Headache Conference in Philadelphia

It sure would be nice if this were open to the public…

Posted on Thu, Sep. 10, 2009

Headache experts are meeting in Phila.
By Philadelphia Inquirer Staff

Headaches will be the focus of a four-day convention opening today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
About 1,500 experts in the fields of headache treatment and research are expected to take part in International Headache Congress, which is sponsored by the International Headache Society and the American Headache Society.

Appropriately, “Independence from Headaches” is the name given to the conference.

Today’s keynote speaker at the conference is Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who will talk about her experiences dealing with migraines.

The convention is not open to the public.

Hey Ben,
I just checked the day by day calendar of events and too bad there is not a mention of MAV:-( Typical…

that is so unfortunate. Not surprising though. If a group of docs discussed MAV, then more docs would learn about this illness (as many “headache” docs have no clue about MAV), and get closer to reaching a consensus on treatment.

Wow, 4 days and nothing specific for us! Maybe I should try to get into the conference and get some attention for our cause…

I agree Lisa. I think that if you live near a major city with academic medical centers there is a better chance of finding a doc aware of this illness and it’s treatment. It’s the smaller towns that are desperate for this information. I assume docs travel from all over the country to attend conferences such as these and it would be great for headache specialists all over to have this training. As I have stated before, this is not taught in medical school, nor is it taught during a general neurology residency.


why not?

Hi Mikael,
In medical school in the US you are taught and expected to pass boards in EVERYTHING… so I suppose if you have to learn almost everything about each specialty, you realistically can’t cover every rare condition such as MAV. I went to an excellent medical school in New York City and I honestly can’t even remember being taught much about migraine during my medical school training nor during my neurology rotation during residency. Stroke, MS, Parkinson’s, seizures etc, yes, but MAV no. With regards to specializing in neurology for residency, the same thing applies. When something is so rare, it is unusual you work with a patient that has this conditon. I suppose if you have a mentor who specializes in migraine, you might hear about this if your mentor is aware and treats patients with MAV. I don’t blame the training system as there really is a tremendous amount of material required to be mastered in our training. Our only hope is that more migraine specialists and neuro-otologists who encounter MAV patients will spread the word to others at conferences like these. As I said, I do think in the major cities and academic centers, many of these specialists are aware of MAV. The other issue with our diagnosis is that there is no clear cut criteria for MAV…hence, it still being considered a diagnosis of exclusion.

I’m also sure if anything about vertigo is mentioned regarding migraine, it is quickly mentioned and explained as something short term. Like, oh yeah, you can have some dizzy spells with migraine. I notice that even in big cities many neurologists see the dizziness as something episodic with a headache. I know this from personal experience of meeting with many NY neurologists prior to finding a doc who understood MAV.

I agree completely with you Lisa and have had the same experience. This is a result of the IHS setting the guidelines for MAV which clearly specify episodic vertigo with history of migraine… so many of us are 24/7 suffering, do not experience vertigo, so unless a doc gets a reputation for specializing in MAV and actually seeing patients like this, they will dismiss us. That is why we all on this forum can name the docs in the country who see loads of patients with all the variants of MAV… Buccholz, Rauch, Hain, Newman, Furman, etc…