Medical Definition of Hogwarts headache

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hogwarts headache: A generalized headache from spending many hours reading an unusually long volume such as one of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. The pain resolves one to two days after the patient finishes the book.

The term was coined by Dr. Howard J. Bennett in a Letter to the Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine on October 30, 2003. Dr. Bennett's letter was entitled "Hogwarts Headaches - Misery for Muggles." Hogwarts refers to Harry's alma mater -- Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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