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Neurologist to Lead New Cedars-Sinai Headache Clinic

Nasima Diana Shadbehr, DO, Brings a Holistic and Collaborative Approach to Treating Patients With Chronic Headache

As part of an expansion of neurology patient services, board-certified neurologist and headache specialist Nasima Diana Shadbehr, DO, is heading up a newly created headache clinic at Cedars-Sinai. Her goal is to build a world-class center where patients with chronic headache pain can receive treatment with a holistic approach.

"Dr. Shadbehr's expertise will help us develop a program that offers patients access to the latest treatments for common headache types, such as migraines and tension headaches, but also other types of headache pain," said Nancy Sicotte, MD, professor and chair of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, where she holds the Women's Guild Distinguished Chair in Neurology. "We will offer coordinated care that gets patients' pain under control and lets them get back to their daily lives."

Headache is the No. 1 reason people seek out a neurologist, and migraines are one of the world's leading causes of disability, according to the World Health Organization.

"Patients with chronic headaches need an advocate because their pain is often dismissed," said Shadbehr. "I enjoy the rapport and trust I build with my patients, and the holistic and multidisciplinary tools we use to improve their pain and restore function."

Shadbehr completed her undergraduate studies in neuroscience at UCLA and her medical education at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. She completed her neurology residency training and headache medicine fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.

"I treated many patients with complex conditions who had been seen at other institutions and had almost lost hope of getting better," Shadbehr said. "I learned a multifaceted approach that takes mind and body into account, employing complex medication management, but also physical therapy, pain psychology and adjunct therapies."

As a headache neurologist, Shadbehr is skilled in Botox, nerve blocks, and trigger point injections.

She has also been involved in research exploring how different patient populations respond to newer medications, including CGRP monoclonal antibodies for migraine prevention.

Shadbehr's goals for the headache clinic include establishing a highly reputable and productive headache center that integrates research, innovation and education to provide the highest quality patient care. The program will provide cutting-edge and newer therapies in the management of headaches.

She plans to collaborate with Cedars-Sinai nutritionists, psychiatrists, psychologists, chronic pain management specialists, and neurosurgeons, and with dentists who specialize in facial pain.

"Headache in some patients goes hand in hand with other types of chronic pain or psychiatric conditions," said Shadbehr, "and I think that there's a lot of room for collaboration."

Read more in Discoveries magazine: Researchers Puzzle Over Migraine and Heart Disease Link