By Prof Tissa Wijeratne, from COEX, Seoul, Korea

On day three of the AOCN 2018, the sun was out at the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, Seoul, Korea, and the organizers ran a monumental twelve hour, 7 am to 7 pm, back-to-back headache education program to a packed audience. This historic accomplishment was a phenomenal success.

It is timely indeed that such a massive educational event is taking place at the AOCN at the time when headache disorders are the leading cause of adult disability among those of the working class (Lancet Neurology 2017 & 2018).

Migraines affect just over one billion patients worldwide – the economic impact and loss of productivity due to migraines are immeasurable. In spite of this, migraines continue to be a neglected condition in terms of awareness, treatment and research worldwide. A solution that may tip the balance is increased education.

The World Federation of Neurology is delighted to see that our colleagues continue to build momentum to tackle this burden as a healthcare priority. Hundreds of fellow young neurologists and trainees attended the courses to learn and update their knowledge for treating headache disorders from global and regional leaders of headache medicine. It is our humble opinion that this will directly translate from lecture hall to the bedside with immediate benefits. We congratulate the Asia-Oceanian Association of Neurology, Asian Regional Consortium for Headaches and International Headache Society for such a comprehensive education program.

Professor Lars Edvinsson, President of International Headache Society (IHS), and IHS President-elect Professor Messoud Ashina, were joined by Professor Chin-Sang Chung, President of the Asian Regional Consortium for Headache (ARCH), Professor Byung-Kun Kim, President of The Korean Headache Society, and almost all Asia-Oceania regional key opinion leaders in headache medicine amongst the faculty.

Associate Professor Surat Tanprawate from Thailand began the proceedings with What’s new in headache medicine, followed by Professor Edvinson on the pathophysiology of migraine. The masterclasses continued with Professor Ashina delivering an interactive session on diagnosis and evaluation of headache, and helping to demystify Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) antibody in migraine treatment. 

Dr Bronwyn Jenkins (Australia) gave a comprehensive review of headache in women, and Dr. K. Ravishankar (India) covered other primary headaches, imparting clinical pearls in headache management with case-based discussions supported by a wealth of practical examples and videos. Dr Charles Siow Huwa Chiang (Singapore) gave an extensive update of thunderclap headaches, Professor Schuu-Jiun Wang (Taiwan) further enlightened the audience on low-pressure headaches, whilst Professor Tissa Wijeratne (Australia) covered the high-pressure headaches.

Associate Professor Alessandro Zagami, Australian and New Zealand Headache Society(ANZHS) President, provided a comprehensive review of acute treatment of migraine. Professor Toshihiko Shimizu (Japan) covered the all-important topic of preventive treatment of migraine, and Associate Professor Richard Stark, WFN Treasurer, treated the audience to a master class on the management of chronic migraine and medication overuse in headache. Professor Takao Takeshima (Japan) continued with expertise in the management of cluster headaches and the Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias (TACs).

Professor Shih-Pin Chen did a comprehensive review of neuromodulation in headache treatment. This is a critically important field in headache medicine due to the lack of access across the Asia-Oceania region. We hope the renewed interest and education will result in a push for access to these therapeutic devices into the region as an increased priority.

The twelve-hour educational programme on the assortment of headache disorders was completed with a exhaustive review on the management of common secondary headache disorders by Professor Mamoru Shibata (Japan).

Throughout the lectures and teaching sessions, the auditorium and theatres were packed with active participation from an engaged audience.  There was a positive buzz across the lecture theatre on headache care and research. World Federation of Neurology congratulates Professor Chin-Sang Chung and his colleagues on a very successful day three at the 2018 AOCN.