Description: This book presents a comprehensive summary of migraines and other headache types covering topics such as pathophysiology, classification, possible therapies, necessary work up steps, and differential diagnosis.
Purpose: The book serves as a guideline for readers covering topics ranging from historical pearls, the social and economic impacts of the condition, possible treatments, acute and preventive options, and its side effects. It covers some of what the future holds in pathophysiology advances and thus indirectly in future treatment options. The author meets his objectives clearly and concisely, making the book a worthwhile reading experience.
Audience: The book is an useful tool for students, residents and practitioners in family practice and internal medicine. It has some interesting points even for neurologists but his mission was not to present the very complex and detailed aspects of this entity such as if the intended audience was neurologists. Dr. Tepper is highly respected among us in the headache community, having written numerous articles, participating in multiple symposiums, involved in multiple research projects, and has been a board member in different societies.
Features: The book addresses a variety of topics that are a "must know" for any clinician interested in learning about headaches, ranging from classification to making an accurate diagnosis, considering hormonal influences and excluding secondary causes, directing the clinician to find a sensible and appropriate approach in a case-by-case scenario for acute and/or preventive treatment. In chapter 7 "Non-medication prevention" was extremely important and not addressed enough. Almost unique to this small text are the chapters dedicated to trigeminal autonomic cephalgias and new areas of research, topics covered incompletely by other small texts if at all.
Assessment: I like the book; it is well written and concise. I think it will be useful to clinicians and could also be a resource for patients. But one has to choose different literature sources depending on the patient being evaluated to avoid overwhelming the patient. This book is quite similar to Conquering Headache coauthored by Dr. Tepper with Alan Rapport and Fred Sheftell (B. C. Decker, 2003), but in that book, the intent was to reach the general public more than clinicians. In Diagnosing and Managing Headaches, 4th edition (Professional Communications, 2004), Dr. Diamond also comprehensively covers migraine headaches, but I find the text to be less user-friendly and too compact, whereas in Dr. Tepper's book the text and tables are easy to follow and the reading has a better flow. In Migraine, Dr. Silberstein tried to do a clinician's manual with the most important topics. I found it helpful for a quick browse, but again Dr. Tepper's book is more comprehensive.