What to Look Forward to at the American Headache Society Scientific Meeting

Huma U. Sheikh, MD, shares her thoughts on sessions of interest from the upcoming AHS Annual Scientific Meeting.

The 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society (AHS) kicks off this week in Washington, D.C. and promises to be a highly informative and interesting meeting as the syllabus shows an impressive lineup of clinicians and researchers who are set to present and discuss their latest research. 

Notable presentations include one by Noah Rosen, MD, of North Shore-LIJ in New York, who will be giving an overview of the UCNS Headache Exam, which is the requirement to become certified as a Headache Specialist. This will be an important presentation since there are not many review sources for the exam, which is offered every two years by the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties. Another important talk during the pre-course will be given by Andrew D. Hershey, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who will be reviewing the changes made to the International Classification of Headache Disorders. Recent revisions for ICHD-3 include changes to the diagnosis of certain headache disorders. Rashmi Halker, MD, of Mayo Clinic in Arizona, will also be discussing secondary headaches, which is very important when first seeing a new patient with headaches.

There has been a lot of buzz about this year’s Keynote Address on monoclonal antibodies, which will be given by Sean Pittock, MD. It will be interesting to hear what Pittock thinks of the discoveries and promising data, and whether this is a potential new therapy that we can look forward to in the near future.

Additional sessions I would recommend attending include the “Emerging Science in Headache Medicine” Plenary Session, which will highlight some of the newest research in the field, as well as sessions on “The Science of Emotions” and “Pain and Suicide.” 

The AHS Scientific Meeting is also an important time for young professionals and potential Headache Fellows to meet with some of the most famous names in headache medicine. The AHS highlights these future leaders in headache medicine with scholarship opportunities, including the “Frontiers in Headache Research” scholarship award, which will be awarded during the meeting. The International Headache Society also presented new investigators with scholarships, and their ongoing research will be presented at the end of the meeting. 

Overall, this year looks to be a very informative meeting, highlighting the newest advances in headache medicine. As always, the tradition of mentoring younger physicians and trainees is a prime focus, with many opportunities for them to showcase their talents and network with possible mentors across the country.