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Headache And Other Head Pain

H. Wolff
Published 1972 · Medicine

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er only a few weeks before his untimely death on Feb 21, 1962. The first edition (1948) had marked a milestone in our understanding of a most common and important malady. Previous to the publication of the book, headache was regarded as a troublesome accompaniment of a great number of diseases and abnormalities; however, the mechanisms underlying its development were ill understood. Migraine, because of its high incidence and dramatic prodromes, previously had received extensive scrutiny, but diverse and contradictory ideas were still entertained concerning both its nature and causes. Of all men in medicine, Harold Wolff contributed most to the study of headache and to the clarification of its true significance. His monograph was especially valuable because of its circumstantial account of the remarkable observations which he and his associates had made, over a period of 15 years, on the complicated aspects of cerebral circulation in rela¬ tion to headache. The new edition contains new chap¬ ters and summaries. Final editing of page proof and preparation of the con¬ venient index and an unusually inform¬ ative bibliography were supervised by Dr. Wolff's collaborator and long-time associate, Helen Goodell. The second edition possesses many features not included in the original monograph. It contains an account of studies concerning the phenomena of vasoconstriction and the later painful vasodilation and lowered pain threshold which characterize the migraine attack. It presents experiments that demon¬ strate the headache-preventing effect of carbon dioxide-oxygen mixtures and other vasodilator agents. It gives an account of the gain in weight and the development of generalized edema which are prodromes of migraine and also of the localized edema which ac¬ cumulates in painful areas. By analysis of the latter, extensive evidence is pre¬ sented concerning noxious agents which are formed in blood vessel walls and perivascular tissue preceding migraine headache and which influence local
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