EHMTI-0008. The international headache society classification of primary headaches is not supported by data and should be revised

  • E Shevel
  • D Shevel
Open Access
Meeting abstract


Public Health Internal Medicine Migraine Primary Headache Practical Implication 
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.

The International Headache Society classification of primary headaches in the International ClassificationI of Headache Disorders (ICHD) is almost universally accepted by researchers and clinicians. It is highly unlikely that reputable journals will accept submissions for publication if the cohorts have not been selected strictly according the ICHD. Likewise, in the clinical setting the appropriate treatment is prescribed according to how the patient’s headache is classified. But how reliable is the ICHD? As it does not appear to be based on data, its scientific validity is questionable. If indeed it cannot be scientifically validated, then the results of research based on the ICHD would be inaccurate. The practical implications of this are that the research data on the efficacy of migraine drugs is inaccurate. As a result, patients diagnosed according to this classification often receive the incorrect treatment.

No conflict of interest.

Copyright information

© Shevel and Shevel; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • E Shevel
    • 1
  • D Shevel
    • 1
  1. 1.R & DMigraine Research InstituteJohannesburgSouth Africa

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