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Face Pain, Headaches, Chiari Malformation & Trigeminal Neuralgia

Headaches and facial pain can be very complex, with many interrelated causes as well as myriad treatments. Many of these painful conditions require focused research to find new treatments and cures. Sufferers require collaborative, highly specialized expertise to guide their diagnosis and treatment, and the Mischer Neuroscience Institute (MNI) brings together a world-class team of researchers, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and pain management specialists in a center built on quality outcomes and constant innovation.

A collaboration between Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, MNI is the largest neuroscience program in Texas. MNI integrates neurology, neurosurgery and neurorehabilitation for a comprehensive approach to neurological treatment and care.

Will Erwin Headache Research Center

The Will Erwin Headache Research Center was created with a $20 million pledge over 10 years from the Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation. Led by Mark Burish, M.D., Ph.D., a neurologist who is fellowship trained in interventional pain management, the WEHRC is dedicated to the study of cluster headaches and other debilitating types of headaches. Our goal is to continue to raise funds and ultimately develop a collaborative national consortium of centers committed to understanding and treating chronic headaches.

Dr. Burish received his M.D./Ph.D. in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in neurology at the University of California at San Francisco, where he was co-chief resident of the UCSF Moffitt-Long Service and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. He completed his fellowship in interventional pain management in the department of Anesthesiology at UCSF.

The WEHRC represents the Institute’s commitment of energy, talent and research dollars to help people with debilitating headaches recover and participate more fully in life. By continuing to raise funds and by working collaboratively with other researchers across the country, we hope to rapidly impact the lives of patients.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are rare, affecting about 1 in 1,000 people, and are among the most painful types of headaches people suffer. They are known by more than 10 different names, including histamine headache, migrainous neuralgia and Horton’s headache.

The Will Erwin Headache Research Center at the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute is conducting a large-scale study of cluster headache with the goal of characterizing the disease in detail. For more information about the study, please email us or call (713) 704-6900

Read more about cluster headaches »


Migraine affects more than 10 percent of people worldwide and is three times more common in women than men. About one-third of migraine sufferers can predict the onset of a migraine because it is preceded by visual disturbances called an “aura,” which may appear as flashing lights, zigzag lines or a temporary loss of vision.

Read More about migraine headaches »

Face Pain Clinic

At the Face Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chiari Malformation I Clinic, experienced physicians treat a wide range of complex conditions, including:

Facial Neuralgias

Other Cranial Neuralgias

  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • Nervus intermedius or geniculate neuralgia
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Pain due to tumors of the head and neck
  • Chiari 1 Malformation and Cervical Syrinx

Specialists in Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chiari Malformation

The team at the Clinic is advancing the field in some of the most complex and difficult-to-diagnose conditions that cause face pain, including trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and Chiari I malformation (CM).

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition that causes extreme facial pain. With unpredictable attacks followed by increasingly brief periods of remission, trigeminal neuralgia is acknowledged by many in the medical field as the most painful condition in existence. Physicians at the Clinic recognize TN’s unique symptomatology and intervene before the condition becomes crippling.

Watch the video below to learn more about trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis and treatment from Dr. Dong Kim, Director of Mischer Neuroscience Institute.


Likewise, the team effectively treats Chiari malformation, a frequently misdiagnosed neurological disorder in which the cerebellum – the part of the brain that controls balance – descends out of the skull into the spinal area. Because Chiari malformation often imitates other neurological conditions, causing symptoms like neck pain, balance issues, muscle weakness and numbness, Chiari malformation sufferers need expert care. View our Chiari Malformation webinar.


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