The 2019 Scottsdale Headache Symposium in Review

Highlights from headache medicine’s premier educational event

Between Nov. 21 and 24, more than 1,200 healthcare providers and researchers met at the 2019 Scottsdale Headache Symposium (#AHSAZ) in Arizona to discuss the latest in headache medicine. The Symposium provides a forum for cutting-edge research and insights intended to further headache medicine and improve patient care. 

The pre-meeting courses included an anatomy lesson on headache and orofacial pain. There was also a course on integrating advanced practice providers and behavioral therapists into a practice. Nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants involved in the care of patients with headache disorders attended The Bridge, a comprehensive headache education program for NP’s and PA’s.

The Great Lakes Regional Headache Society hosted “The Art of Headache Medicine with a Journey Through Art History.” Presenters used art to illustrate the impact of headache disorders. Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, FAHS, and Andrew F. Russo, PhD, chaired the advanced course “Sleep and Migraine,” which dove into the relationship between sleep patterns and pain with a focus on headache and migraine. 

On Friday, AHS President Kathleen Digre, MD, FAHS, officially opened the Symposium. She welcomed attendees and chaired the first plenary with Rashmi B. Halker Singh, MD, FAHS. “Migraine: What’s New in Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Treatment” covered diagnostic pearls and pitfalls, acute migraine treatment, and more. 

Throughout the day, AHSAZ attendees heard presentations on trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, vascular headache neurobiology, and stroke. There was also a Special Plenary on Vestibular Migraine, chaired by Deborah Friedman, MD, MPH, FAHS, and Shin Beh, MD. 

On Saturday morning, attendees heard case presentations and learned more about cutting edge and emerging therapies. This included monoclonal antibodies, neuromodulation and neuropharmacology for the treatment of headache and migraine. During a plenary about headache journalism, Headache® Editor-in-Chief Thomas N. Ward, MD, FAHS, shared insights from the journal’s top three articles.

The inaugural Women’s Health Science Award recognized an investigator who has made an outstanding contribution to women’s health and headache medicine. Gretchen Tietjen, MD, was selected for her dedication to women and headache.

Frontiers in Headache Research” Scholarship Award presentations and concurrent sessions rounded out the afternoon. Sessions included injection training, science, traumatic brain injuries, behavioral treatment and wellness, women’s health, and TACs and other primary headaches.

The final day of the Symposium featured a discussion on pediatric-adolescent headache. It also covered injection training, and advocacy as a way to improve the lives of those with headache and migraine. Attendees also heard from a patient’s perspective about migraine disability and the toll it takes.  

Thank you to all who attended the 2019 Scottsdale Headache Symposium. This event is not possible without the dedicated members of our Society. Although the Symposium has ended, you can continue to share your photos, key takeaways and pearls by tweeting us at @ahsheadache or using #AHSAZ

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