A photo of Joanne Kacperski.

Joanne Kacperski, MD, FAHS

  • Headache Medicine Specialist, Division of Neurology
  • Director, Post-Concussion Headache Program
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
I value giving kids and their families the tools they need to treat their headaches. The right guidance can change a child's quality of life.
Joanne Kacperski, MD, FAHS



Treating headache patients allows me to work with a unique population — kids with chronic pain. As a pediatric neurologist and headache specialist, I value giving kids and their families the tools they need to treat their headaches. The right guidance can change a child's quality of life.

We want to empower both patients and primary care providers to understand that migraine and other headache disorders are painful conditions and that treatment options are available. Treating headaches is not about medication. Instead, a multidisciplinary and holistic approach is necessary to treat kids with headaches successfully. Children need to feel empowered and educated about headaches.

Our team takes a multidisciplinary approach to headaches. Each child has the opportunity to meet with pain psychologists to discuss healthy lifestyle habits and the importance of stress management. Psychologists teach children relaxation techniques and ways to cope with chronic pain. Specialty-trained headache nurses provide each family with educational information, so when they leave the clinic, they feel empowered and confident.

I am the director of the Headache Medicine Fellowship Program and a member of the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties Task Force for updating the headache medicine fellowship curriculum. This task force is responsible for updating the rapid changes happening within our field.

In addition to helping patients, I’m pursuing several areas of research. One study focuses on how kids' headaches are different from adults and how we may better treat them. We are also involved in studies looking at newer classes of migraine medications. We want to know how children tolerate and metabolize these medications and their efficacy among youth with migraine.

When I’m not working, I love to spend time with my husband and three children. We take long walks, cook and try new recipes. Most of all, we love traveling as a family.

BS: Loyola College, Baltimore, MD.

MS: Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

MD: Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, 2006.

Residency: Pediatrics, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, NY, 2008; Child Neurology, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, NY.

Fellowship: Headache Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2012.

Certification: Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology, 2012; UCNS Certification in Headache Medicine, 2013.


Headaches; migraines; concussion; post-traumatic headaches

Services and Specialties

Neurology, Headache Medicine


Headache; post-traumatic headaches

Additional Languages


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Clinical Reasoning: A Teenager With Right-Sided Headache and Periorbital Changes. Lax, DN; Kabbouche, M; Kacperski, J; Hershey, AD. Neurology. 2023; 100:144-150.

The spectrum of indomethacin-responsive headaches in children and adolescents. Myers, KA; Barmherzig, R; Raj, NR; Berrahmoune, S; Ingelmo, P; Saint-Martin, C; Khan, AQ; Kouri, M; Morris, C; Hershey, AD; et al. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache. 2022; 42:793-797.

Multimodal Assessment of Medication Adherence Among Youth With Migraine: An Ancillary Study of the CHAMP Trial. Reidy, BL; Powers, SW; Coffey, CS; Chamberlin, LA; Ecklund, DJ; Klingner, EA; Yankey, JW; Korbee, LL; Porter, LL; Peugh, J; et al. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 2022; 47:376-387.

Nummular headache in children: A case series and systematic literature review. Lax, DN; Hershey, AD; Kabbouche, MA; Kacperski, J. Cephalalgia Reports. 2022; 5:25158163221091782.

Predictors of Improvement in Pediatric Chronic Migraine: Results from the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Amitriptyline Trial. Rettig, EK; Ergun, G; Warfield, JR; Slater, SK; LeCates, SL; Kabbouche, MA; Kacperski, J; Hershey, AD; Powers, SW. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2022; 29:113-119.

Trajectory of treatment response in the child and adolescent migraine prevention (CHAMP) study: A randomized clinical trial. Reidy, BL; Peugh, J; Hershey, AD; Coffey, CS; Chamberlin, LA; Ecklund, DJ; Klingner, EA; Yankey, JW; Korbee, LL; Porter, LL; et al. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache. 2022; 42:44-52.

Prevalence of Headache Days and Disability 3 Years After Participation in the Childhood and Adolescent Migraine Prevention Medication Trial. Powers, SW; Coffey, CS; Chamberlin, LA; Ecklund, DJ; Klingner, EA; Yankey, JW; Peugh, JL; Korbee, LL; Simmons, K; Sullivan, SM; et al. JAMA Network Open. 2021; 4:e2114712.

The promise of mechanistic approaches to understanding how youth with migraine get better-An Editorial to the 2020 Members' Choice Award Paper. Nahman-Averbuch, H; Hershey, AD; Peugh, JL; King, CD; Kroon Van Diest, AM; Chamberlin, LA; Kabbouche, MA; Kacperski, J; Coghill, RC; Powers, SW. Headache. 2021; 61:803-804.

SUNCT/SUNA in children and adolescents: Application of ICHD-3 criteria and treatment response: Case series of 13 SUNCT/SUNA pediatric cases. Qaiser, S; Hershey, AD; Kacperski, J. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache. 2021; 41:112-116.

Management of Chronic Migraine in Children and Adolescents: A Brief Discussion on Preventive Therapies. Kacperski, J; Green, A; Qaiser, S. Pediatric Drugs. 2020; 22:635-643.

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