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Headache Research and Medical Practice in Brazil: An Historical Overview

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Since the creation of the Brazilian Headache Society in 1978, substantial developments have taken place in both research and clinical practice in the field of headache medicine in Brazil. The Society now has almost 300 members throughout the country, actively working to improve the health of the general population and, in particular, diagnose and treat headache disorders. In addition, in a few large cities, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Ribeirão Preto, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre, headache specialists have come together to promote research projects and increase knowledge in the field through MSc, PhD, and postdoctoral programs. Furthermore, scientific journals have emerged and books have been published to record and disseminate Brazilian scientific production in headache medicine. In this narrative review, we will briefly describe some important aspects of headache medicine in Brazil from prehistoric times to the present day, discuss the origin of headache medicine as a specialty in Brazil, the principal publications dealing with headache disorders, the use of plants and other unconventional forms of treatment used by faith healers, the main training centers, and the research produced to date by Brazilians. In conclusion, in recent years enormous progress has been made in headache medicine in Brazil stimulating us to review and expand our role in an increasingly international scenario.
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Keywords: Brazil; South America; headache medicine; history; medicinal plant

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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