Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award

This award is for the best paper on headache, head or face pain, or the nature of pain itself. The paper may be concerned with basic research, clinical studies or both and must include new data to be considered for the award. The recipient will be invited to present the paper at the Annual Scientific Meeting. This award was named in honor of Dr. Harold G. Wolff, a pioneer in the field of headache medicine.

Dr. Wolff was born in New York City in 1898. He received his medical education at Harvard and trained in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. In 1932, he was recruited as the first head of the new division of Neurology at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. His emphasis at the time was on protective and defensive reaction patterns of individual behavior that lead to disease, and the meaning of precipitative events and environmental setting in illness. His particular interest was in the personality features and reactions of migraineurs.

Dr. Wolff ’s appointment to that pioneering post was based on his broad education which included training in neurology and cerebral circulation at Harvard; experience in Austria and America on the humoral transmission of nervous activity; study in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins; work with Pavlov in Russia in his Conditioned Reflex Laboratory; and, study with Desmond Curran on delirium. He went on to become one of the most experienced clinical and experimental neurologists in the United States serving as editor of The Archives of Neurology, and President of the American Neurological Association. Dr. Wolff continued as head of Neurology at Cornell until his death in 1962.

Dr. Wolff’s enormous energy and curiosity led him to question many procedures and techniques then in use and to institute many revolutionary ideas. Early in his career, he began to clarify the neurogenic control of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation in headache. He began to build his hypotheses of stress and disease, particularly on people with migraine. His meticulous experimentation contributed to the understanding of migraine. He showed the biphasic vascular reactions of vasoconstriction and vasodilatation and demonstrated that both intracranial and extracranial structures are involved in the reaction pattern. Most importantly, he discovered neurokinin, the neurohumor elaborated in the tissues resulting from excitation in the central nervous system. His last hypothesis stating that disordered vasoactivity in this syndrome reflected an adaptive response to a threat to the integrity of the brain itself would have been put to further test had he lived longer. He was ahead of his time in linking the relationship between man’s goals, his methods of achieving them, and the conflicts thus engendered as a direct link to many aspects of disease, tissue damage, and death.

It is a tribute to Dr. Wolff that many years after his death articles still appear about him and his research. In the late 1950’s, he established an institute to study human ecology and anticipated behavioral methods for treatment of headache that have only recently been accepted widely. Harold G. Wolff viewed the study of humans in this setting as especially crucial in determining the fine line between health and disease. Much of his work was concerned with the idea that during or following circumstances perceived as chronically threatening or unacceptable, primitive patterns of behavior and physiologic activity are evoked, which may produce when experienced over time, patterns of disease.

 

Congratulations to the 2022 recipient!

Amynah Pradhan, PhD
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

Migraine and peripheral pain models show differential alterations in neuronal complexity

View the Headache Journal interview with Dr. Pradhan here.

Past Recipients

2021 - Ryotaro Ishii, MD, PhD

Chronic versus Episodic Migraine: The 15-day threshold does not adequately reflect substantial differences in disability across the full spectrum of headache frequency

2020 - Antonio Russo, MD, PhD

Cognitive Networks Disarrangement in Patients with Migraine Predicts Cutaneous Allodynia

2019 - Amy Gelfand, MD, FAHS

The Association Between Parental Migraine and Infant Colic: A Cross-sectional, Web-based, US Survey Study

2018 - Richard B. Lipton, MD, FAHS

Identifying Natural Subgroups of Migraine Based on Profiles of Comorbidities and Concomitant
Conditions: Results of the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes Study

2017 - Richard B. Lipton, MD, FAHS

Allodynia Is Associated with Initial and Sustained Response to Acute Migraine Treatment:
Concourse Level Results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention
(AMPP) Study (OR21)

2015 - Todd J. Schwedt, MD, MSCI, FAHS

Accurate Classification of Chronic Migraine via Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging

2014 - Christoph Schankin, MD

The Relation Between Migraine, Typical Migraine Aura and ‘Visual Snow’

2013 - Farooq Husain Maniyar, MB BS, MD, MCRP

Investigating the premonitory phase of migraine with H215O PET

2012 - Robert Shapiro, MD, PHD

Casein Kinase lō Mutations in Familial Migraine with Aura

2011 - Michael L. Oshinsky, PhD and Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD

Adverse Childhood Experience: Migraine and Vascular Biomarkers

2009 - Simon Akerman, PhD

Oxygen Inhibits Neuronal Activation in the Trigeminocervical Complex after Stimulation of
Trigeminal Autonomic Reflex, but Not Via Direct Dural Activation of Trigeminal Afferents

2008 - Marcelo Bigal, MD, PhD

Acute Migraine Medications and Evolution from Episodic to Chronic Migraine:
A Longitudinal Population-Based Study

2007 - Sheena K. Aurora, MD

Brainstem Dysfunction in Chronic Migraine as Evidenced by Neurophysiological
and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Studies

2006 - Nancy E.J. Berman, PhD

Serotonin in Trigeminal Ganglia of Female Rodents: Relevance to Menstrual Migraine

2005 - Rami Burstein, PhD

Terminating Migraine with Allodynia and Ongoing Central Sensitization

2004 - Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD

Posterior Hypothalmic and Brainstem Activation in Hemicrania Continua.

2003 - Rami Burstein, PhD

Differential Effects of Triptans on Physiological Properties of Peripheral and Central Trigemino
Vascular Neurons Reveal a Mechanism of Action Critical for Terminating Migraine

2002 - Anan Srikiatkhachorn, MD

5-HT2A Receptor Activation and Nitric Oxide Synthesis: A Possible Mechanism Determining
Migraine Attacks

2001 - K.M.A Welch, MD

Periaqueductal Gray Matter Dysfunction in Migraine: Cause or the Burden of Illness?

2000 - R.B. Lipton, MD

Sumatriptan for the Range of Headaches in Migraine Sufferers: Results of the Spectrum Study

1999 - S.K Aurora, MD

The Occipital Cortex is Hyperexcitable in Migraine: Evidence from TMS, fMRI, and MEG Studies

1998 - Ann I. Scher, MS

Prevalence of Frequent Headache in a Population Sample

1997 - R.A. Ophoff, MD

Involvement of a CA2+Channel Gene in Familial Hemiplegic Migraine and Migraine With
and Without Aura

1996 - F. Michael Cutrer, MD

Actions of Valproate and Neurosteroids in a Model of Trigeminal Pain

1996 - PETER J. GOADSBY, MD, PhD

Central and Peripheral Trigeminovascular Activation in the Cat is Blocked by the
Serotonin (5HT) – 1D Receptor Against 311C90

1993 - S.J. PEROUTKA, MD, PhD

Anti-migraine Drug Interactions with Cloned Human 5-hydroxytryptamine Receptor Subtypes

1992 - JEAN SCHOENEN, MD, PhD

Exteroceptive Suppression of Temporalis Muscle Activity in Patients with Chronic Headache
and in Normal Volunteers: Methodology, Clinical and Pathophysiological Relevance

1991 - S.J. PEROUTKA, MD, PhD

Anti-migraine Drug Interactions with Cloned Human 5-hydroxytryptamine Receptor

1990 - G.L. BARKLEY

Magnetoencephalographic Studies of Migraine

1989 - N.M. RAMADAN

Low Brain Magnesium in Migraine

1988 - RAJIV JOSEPH, MD

Cystolic Ionized Calcium Homeotosis in Platelets: An Abnormal Sensitivity to PAF-Activation
in Migraine

1986 - RAJIV JOSEPH, MD

ATP Hyposecretion from Platelet Dense Bodies – Evidence for the Purinergic Hypothesis and
a Marker of Migraine

1984 - JACQUELINE DE BELLEROCHE, PhD, MSCBA

Metabolic Abnormalities in Cluster Headache

J.W. LANCE

Brainstem Influences on the Cephalic Circulation: Experimental Data from Cat and
Monkey of Relevance to the Mechanism of Migraine

1982 - JES OLESEN, MD

Spreading Cerebral Oligemia in Classical and Normal Cerebral Blood Flow in Common Migraine

1981 - R.C. PEATFIELD, MD

The Effect of Infused Prostacyclin in Migraine and Cluster Headache

1980 - BRUNO ANSELMI, MD

Endogeneous Opioids in Cerebrospinal Fluid and Blood in Idiopathic Headache Sufferers

1979 - JOHN STIRLING MEYER, MD

Abnormal Cerebrovascular Reactivity in Patients with Migraine and Cluster Headache

1978 - FUMIHIKO SAKAI, MD

Regional Cerebral Hemodynamics During Migraine and Cluster Headache Measured
by the 133 xe Inhalation Method

1977 - SUNANDA V. DESHMUKH, MD, FFARCS

Cyclic Changes in Platelet Dynamics and the Pathogenesis and Prophylaxis of Migraine

1976 - K.M.A. WELCH, MD

A Biochemical Comparison of Migraine and Stroke

1975 - OTTAR SJAASTAD, MD

Histamine and its Relations to Vascular Headache, with Particular Reference to
Cluster Headache

1974 - ZDENKA KALENDOVSKY, MD

Complicated Migraine: Its Association with Increased Platelet Aggregability and
Abnormal Plasma Coagulation Factors

1973 - PRAMOD R. SAXENA, MD

Selective Vasoconstriction in the Carotid Bed by Ergotamine: Possible Relevance to its
Anti-Migraine Action

1972 - BRIAN W. SOMERVILLE, MD, MRACP

The Influence of Progesterone and Estradiol Upon Migraine

1971 - GERALD S. BAROLIN, MD

Bioelectric Findings in Migraine

1970 - YOSHIO HOSOBUCHI, MD

Descending Trigeminal Tractotomy Neurophysiological Approach

1969 - ERNST THONNARD-NEUMANN, MD

Some Interrelationships of Vasoactive Substances and Basophile Leukocytes in
Migraine Headaches

1968 - EDDA HANINGTON, MB, BS

The Role of Tyramine in the Etiology of Migraine and Related Studies on the Cerebral
Extracerebral Circulations

1967 - JAMES W. LANCE, MD, FRACP

The Control of Cranial Arteries by Humoral Mechanisms and its Relation to the Migraine Syndrome