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Headache, Cluster

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Headache, Cluster is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Cluster Headaches
  • Vasogenic Facial Pain
  • Chronic Paroxysmal Hemicrania (Sjaastad Syndrome)
  • Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania
  • Histamine cephalalgia
  • Familial cluster ehadaches

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Cyclic Cluster Headache
  • Chronic Cluster Headache

General Discussion

Cluster headaches are a rare form of severe disabling headache. The headaches are deep, non-throbbing, extremely painful ones that tend to recur in the same area of the head or face with each occurrence. They usually come on during sleep and may awaken an affected individual. In some cases, cluster headaches occur during the day as well. Cluster headaches tend to occur on and off daily for several weeks only to disappear for months or, in some cases, years. They typically last somewhere between 30 minutes and two hours. Cluster headaches are often associated with watering of the eyes and nose.

Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania and episodic paroxysmal hemicrania are variants of cluster headaches. Both forms closely resemble cluster headaches except for a few distinctive features, particularly their response to different treatment options.


National Headache Foundation
820 N. Orleans
Suite 411
Chicago, IL 60610-
Tel: (312)274-2650
Fax: (312)460-9049
Tel: (888)643-5552

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981

American Council for Headache Education
19 Mantua Road
Mount Royal, NJ 08061
Tel: (856)423-0043
Fax: (856)423-0082
Tel: (800)255-2243

JAMA Migraine Information Center
Subscriber Services Center
American Medical Association
P.O. Box 10946
Chicago, IL 60654
Tel: (312) 670-7827
Tel: (800)262-2350

Organization for Understanding Cluster Headaches (O.U.C.H.)
3225 Winding Way
Round Rock, TX 78664
Tel: (214)783-1899

Vasculitis of the Central Nervous System
Tel: (770)978-5636

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  4/16/2008
Copyright  1989, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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