

  • Spinal Fluid Analysis
  • CT/MRI Structural Brain Imaging
  • FMRI/SPECT/Functional Brain Imaging
  • Neuropsychological Assessment

Clinical Therapeutic Trials
The Headache Center is involved with clinical research trials examining new medications in the treatment of migraine. In addition we are collaborating with colleagues in the Department of Anesthesia in the use of nerve blocks, and cervical spinal injections for the treatment in other kinds of intractable headache and related disorders. The inclusion criteria are broad and we are open to discussing eligibility.

The Headache Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides comprehensive care for patients suffering with headache disorders. For more information please call 212) 746-3113.

Helpful Documents:
Diet for the Headache Sufferer
Headache Intake Form*
Headache Calendar* (to keep a log of your headaches)

*

Newsletters:
The Headache Fall 1997, Vol 1, Issue 1
The Headache Winter 1999, Vol 2, Issue 1