Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints. However, the nature of the condition, its many possible underlying causes, and myriad misconceptions among caregivers and patients alike make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan often elusive.
In a concerted effort to help address the unique and complex needs of people with headaches and migraines, NYU Langone has recruited nationally renowned expert Lawrence Newman, MD, to serve as its new director of the Division of Headache and as professor (clinical) in the Department of Neurology, where he will lead research and clinical efforts to combat these conditions that can drastically affect a person’s quality of life.
“Dr. Newman’s expertise in headache medicine is known internationally throughout the field, and under his leadership, we look forward to expanding our headache medicine program into one of the most robust and cutting edge in the country,” says Steven L. Galetta, MD, the Philip K. Moskowitz, MD Professor and Chair of Neurology at NYU Langone.
Headaches affect almost everyone at least once in their lifetime, and there are more than 300 medical conditions that are associated with them. Head pain may be primary (benign) or secondary to a more serious disorder, and once headaches start to interfere with quality of life and daily activities, additional consultation and treatment by a specialist may be necessary. Recognizing and appropriately diagnosing which type of headache a person experiences is paramount in the treatment.
Common primary headache disorders include the various forms of migraine, tension-type, and cluster. Migraine is an especially common, serious, and potentially disabling disease that affects more than 38 million people in the United States.
About Dr. Newman and Headache Care at NYU Langone
A pioneer in his field, Dr. Newman was one of the first clinically trained specialists in headache medicine in the country when he completed specialized fellowship training in 1989. He and his team comprise one of only a handful of centers in the country with an accredited headache medicine fellowship program. Still, there are only about 500 physicians nationwide with board certification in headache medicine, 5 of whom will be at NYU Langone working in Dr. Newman’s division. They include Adelene Jann, MD; Mia Minen, MD, MPH; Thomas Berk, MD; and Sait Ashina, MD. The headache division will also bring other disciplines into the care spectrum, including a biofeedback and stress management specialist and physical therapy. This team also has the ability to call upon other specialty areas throughout the NYU Langone health system as needed, including the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health and NYU Langone’s Concussion Center.
The physicians in the Division of Headache employ state-of-the-art therapies for their patients. These include medical and nonpharmacologic strategies, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and Botox® treatments. There is an infusion room in which intravenous medications can be administered to break a severe headache, eliminating the need for patients to go to an emergency department for treatment. Additionally, the division will be expanding its research capabilities so that patients can gain access to the newest agents through clinical trials.
Dr. Newman will see patients at two multidisciplinary care centers: the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health in Midtown Manhattan and NYU Langone Orthopedics at Westchester in White Plains, NY.
Dr. Newman, who joined NYU Langone on January 1, previously served as director of the Headache Institute at Mount Sinai’s St. Luke’s Division in New York City, and held the academic title of professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to that, Newman served as a clinical professor of neurology and director of the Headache Unit at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
His research interests focus on the clinical management of headache medicine, investigating new treatment options for migraine, cluster, and uncommon headache disorders. He is a member of several advisory boards related to new pharmacotherapies and devices for treating these conditions. Dr. Newman’s work has been presented and published extensively in dozens of journal articles and book chapters. He also lectures internationally on headache and migraine-related topics, for which he has received numerous awards, including the Leonard L. Lovshin Lectureship Award from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the John R. Graham award from the American Headache Society.
Dr. Newman earned his medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, and completed his neurology residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, serving as chief resident and later completing his fellowship in headache medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. He is a member of prestigious medical societies including the American Headache Society, where he recently served as president for a two-year term, the International Headache Society, and American Academy of Neurology.
“It is a tremendous privilege to join NYU Langone, where I have the opportunity to collaborate with world-class clinicians in multiple medical disciplines to provide state-of-the-art care for patients with headaches,” says Newman. “As a longtime migraine sufferer who went through years of misdiagnoses, I understand fully how debilitating these conditions can be and how frustrating it is for patients when they can’t get relief. I look forward to working with colleagues to provide patients all available options, and to research more ways to treat headaches.”