December 5, 1980

Wolff's Headache and Other Head Pain

Author Affiliations

Diamond Headache Clinic Chicago Medical School


edited by Donald J. Dalessio, ed 4; 473 pp, with illus, $35, New York, Oxford University Press, 1980.

JAMA. 1980;244(22):2564. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310220062039

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Both in the preclinical and clinical training of physicians, little emphasis is placed on understanding the mechanism, diagnosis, and treatment of cephalalgia. Clinicians interested in acquiring expertise or simple understanding of these patients are limited to diminutive, frequently biased, unorganized texts that do not comprehensively or realistically represent the subject. In this fourth edition of the classic treatise, originally written by the great researcher Harold G. Wolff, the editor has successfully integrated contemporary advancements with the detailed and valued observations of the original author.

The initial chapter of this 473-page volume sets a pattern of clarity by giving a simple and realistic classification of headache rather than the disjointed one that was used in the third edition. I heartily commend the editor for encouraging the reader to think of head pain in a logical diagnostic sequence, rather than grouping all cephalalgias together or classifying them according to treatment.