Detroit native brings hope and expertise treating headaches and facial pain to MSU Health Care

May 4, 2022 - MSU Today with Russ White

Originally published April 29, 2022 at 11:16 AM EDT on WKAR:

Larry Charleston IV, MD, MSc, FAHS is Professor and Director of the Comprehensive Headache and Facial Pain Center in the MSU Health Care Neurology & Ophthalmology Clinic in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University.

Charleston describes his background and what attracted him to MSU. He talks about how a person knows whether they have a headache or facial pain they can treat themselves or whether they need to schedule a headache specialty visit. He talks about stigmas surrounding headaches and discusses current research underway and treatments on the horizon that may aid in treating headaches and facial pain.

Conversation highlights:

(:43) – “I’m from Detroit Michigan, and I decided I wanted to be a neurosurgeon when I wrote my fifth-grade career research paper.”

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Dr. Larry Charleston IV/ Lindsay Gluf-Magar

(2:12) – “Michigan State University is a great institution. We can add tremendous value to our community and the region with exceptional headache care and research. We’re working toward becoming the premier headache destination in the Midwest.”

(4:07) “If headaches are not responding to treatment and are incapacitating or debilitating or you’re taking a lot of different medications to treat your pain, that may be the time to seek medical attention.”

(5:31) – “Migraines are the most common headaches that people seek medical attention for. Tension headaches are the most prevalent, but a lot of people don’t seek medical attention for these.”

(5:50) – Dr. Charleston describes the stigmas surrounding headaches.

(9:07) – Dr. Charleston describes the difference between headaches and facial pain. “Your face is part of your head.”

(10:35) – What is a headache specialty visit? “History is king when it comes to headache medicine as there are more than 300 headache diagnoses, and the treatment will vary from headache to headache.”

(13:37) – Is there exciting research on the horizon that has you excited about treating headaches and facial pain? “Migraines are the second most disabling neurological disorder in the world.”

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Dr. Larry Charleston, IV & Russ White/ Lindsay Gluf-Magar

(15:22) – What are challenges and opportunities ahead for treating headaches and facial pain? “There needs to be more awareness and greater funding of research. When we look at federally funded research dollars and the impact headaches have on so many people and their quality of life, headache research should be funded 10 times more than it is now.”

(18:30) – “We’re always learning. We always want people to have hope. A lot of people who come to see me have lost hope. If we don’t have hope, we don’t have anything. Headache disorders don’t define a person. We don’t have a cure, but we strive to make things manageable.”

Dr. Charleston’s practice is in MSU’s Clinical Center on Service Road. For more information, call 517-353-8122 or visit

Click here to listen/read the interview on WKAR or listen on the airwaves this Saturday May 7 at 5 p.m. and Sunday May 8 at 5 a.m. on WKAR News/Talk at 102.3 FM and AM 870. Additionally, the interview will broadcast on Sunday May 8 about 8:30 p.m. on 760 WJR in Detroit. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.