Cluster Headaches

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Quick GuideSlideshow: 12 Surprising Headache Triggers Tips

Slideshow: 12 Surprising Headache Triggers Tips

Can cluster headaches be prevented?

Once cluster headaches have been accurately diagnosed, long-term treatment can be beneficial to decrease or prevent future cycles. However, as the specific underlying cause isn't known, it may take some time to control the headache cycles.

What is the prognosis for cluster headaches?

Over time, cluster headache seems to diminish in frequency, but this may take many years. Cluster headache can go into remission for an extended period of time and then recur. As such, discussion with your physician regarding need for continuation of treatment is warranted.

Cluster headache does not appear to be associated with other neurological illness, such as Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis (MS); however, many individuals with multiple sclerosis are known to experience severe headaches.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Bahra, A., et al. "Cluster headache: a prospective clinical study with diagnostic implications." 58.3 (2002): 354-361.

Dodick, D. W., et al. "Cluster headache." Cephalalgia 20.9 (1994): 787-803.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/25/2016

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