New Books

understanding your migraines book

Understanding Your Migraines
by Morris Levin, MD and Thomas Ward, MD

Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780190209155 (paperback)

The reviewer knows few people in the community of headache medicine as well liked and respected as Drs. Levin and Ward.  Aside from having a profound knowledge of the biologic intricacies of headache, both are superb clinicians and educators.  It's hardly surprising that together they have produced such an outstanding resource for the millions of citizens who suffer from headache.

While each man has moved on to new positions and responsibilities, Dr. Levin as director of the headache center at the University of California at San Francisco and Dr. Ward as professor emeritus at Dartmouth and editor-in-chief of Headache, the journal of the American Headache Society, for 16 years they worked side-by-side in the same clinic, each honing his clinical skills and entertaining his patients, trainees and colleagues with humor notoriously dry but always kind.

This "guide for patients" which they have written reflects the authors’ ability to distill their considerable knowledge of the subject matter down to what is most important to the reader and to communicate that information with clarity.  Those skills can only be achieved by talented physicians who personally have evaluated thousands of headache patients.

While the book does concentrate on migraine, the most common headache disorder encountered by medical providers, there are also included succint descriptions of the other common primary headaches as well as a timely chapter devoted to concussion and posttraumatic headache.

The authors make liberal use of illustrative case histories, a technique that enlivens what otherwise might read as a dry recitation of facts and figures.  It is that best of guides: an excellent source of information that is also an easy read.

Most important for such a guide, the information presented is relevant to the reader’s needs.  The questions that arise each day in clinic - how can I treat my migraine if I’m planning to become pregnant, am pregnant or am breast-feeding?  Are there dietary supplements that may help reduce my migraine burden?  What about nerve blocks and nerve stimulators for migraine treatment? - are elegantly but concisely addressed.

If you are a migraineur and wish to understand your disorder thoroughly, there is not a better guide currently available.


The Heart's Hard Turning

a novel by John Farr Rothrock      (also available thru Amazon)         

ISBN 978-1-5255-0839-4 (hardcover) 978-1-5255-0840-0 (paperback)    978-1-5255-0841-7 (ebook)

Set largely in Sonoran Mexico, Baja California, and the strange, deep sea that divides them, The Heart’s Hard Turning is a story of loyalty and betrayal, despair and courage, friendship and death; a story of a deliverance from evil; and, ultimately, a story of our struggle to learn where to love and whom.


John Rothrock is an American author, physician, and clinical neuroscientist. He previously has authored various medical texts and papers, three children’s novels, and five adult novels. He served as the editor-in- chief of a medical journal, Headache, for twelve years and now publishes Migraineur, a quarterly health-related magazine. Dr. Rothrock currently is professor and vice chair of neurology at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three sons.

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