2017 In Review: A Year of Growth, Discovery and Innovation at the American Headache Society

From launching new educational initiatives to building new programs and attending the International Headache Academy, 2017 was a tremendous year for the American Headache Society

2017 was an eventful year for the American Headache Society thanks to the hard work of our members, whose innovative research and commitment to mentorship and education helped drive significant advancements in the field of headache medicine. We are overjoyed by what we’ve accomplished this year, and wanted to take a brief look back at some of our biggest successes before we turn our focus to our goals for 2018.

International Headache Academy

We kicked off 2017 with the fourth annual International Headache Academy in January, which brought some of the best and brightest young physicians and researchers from the U.S. and Canada for a three-day headache program in Los Angeles, Calif. The presentations offered a highly interactive and intensive overview of the current state of Headache Medicine, including research priorities, validating potential drug targets, what’s new in headache treatment and more. The American Headache Society is honored to support programs that work to develop and mentor the future leaders in the headache field, and we are excited to see all that these young minds accomplish in the future.

Resident Education Program

A standout high point this year was the launch of our Resident Education Program, an initiative that directly serves our mission to encourage scientific research, foster an environment for collaboration and information-sharing, and nurture talent in the headache field through outreach, mentorship and continuing education. The three-day event gathered first and second year adult and pediatric neurology residents from across the U.S. and provided them with foundational education on headache medicine. The program was a huge success, providing academic enrichment for both attendees and speakers.

Scottsdale Headache Symposium

Our annual Scottsdale Headache Symposium in November brought together clinicians of all specialties for five days of educational programming focused on the treatment and prevention of headache. The symposium welcomed physicians, psychologists, scientists, researchers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other health professionals together to study the basics of headache diagnosis and treatment, to learn how to identify the characteristics of primary and secondary headaches, and to explore the potential of new, innovative therapies at the forefront of headache medicine. We are extremely proud of the success of this year’s program and look forward to meeting again in Scottsdale next year.


This was also an exceptional year for headache research led by AHS members. Clinical studies presented at our 59th Annual Scientific Meeting supported the efficacy and safety of a new class of preventative therapy for both episodic and chronic migraine. Since then, research into antibodies targeting calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) has continued to produce data that suggests blocking the CGRP pathway prevents migraine attacks.

Findings published in the July/August issue of Headache identified a relationship between allodynia and diminished responsiveness to acute medication, identifying an area of unmet treatment need. The study, titled Allodynia is associated with initial and sustained response to acute migraine treatment: results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study led by Richard Lipton, M.D. and co-authored by Sagar Munjal, M.D., Dawn Buse, Ph.D., Alix Bennett, Ph.D., Kristina Fanning, Ph.D., Rami Burstein Ph.D., and Michael Reed, Ph.D., received the H.G. Wolff Lecture Award at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston.

American Migraine Foundation

The past year was also marked with successes for the Society’s patient-focused advocacy arm, the American Migraine Foundation, which continued its tireless work towards improving the lives of those living with migraine. Over the past year, AMF helped fund groundbreaking advances in migraine treatment, launched an advocacy campaign called the Move Against Migraine that includes an online support community where headache specialists can connect directly with patients, and expanded its online resource library filled with primary-sourced content covering all aspects of migraine diagnosis and treatment. We are proud of all they accomplished this past year and wish them even more success in the future.

The American Headache Society is proud to celebrate the many successes achieved by our members and our organization in 2017. With each meeting, initiative and study, we continue to advance our understanding of headache and to improve the lives of people living with head pain in measurable ways. Your continued support is deeply appreciated, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year. If you are not a member of the American Headache Society, consider joining today. We have tremendous things in store for 2018.

Latest News