In future, a completely new building, with sound-dampened rooms and natural light, will greet the 9,000 patients from all over Denmark who are admitted to the Danish Headache Center at Rigshospitalet Glostrup every year.
The new building is the first in the world built specially for headache patients.
“We’re extremely happy to be able to welcome patients to a building where the focal point is their own special needs. We’ve asked patients for their advice from the start of the building process, and among other things this has led to strong focus on avoiding noise, because many headache patients are very sensitive to noise. The building is also designed to let in a lot of natural light. This is both sustainable, and it is easier on patients, who find sharp, artificial light uncomfortable," explained Professor Rigmor Højland Jensen, a consultant and head of the Danish Headache Center.
Research, diagnostics and treatment have now been gathered under one roof from seven different parts of the hospital, and this is one of the great strengths of the new building.
“Clinicians and researchers can exchange ideas and knowledge much easier if treatment and research take place in the same building. Bringing treatment and research together will make them both better," explained the Rigmor Højland Jensen.
The new headache centre has been equipped with a unique laboratory for diagnostic tests of headache patients and to monitor patients' treatment over time. By means of a variety of diagnostic tests, the laboratory will characterise headache patients more accurately in order to customise interdisciplinary treatment for the individual patient. In the laboratory, physicians and biomedical scientists can, among other things, test patients' sensitivity to pain, examine sore and painful muscles with ultrasound scans and, again with ultrasound, measure behind the eye for signs of increased pressure in the brain.
“Such measuring methods provide better possibilities to target medication and treatment to the individual patient as much as possible," said the Rigmor Højland Jensen. This is the first time in the world that this type of laboratory for headache patients has been set up. One of the areas in which the centre leads the world is research into the body's reactions to migraine and severe headaches.
Headache is a widespread disease
Chairman of the Regional Council, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (S) is very proud of the new building.
“Chronic or recurrent headaches affect the quality of life drastically. Unfortunately, a great many people suffer from this common ailment. Therefore, I’m very pleased that we can now offer the most seriously affected patients treatment in which research and treatment go hand in hand. We want a healthcare system geared towards needs of the patient, and that’s just what we’ve got here - also in the way the buildings are designed.”
The new centre has been built on the foundations of an older building between Nordre Ringvej and the main building at Rigshospitalet Glostrup. It was officially inaugurated on 28 February.
Facts about the Danish Headache Center
- The World's largest interdisciplinary centre for research and treatment of headache diseases.
- A highly specialised facility that admits patients from all over Denmark with difficult-to-treat headache diseases and facial pain.
- Has around 9,000 patient consultations per year.
- The staff consist of specialist physicians, psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists and secretaries. In addition, a dentist and a psychiatrist are linked to the centre as consultants.