Men with Headache Disease

Key questions:
  • Which headache disorders affect men the most? 
  • Cluster headache may affect more men than women, but are there actually more men who have migraine than cluster headache?
  • Are there any other headache conditions that are prominent in men?
  • How well do men cope with a headache disease?
  • What do men do instead?
  • Why is “manning up” the wrong approach?
  • 80% of men have declared that they would seek professional help for backache or insomnia but only 40% would seek medical help for headache (Kluwer-Trotter and Lian, 2012). Why should men care about getting diagnosed?
  • How might someone be putting their child at risk if they aren’t getting diagnosed or treated?
  • Do we know the likelihood that a child will inherit migraine from their father? (i.e. 50%, 25%?)
  • According to Migraine Buddy data, men are 43% more at risk than women of progression from episodic to chronic.
  • Are men who experience frequent headache or migraine attacks likely to have other health issues?
  • What has the research found about men with migraine and heart attack and stroke risk? What’s the level of absolute risk?
  • How can headache disease affect men in their careers and as a parent?
  • Can children and men who have had one or more concussions be at a greater risk for migraine?
  • How should we evaluate whether to let our children play high-contact sports?
  • What’s the bottom line? Final thoughts?
Interview links:

Paul Mathew, Larry Newman

Harvard Medical School, NYU Langone Headache Division

Paul G. Mathew, MD, DNBPAS, FAAN, FAHS completed his neurology residency at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and then completed a fellowship in headache medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  He is board certified in neurology and headache medicine.  He is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and holds positions at three HMS affiliated institutions.  He has clinical appointments at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates/Atrius Health, as well as a teaching appointment at the Cambridge Health Alliance.  In addition to conventional headache treatments, Dr. Mathew performs Botox injections, trigger point injections, and nerve blocks.

He has written over 90 publications, taught countless medical trainees and has presented at both national and international conferences.  Dr. Mathew has served as a peer reviewer for multiple journals and is the Co-Chief Medical Editor of the journal Practical Neurology. He is the current Chair of the American Headache Society Procedural Special Interest Section, Vice-Chair of the Headache and Facial Pain Section of the America Academy of Neurology, a Member of the Board of the Directors of the National Headache Foundation, and an Executive Board Member of the Indian Medical Association of New England.

Dr. Mathew also applies his passion and expertise to the role of advocate, and has participated in multiple successful lobbying efforts in Washington, DC.  In March, 2015, Dr. Mathew was appointed as the neurology representative on the advisory board of the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (, and in January, 2019 was appointed Director of Legislative Affairs.  NBPAS is an organization committed to providing board re-certification that ensures physician compliance with national standards and lifelong learning after completing initial board certification with an American Board of Medical Specialties Board.

Dr. Larry Newman is a neurology professor at NYU Langone School of Medicine, Chair of the American Migraine Foundation and a migraine warrior himself. He truly understands the desperation we all feel when it seems like we’re out of treatment options. As director of the headache division at NYU Langone, Dr. Newman leads a team of board-certified neurologists and headache specialists to treat people who have migraine, cluster headache, trigeminal neuralgia, or other headache-related disorders using a variety of approaches — not just the standard therapies.

His research has been published in Neurology, Headache, Cephalalgia, and other medical journals. Dr. Newman is a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the National Headache Foundation, and the International Headache Society, and he is the former president of the American Headache Society. He’s an outside-the-box thinker who approaches every case with tenacity and humanity to find the best treatments for each person.

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