Pain and Headache

Todd J. Schwedt, M.D., and Catherine Chong, Ph.D., in the Department of Neurology at Mayo Clinic focusing on pain and headache research.

The headache subspecialty group in the Department of Neurology has one of the largest group practices for headache in the country, delivering care to patients with all types of headache, including migraine, cluster headache, and headache secondary to trauma or medication. We have a robust program of clinical and basic science research, collaborating with the departments of anesthesiology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology, and with external institutions.

Mayo Clinic's funded research supports the practice and patient care. Clinical investigations include: testing novel compounds for migraine and cluster headache, evaluating peripheral neuro-stimulation devices for chronic migraine, and managing less-common syndromes, such as low-pressure headache. Basic science research in headache addresses central nervous system abnormalities involved in chronic daily headache and the molecular mechanisms of migraine. Like other research efforts, these initiatives are focused on improved patient care and reflect Mayo Clinic's commitment to practice-research integration.

Neurologists and scientists seek new knowledge to improve therapies — including regenerative medicine approaches — for people with chronic pain conditions. Our pain-medicine specialists are committed to conducting clinical research to improve diagnosis and treatment options for people with painful disorders.

Collaborative research

The Migraine Research Program at Mayo Clinic focuses on better understanding and treatment of this highly prevalent, pathophysiologically complex and heterogenous disorder. Three areas of rapid progress are investigations focusing on the genetics of migraine, the environmental factors influencing migraine and applications for novel functional neuroimaging techniques.

Faculty members collaborating on basic and clinical research related to pain and headache include: