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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jennifer L Hopp, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This is an overview of the approach to the pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and treatment of headaches, with particular focus and attention on migraine headache. The book includes both a broad overview of headache types and classification, although it has more in-depth coverage of migraine physiology, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Purpose: The author notes that the book is intended to provide comprehensive coverage of primary and secondary headache physiology, diagnosis, and management, while also providing in-depth detail of migraine pathophysiology, epidemiology, and treatment options. He notes that this focus is offered due to the high prevalence of migraine headaches as well as the availability of new and targeted treatment strategies. These worthy objectives are met in this first edition, multiauthored book.
Audience: The author does not specifically state for whom the book is written, but the structure of the book as well as the content is appropriate for any practitioner who sees and treats patients with headache. The content is varied, from detailed pathophysiology of headache, which may be of particular interest to neurologists and specialists in the field, to sections that provide clear algorithms for differential diagnosis and treatment options that would serve students, residents, or other healthcare providers on a daily basis in the clinic. Multiple contributors provide treatment approaches from various headache specialty centers.
Features: The initial coverage is broad, with an overview of an approach to classification and differential diagnosis as well as epidemiology various headache types. The book then shifts to a more in-depth approach to an understanding of pathophysiology, particularly of migraine pain, aura, and associated symptoms. The final portions cover the approach to the headache patient, with particular focus on the exclusion of secondary headache syndromes, differential diagnosis of migraine and migraine variants, as well as very a detailed overview of treatment options and strategies.
Assessment: This is a very comprehensive overview of migraine physiology and treatment that provides helpful algorithms for the approach to the headache patient. It is a challenge to have a comprehensive book with a detailed focus, as this book does, but it succeeds in its depth and breadth of coverage. The treatment algorithms and headache questionnaires are particularly useful. Additional links to "download" the questionnaires would further improve the book's usefulness. This book is unique with its focus on migraines, as compared to the many which cover headaches more equally, and thus succeeds as a handy resource in the office setting.