• F. Clifford Rose
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Headache should mean an ache in the head, but surprisingly there is disagreement about the precise meaning of both these terms. The Oxford dictionary defines headache as “a continuous pain in the cranial region of the head,” which is not clinically acceptable since headache need not be continuous, nor indeed be a pain. The term cranial, strictly anatomically, is applied to the bones covering the brain and is presumably used in this sense in the Oxford dictionary, but, to the clinician, cranial applies to the bones of the whole head, i.e., the skull. This is not semantic sophistry, since it is relevant to the question of whether pains in the face should be included under the title of headache. The definition of head in the same dictionary is the “anterior part of the body of an animal..., it contains the brain and the special sense organs and the mouth,” indicating that the term should include that region above the neck, a meaning widely accepted.


Cluster Headache Chronic Form Tension Headache Monosodium Glutamate Oxford Dictionary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Further reading

  1. Rose FC, ed (1984): Progress in Migraine Research 2 (Progress in Neurology Series). London: Pitman BooksGoogle Scholar
  2. Rose FC, ed (1985): Handbook of Clinical Neurology Vol 4. Vinken P, Bruyn G, eds. Amsterdam: North Holland ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  3. Rose FC, ed (1985): Migraine: Clinical and Research Advances. Basel: KargerGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Clifford Rose

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