On Behalf of the University Centre for Adaptive Disorder and Headache (UCADH) and the Casimiro Mondino Foundation of Pavia, Italy, the Cluster Headache Award is given yearly to a research group which, following the tradition of the Headache Centre over the last three decades, has given a relevant contribution in the field of cluster headache. The prize is acknowledged on the basis of a peer reviewed manuscript published the previous year. The members of the Scientific committee are the following: G. Nappi (Chairman), K. Ekbom M. Fanciullacci, P.Goadsby, GC. Manzoni, NT. Mathew, M. Moskowitz, F. Antonaci (Secretary).

The Scientific Committee has selected and scored 43 manuscripts on Cluster headache published in 2004. The Winner of the second edition has been the article: A polymorphism of the hypocretin receptor 2 gene is associated with cluster hea-dache. Neurology 2004 Oct 12;63(7):1286-8, written by I. Rainero, S. Gallone, W. Valfrè, M. Ferrero, G. Angilella,C. Rivoiro, E.Rubino, P. De Martino, L. Savi, M. Ferrone, and L. Pinessi. It is known that a certain number of recent epidemiological surveys indicate a significant genetic component to cluster headache predisposition. To date, however, no clear molecular genetic clues have been identified yet.
The Authors genotyped for several polymorphisms of the orexin/hypocretin pathway genes a group of Italian cluster hea-dache patients and healthy controls. The hypocretins are recently discovered neuropeptides that are selectively expressed in the po-stero-lateral hypothalamus, a key region in the pathogenesis of the disease. A strong association between an e-xonic polymorphism of the hypocretin receptor 2 (HCRTR2) gene and cluster headache was found. This paper has shown the first evidence of an association between a DNA polymorphism and the disease. The Authors have shown that genetic variations within the HCRTR2 gene influence the risk for cluster headache and suggests new strategies for a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of this excruciating headache.

The recipient has presented a summary of his research during the Annual Meeting Of the Italian Neurological Society, in Cernobbio (10th October 2005). This year the prize amounts to € 2500,00 and has been awarded by the Award President (G. Nappi MD,) to Dr. Innocenzo Rainero. GSK Italy has kindly sponsored the Award.

Fabio Antonaci (Pavia)