Larry Charleston, IV, M.D. - Director of the Division of Headache and Facial Pain

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The Michigan State University Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology within the College of Human Medicine has named Larry Charleston, IV, MD, MSc, FAHS, as Director of Headache Medicine and Facial Pain. Charleston, who was previously an Associate Professor of Neurology in the University of Michigan’s Health System Department of Neurology, stepped into his new role in March 2021.
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Dr. Charleston will expand upon the department’s current research, education and clinical initiatives, contributing to MSU’s commitment to educate exemplary physicians and scholars, discovering and disseminating new knowledge, and providing service at home and abroad. 

Charleston's major research interest focuses to clarify the impact of suboptimal care delivery and root causes of disparities and challenges in headache management among historically marginalized, vulnerable, and underserved populations. His research aims to develop strategies to reduce those disparities and inform health policy. His other research interest areas include peripheral nerve blocks and other interventional procedures for headache management and Headache and Facial Pain Education.

“Larry brings experience and knowledge of translational research and modernizing medical education which can not only improve our research and teaching but also leverages the multidisciplinary nature of MSU Health Care to further elevate our standards of care,” said David I. Kaufman, DO, chair of the department of neurology and ophthalmology. “I am confident under his direction we will create outstanding headache specialty care, promote the dignity and inclusion of all people while responding to the needs of the medically underserved for headache and facial pain.”

Migraine is a complex and disabling disease, estimated to cost $31 billion per year in the United States.[1] It affects women more often than men, with 15 percent of Americans 18 years or older reporting experiencing a migraine or severe headache in the previous three months.[2] Worldwide, migraine is the third most prevalent illness and affects nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households.[3]

“The definition of health literacy now recognizes the importance a person’s ability to access and utilize care plays in achieving optimal health outcomes,” said Larry Charleston, IV. “As director, I aim to empower colleagues and patients to learn and explore the full spectrum of interventions for pain available, such as the intriguing opportunity for collaboration with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine clinicians and researchers who offer non-opioid pain management.”

Charleston is also poised to develop the MSU Health Care Comprehensive Headache and Facial Pain Center which will offer a myriad of services with a comprehensive approach from procedures, ambulatory infusion therapy, natural supplements, behavioral modalities, acupuncture and craniosacral therapy, in addition to more traditional treatments and current neuromodulation therapies.

“Creating a comprehensive headache and facial pain center is yet another example of our commitment to provide the highest quality, patient-centered care in a culture of compassion and respect for patients, families, and colleagues,” said Seth Ciabotti, CEO for MSU Health Care. “Larry’s accomplishments and knowledge provide a strong foundation to build upon.”

Charleston is an active member of several national societies, a prolific contributor to the advancement of headache medicine through peer-reviewed publications, several editorial and board positions and visiting professorships.

Charleston is a member of the American Headache Society, International Headache Society, American Academy of Neurology, and the American Neurological Association in addition to other prestigious associations.

He is the co-director of the Headache Diagnostic Unit of the renowned Jefferson Headache Center of Thomas Jefferson University’s Advanced Headache Diagnosis & Management Post-Graduate Course and is a current associate editor of Headache: The Journal of Head and Facial Pain.

Charleston received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, completed his Preliminary Medicine Year at St. John Hospital and Health System in Detroit, Michigan, neurology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Headache and Facial Pain Fellowship at the Jefferson Headache Center of Thomas Jefferson University. He was the 2010-2011 American Academy of Neurology Professional Association’s Kenneth M. Viste Neurology Policy Fellow and worked in Congressman Wally Herger’s office with a portfolio that included Medicare reform, physician payment reform, and assisted with Representative Herger’s policy initiatives within the House’s Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.

He received his Master's degree from the University of Michigan in the Robert Wood Johnson/Institute for Health Care Policy and Innovation National Clinical Scholars' based Health and Health Services Research Master Program.

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