A photo of Marielle Kabbouche.

Director, Acute and Inpatient Headache Program

Child Neurologist, Division of Neurology

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Board Certified

My Biography & Research


Marielle Samaha, MD, received her training in child neurology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She moved to Cincinnati for a specialty training in pediatric headache medicine. The position was the first for a pediatric neurologist.

After her headache training, she stayed at Cincinnati Children's as faculty and an active member of the center with involvement in all academic as well as clinical and teaching aspect of pediatric headaches. Since that time, she has been proud to be part of the maturing center that gradually developed to be the largest and most academically productive pediatric headache program in the United States and worldwide. She has been a co-PI on multiple NIH grants since 2002, and has been involved in multiple pharmaceutical and clinical studies in pediatric and adolescent migraines.

Her career has been focused on acute treatment of intractable migraines in children in emergency room, as well as inpatient, settings.

As the director of the inpatient headache unit, Dr. Samaha was actively involved in setting an acute headache infusion center as well as an inpatient headache unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The headache acute care unit has been very productive in the last few years, seeing about 200-300 patients/year during peak seasons. The inpatient unit opened in July of 2011 bringing specialty care to headache patients with a team of six providers, fellows, residents and nurses. This approach to intractable headache care will have a great impact on patient’s outcome.

Dr. Samaha has over 25 publications and a track record of numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and abstracts in the field of headache medicine. She is also an editor of a pediatric headache book.

Additional Languages

French, Lebanese

Clinical Interests

Headaches; migraines; acute and inpatient treatment of intractable headache

Research Interests

Headache; outcome studies; health improvement; clinical effectiveness

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Neurology, Headache Medicine, Neurology, Global Health

My Locations

My Education

MD: Saint Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon.

Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

Fellowship: Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH.

My Publications

Predictors of Short-Term Prognosis While in Pediatric Headache Care: An Observational Study. Orr, SL; Turner, A; Kabbouche, MA; Horn, PS; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; LeCates, S; White, S; Weberding, J; Miller, MN; et al. Headache. 2019; 59:543-555.

A pilot investigation of a mobile phone application and progressive reminder system to improve adherence to daily prevention treatment in adolescents and young adults with migraine. Ramsey, RR; Holbein, CE; Powers, SW; Hershey, AD; Kabbouche, MA; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; Shepard, J; Hommel, KA. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache. 2018; 38:2035-2044.

Predictors of First-Line Treatment Success in Children and Adolescents Visiting an Infusion Center for Acute Migraine. Orr, SL; Kabbouche, MA; Horn, PS; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; LeCates, S; White, S; Weberding, J; Miller, MN; Powers, SW; et al. Headache. 2018; 58:1194-1202.

Paediatric migraine: evidence-based management and future directions. Orr, SL; Kabbouche, MA; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; Powers, SW; Hershey, AD. Nature Reviews Neurology. 2018; 14:515-527.

Ovarian hormones, age and pubertal development and their association with days of headache onset in girls with migraine: An observational cohort study. Martin, VT; Allen, JR; Houle, TT; Powers, SW; Kabbouche, MA; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; LeCates, SL; White, S; Vaughan, P; et al. Cephalalgia: an international journal of headache. 2018; 38:707-717.

Treatment Adherence in Child and Adolescent Chronic Migraine Patients Results From the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Amitriptyline Trial. Van Diest, AM K; Ramsey, RR; Kashikar-Zuck, S; Slater, S; Hommel, K; Kroner, JW; LeCates, S; Kabbouche, MA; O'Brien, HL; Kacperski, J; et al. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2017; 33:892-898.

Trajectory of Improvement in Children and Adolescents With Chronic Migraine: Results From the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Amitriptyline Trial. Kroner, JW; Peugh, J; Kashikar-Zuck, SM; LeCates, SL; Allen, JR; Slater, SK; Zafar, M; Kabbouche, MA; O'Brien, HL; Shenk, CE; et al. Journal of Pain. 2017; 18:637-644.

Headache in children and adolescents. Kabbouche, MA; Kacperski, J; O'Brien, HL; Powers, SW; Hershey, AD. PMPH-USA.

Quantitative neuromagnetic signatures of aberrant cortical excitability in pediatric chronic migraine. Leiken, KA; Xiang, J; Curry, E; Fujiwara, H; Rose, DF; Allen, JR; Kacperski, JE; O'Brien, HL; Kabbouche, MA; Powers, SW; et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 2016; 17:46-13.

Adherence to Biobehavioral Recommendations in Pediatric Migraine as Measured by Electronic Monitoring: The Adherence in Migraine (AIM) Study. Van Diest, AM K; Ramsey, R; Aylward, B; Kroner, JW; Sullivan, SM; Nause, K; Allen, JR; Chamberlin, LA; Slater, S; Hommel, K; et al. Headache. 2016; 56:1137-1146.