We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
History of Neurology |

The Headaches of Alexander Graham Bell

Michael J. Doherty, MD
Arch Neurol. 2003;60(12):1805-1808. doi:10.1001/archneur.60.12.1805.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. In so doing, he fundamentally changed how we communicate. The telephone was not immediately successful. To publicize his invention, Bell traveled often. He wrote his wife, who was deaf, frequently and candidly during their days apart. Their letters are available online for public review and are searchable by keyword. Using the keywords "headache," "head ache," "medicine," and "pill," 90 letters were identified and examined for decscriptions of Bell's frequent, debilitating headaches. The headaches lasted hours to days, were associated with nausea and photophobia, worsened with exercise, and remitted with sleep. Bell suffered from migraines. His potential etiologies and treatments are discussed as are spouse and parent concerns about his health.

Figures in this Article



Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Hubbard Bell, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1906.

Graphic Jump Location




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Original Article: Does This Patient Have a Hemorrhagic Stroke?

The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis
Quick Reference