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Introduction to the History of Headache Section

The Journal of Headache and Pain
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1007/s10194-004-0085-6
  • History Of Headache Section
  • Economics
  • Medicine
  • Political Science


Unbekannt This issue of The Journal of Headache and Pain will feature a new section dedicated to the history of headache. This section will further contribute to the overall objectives of the Journal by dealing with topics which are of particular significance to our profession. The importance of including histo- ry among papers involving basic or clinical research should be closely examined. One reason, and a good one at that, is pleasure: indeed, many of us enjoy, on a cultural basis, the reappraisal of forgotten therapies or of ignored medical practices, along with their historical, social, and arti- stic background. But there are other reasons, one of which a physician should immediately perceive, which strongly motivate a historical approach to everyday prac- tical problems. As with our patients we proceed from the history of dis- ease (anamnesis), to understanding its present status (diagnosis), to be able to anticipate its evolution (prognosis); similarly, the study of our past experi- ences is important for understanding the present and allows us to face future developments. If history is understood as a suc- cession of events determined by spe- cific causes with specific conse- quences that vary according to social, economic, and political conditions, a historical analysis is essential for a dynamic interpretation of scientific theories in a social-cultural context of reference. A historical approach to headaches helps highlight the logical connections that have led to a discove- ry, to a new theory, to conceiving an instrument, or a treatment, and today can still give useful indications and suggestions in daily practice. The study of the contributions of those who, before us, faced similar prob- lems, helps us understand how scien- tific knowledge has evolved along a difficult and sometimes contradictory course. Our work methodology, which to contemporary eyes seems obvious, is instead the difficult result of experi- ences, which only the consciousness of one’s past can hel

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