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Gender-Specific Aspects of Headache

Edited by:
Professor Antoinette Maassen van den Brink, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Bianca Raffaelli, PhD, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Germany

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 31 August 2024 

The Journal of Headache and Pain is calling for submissions to our Collection on Gender-Specific Aspects of Headache.

Image credits: © Tinnakorn /

New Content ItemThis collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 5: Gender Equality.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Professor Antoinette Maassen van den Brink, PhD, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Antoinette Maassen van den Brink is Professor of Neurovascular Pharmacology at the Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

She studies the neurovascular aspects of migraine, with a special interest in the role of female sex hormones on its pathophysiology. Her research is translational in origin, including animal in vivo experimental models, human isolated tissue models, as well as human in vivo clinical models.

Prof. Maassen van den Brink is Associate Editor of the Journal of Headache and Pain, and previously edited a Special Collection on ‘Basic Science in Headache’ for the Journal of Headache and Pain.  Further, she edited two books in the Springer Headache Series. From December 2023 onwards, she will be president of the European Headache Federation. Further, she is board member of the Dutch Headache Society and founding board member of the Dutch Society for Gender and Health. She received many prestigious awards and research grants, including the VENI, VIDI and VICI grants from the Dutch Research Council.

Bianca Raffaelli, PhD, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Germany

Dr. Bianca Raffaelli is a neurologist and a clinician scientist affiliated with the Department of Neurology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 

Dr. Raffaelli’s professional journey into headache medicine commenced during her medical studies when she began to work as a student assistant at the Headache Center under the mentorship of Prof. Uwe Reuter. Following the completion of her medical degree, she undertook a residency program at Charité's Department of Neurology, achieving German board certification in June 2023, while continuing her research endeavors at the Headache Center. 

In 2023, she received a research grant from the German Research Foundation, enabling her to join the Human Migraine Research Unit at the Danish Headache Center, led by Prof. Messoud Ashina, to advance her knowledge and methodological skills in migraine research.

Her current research focal point revolves around the investigation of sex-dependent aspects of migraine, with a specific emphasis on the role of sex hormones in migraine attack initiation. Dr. Raffaelli serves as a Junior Editor for The Journal of Headache and Pain. She is a member of the Juniors Group and of the Science and Research Committee of the International Headache Society.

About the Collection

Gender equality is not just a fundamental human right but also a key driver of social and economic progress, as highlighted by Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Within this overarching goal, this collection aims to explore the multifaceted relationship between gender (as well as biological sex) and headache, encompassing both biological and socio-cultural dimensions.

The research areas to be included in this collection will span a wide spectrum:

  • Epidemiology and Prevalence: Understanding the gender-specific prevalence of various headache types and their impact on the lives of women and girls.
  • Biological Mechanisms: Investigating hormonal, genetic, and neurobiological factors contributing to gender/sex disparities in headache disorders.
  • Clinical Management: Exploring tailored treatment approaches that consider gender-specific needs and challenges.
  • Psychosocial Impact: Examining the psychosocial, economic, and quality-of-life consequences of headaches, with a gender-sensitive lens.

By exploring these diverse research avenues, our collection not only advances our understanding of headache disorders but also aligns with the mission of SDG 5, fostering gender equality and empowerment. 

Both invited and unsolicited manuscripts will be considered for publication. Acceptable manuscript formats include original research, comments, reviews, brief reports and consensus articles.

  1. Migraine, a neurological disorder with a significant female predilection, is the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in women of childbearing age (WCBA). There is currently a lack of compre...

    Authors: Jing Cen, Qian Wang, Lin Cheng, Qian Gao, Hongping Wang and Fengjun Sun
    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2024 25:96
  2. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have been conducted to investigate the association between migraine and any headache and white matter hyperintensities (WMH). However, studies are inconsistent regardin...

    Authors: Sara Helena Schramm, I. Tenhagen, M. Jokisch, J. Gronewold, S. Moebus, S. Caspers, Z. Katsarava, R. Erbel, A. Stang and B. Schmidt
    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2024 25:78
  3. Sexual dimorphism has been revealed for many neurological disorders including chronic pain. Prelicinal studies and post-mortem analyses from male and female human donors reveal sexual dimorphism of nociceptors...

    Authors: Shagun Singh, Caroline M. Kopruszinski, Moe Watanabe, David W. Dodick, Edita Navratilova and Frank Porreca
    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2024 25:63

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original research, comments, reviews, brief reports, and consensus articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. 

Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. Please, select the appropriate Collection title “Gender-Specific Aspects of Headache" under the “Details” tab during the submission stage.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.