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March 1962

Classification of Headache: The Ad Hoc Committee on Classification of Headache

Arch Neurol. 1962;6(3):173-176. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.00450210001001

Introduction  The term headache commonly denotes head pain from brow level up. This outline defines headaches somewhat broadly: It covers both painful and nonpainful discomforts of the entire head, including the face and upper nucha. Since so much that a man describes as headache may be any abnormal head sensation, it is essential for proper treatment to determine whether the complaint is actually one of pain. A useful scheme for the classification of the varieties of headache is one based on pain mechanisms. The divisions rest on experimental and clinical data, together with reasonable inference; the story is far from complete. Yet the arrangement can serve as a framework for diagnostic criteria for the major clinical types of headache, and by emphasis on basic mechanisms it offers a logical approach to the planning of therapeutic trials. For convenience, short and simple names are suggested for certain major entities and are

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