I had two reasons when I decided to enter the headache field. During residency, I felt headache is the most difficult field as the symptom is highly debilitating and sometimes fatal but cannot be visualized. And all the patients with migraine I met had been underdiagnosed and undertreated. The unmet need for the better identification of the disease for doctors and patients led me to the road of headache research.
I am seeing a broad spectrum of disorders from primary headaches to neurological disorders which primarily present with headache: vascular (RCVS, CVT, dissection etc), pressure-related disorders, and infection/inflammatory disorders (Tolosa-Hunt, pseudotumor, pachymeningitis, fungal infection, etc.). While conducting clinical studies about these disorders, I am conducting research focusing on vascular contributions, functional neuroimaging, and biomarker (blood or imaging) of migraine.
Thanks to my involvement in headache research, I got several research awards. I was selected and awarded as the most productive early-career researcher among the whole neurology field, the whole medical field, and even the whole science/technology field in Korea. Despite of my young age, I have been PIs of several major trial and board member of major academic societies including the International Headache Society. And I am continuing my clinical career as a junior faculty.
Obviously the patients. They are still underrecognized. It’s not only because the poor social awareness but also because that doctors regard headache disorders ‘uncertain’. I am hoping to elucidate the uncertainties and unknowns regarding headache disorders.