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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Daniel B. Hier, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: Three outstanding experts on headache have collaborated in editing the 7th edition of Wolff's landmark textbook on headache.
Purpose: The purpose is to gather recognized experts in headache to create the definitive headache textbook for clinicians and researchers.
Audience: This book is aimed at physicians who treat headaches, both primary care physicians and headache experts, as well as at headache researchers.
Features: This is a detailed but readable treatise on headache that sets high standards for science and scholarship. The book is carefully referenced. There is considerable emphasis on careful delineation of headache types according to the International Classification of Headache conventions. Early chapters in the book review headache physiology, genetics, epidemiology, and neuroimaging. The central portion of the book deals with the diagnosis and treatment of major headache types including migraine, cluster headache, tension headache, and chronic daily headache. The last portion of the book deals with specific headache types including post traumatic headache and pseudotumor cerebri.
Assessment: This is a very good and very complete book on headache. Clearly it has been and continues to be the standard reference work on headache. The editors have maintained the high level of scholarship that characterized previous editions. My criticisms of the book are few. I wish the publisher had done a nicer job with the graphics and scans; many of the images lack sharpness or contrast. As reflected in this book, treatment of the migraine headache patient or any headache patient still involves considerable guesswork. I hope that in future editions the editors can bring more evidence-based treatment guidelines to bear on the difficult problem of migraine headaches.