Beginner’s Guide to Headache Types

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Key Questions
  • What is the difference between primary and secondary headache disorders?
  • What proportion of headache conditions are primary headache disorders?
  • Which primary headache types are the most prevalent?
  • How is a treatment plan affected by the diagnosis of primary vs. secondary headache?
  • How are migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache differentiated from each other? What diagnostic tests are used to distinguish one from another?
  • What are some secondary headache types and their main signs and symptoms?
  • How critical are proper diagnoses in headache disorders and which healthcare professionals can make these diagnoses?
  • When should a patient seek a second opinion or specialized care for their headache disorder?
Interview Notes
Treatments Mentioned
  • Neuromodulation devices

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Courtney Seebadri-White, MD

Assistant Professor
Thomas Jefferson University

Courtney Seebadri-White, MD is a general neurologist in Philadelphia. She is currently an assistant professor of neurology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, and is also the associate director for the neurology clerkship. She received her medical degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 2016 and completed her residency in neurology and fellowship in headache medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Dr. Seebadri-White specializes in diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, including headache disorders, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. As a person with migraine, she understands the challenges in the journey to diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders and the need for increased awareness of and advocacy for these conditions. Dr. Seebadri-White loves teaching medical students, her patients, and the community in general.

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Over the past 50 years, our mission at the National Headache Foundation has been to further awareness of headache and migraine as legitimate neurobiological diseases. Much has changed during this time. With aid from advanced technology and clinical innovation, there are more treatment options than ever before. However, we understand that these diseases are still largely misunderstood and that finding the right treatment options for you requires insight.

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Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company focused exclusively on transformative treatments in neuroscience for people with high unmet need. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with brain disease. We are committed to supporting the migraine community and helping to eliminate barriers that prevent people from being their best.

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