Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 132–134 | Cite as

History of cluster headache

  • Norman Gordon


Possibly because of the manifestation of severe debilitating pain, cluster headache has been identified in early publications, described in exquisite detail by authors dating as far back as 1641. These early descriptions focused on the symptoms of the episodes rather than the periodicity of their occurrence. Similar to most medical conditions described without anatomic or clearly defined pathophysiologic basis, cluster headache often was named for its clinical manifestations, or less helpfully, by the names of the authors of its descriptive publications. It was only in 1952 that the condition was named for its peculiar tendency to occur in clusters over a period of weeks rather than being a chronic, recurrent, episodic condition similar to migraine. Despite having such an interesting mix of autonomic and physical features, this observation seems to be most instrumental in divulging the true pathogenesis of this disease and correctly localizing its origin anatomically in the hypothalamus.


Migraine Cluster Head Sumatriptan Cluster Headache Primary Headache Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.Brown UniversityEast ProvidenceUSA

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