The International Classification of Headache Disorders

Someone, perhaps Osler, has said that “there are no diseases, only patients.” If this were taken at face value, it could be taken to imply that we have no capacity for diagnosis or treatment

Jes Olesen

2008

Scholarcy highlights

  • Someone, perhaps Osler, has said that “there are no diseases, only patients.” If this were taken at face value, it could be taken to imply that we have no capacity for diagnosis or treatment
  • There are only few “headache-ologists” who can remember the situation that existed before the advent of the International Classification of Headache Disorders in 1988.1 It was a time when headache was decidedly the poor stepchild of neurology . . . if that
  • The International Headache Society had just been formed, and during the second International Headache Congress in Copenhagen in 1985, I suggested the formation of an IHS committee charged with the creation of an objective and comprehensive classification system for the headache disorders
  • Bruce Schoenberg, an outstanding neuroepidemiologist from the National Institutes of Health who sadly died just before the publication of the final work, proved immensely useful as a consequence of his enormous expertise in disease classification and epidemiology. He provided a link to the World Health Organization and helped ensure that ICHD-1 was adopted by WHO into its 10th edition of the classification of diseases
  • International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria, the reliability of diagnosis by 2 different observers is good and prospective studies have shown that individuals in the general population can be classified appropriately using these same criteria
  • This proves that clinical diagnosis according to ICHD has been able to identify a group of patients who share a reasonably uniform response to pharmacologic intervention and presumably share a common pathophysiological pathway
  • We are blessed with valid, reliable, and generally accepted diagnostic criteria to provide a foundation for further advances in basic and clinical science and in patient care

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