- Fellowship - Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education (2007-2008), Headache Medicine
- Residency - New York University School of Medicine (2004-2007), Neurology
- Internship - University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix (1999-2000), Internal Medicine
- Medical School - University of Arizona College of Medicine (1995-1999)
Bert Vargas, M.D.
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Bert Vargas, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern and the Director of UTSW’s Sports Neurology and Concussion Program and the Sports Neurology Fellowship Program.
He earned his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona and his medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine internship at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix and then served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon.
While on active duty, Dr. Vargas was deployed numerous times in support of Operations Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
After concluding his service, Dr. Vargas performed a residency in neurology at New York University and then received advanced training in headache medicine through a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
He spent six years on faculty with the Mayo Clinic before joining UT Southwestern in 2015.
Dr. Vargas’s research interests include telemedicine, including teleconcussion, which is the ability to remotely provide concussion evaluation and care to patients who don’t have access to a specialist. He is also interested in new treatments for post-traumatic headache.
Board certified in Neurology by the American Board of Psychology and Neurology and in Headache Medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, Dr. Vargas is also a Fellow of the American Headache Society.
He is on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society and the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific. He serves as Chair of the American Headache Society Post-traumatic Headache Special Interest Section and the Digital Strategy Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.
Meet Dr. Vargas
Sports Neurologist in Dallas
As a sports neurologist specializing in treating athletes of all ages and levels with sports- or activity-related neurologic injuries, Bert Vargas, M.D., helps his patients safely return to the activities they love as quickly as possible.
He is an expert at evaluating, treating, and monitoring concussion, the most common sports-related head injury, but his practice also includes patients with peripheral nerve injuries, neuromuscular issues, spinal cord injuries, headaches, and neck/back pain.
An athlete himself and a former flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Vargas brings a unique perspective to treating athletes and other high-performance individuals, such as police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. He has first-hand knowledge of what these patients require to return to play or duty safely and effectively.
“These patients have highly specialized needs, and they are often under a lot of pressure to continue to perform,” Dr. Vargas says. “It’s my job to identify their symptoms, make a diagnosis, and prescribe a treatment plan that is tailored to each individual.
“Concussions aren’t the same for everyone. It is important to have detailed knowledge of each individual’s sport or job-specific needs while formulating a treatment approach and return-to-learn, return-to-play, and return-to-work plans,” he says.
“As much as possible, I get to know each athlete; and I provide a very individualized level of care that may include rehabilitative services, which may include pharmacologic, physical, psychologic, cognitive, or complimentary treatments.”
Specialized Sports Neurology Program
As Director of the Sports Neurology and Concussion Program at UT Southwestern, Dr. Vargas leads a group of highly trained experts conducting the field’s most groundbreaking research and translating their findings to unrivaled patient care.
“The breadth and depth of our program sets us apart from any other program in the country,” he says. “We have the most comprehensive, complete sports neurology program I have encountered. We will undoubtedly establish ourselves as one of the top sports neurology programs because of our extensive team of researchers and our unmatched expertise in diagnosis and treatment.”
As specialists in caring for concussions, team members are likewise experts in treating headaches, including chronic migraines.
“Headache is the most common symptom of a concussion, so knowledge of these two conditions is of great utility and ultimately leads to better patient care. Our team at UT Southwestern has unparalleled experience in that regard.”
- Arizona Medical Association (1997-2015)
- American Academy of Neurology (2005)
- International Headache Society (2006)
- American Headache Society (2006)
- Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (2012)
- Arizona Concussion Coalition (2013-2015)
- United States Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program 1995-1999
- University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Community Medicine Community Scholar Award 1999
- American Headache Society/Merck US Human Health Scholarship Award 2007
- Outstanding Course Director Award; Mayo Clinic Headache Symposium 2013
- American Headache Society Above and Beyond Award for Significant Service 2013
- American Academy of Neurology Emerging Leaders Forum 2013
Mayo Clinic Neurology Board Review: Clinical Neurology for Initial Certification and MOC
Halker RB, Vargas BB(Ed.) (2015), Oxford University Press
Mayo Clinic Neurology Board Review: Clinical Neurology for Initial Certification and MOC
Vargas BB, Halker RB(Ed.) (2015), Oxford University Press
Teleneurology in Practice: A Comprehensive Clinical Guide
Vargas BB(Ed.) (2015), Springer
Novel Approaches in Migraine Treatment
Bravo T, Vargas BB, Halker RB(Ed.) (2013), London, UK, Future Medicine, Ltd.
Bradley's neurology in clinical practice. 6th ed. Vol. II
Garza I, Swanson JW, Cheshire WP Jr, Boes CJ, Capobianco DJ, Vargas BB, Cutrer FM(Ed.) (2012), Philadelphia, Elsevier/Saunders
Triptans for Migraine
Halker RB, Vargas BB(Ed.) (2011), London, UK, Future Science Group
- Mayo Clinic Neurology Board Review: Clinical Neurology for Initial Certification and MOC
2007 Scottsdale Headache Symposium.
Vargas BB, Dodick DW Expert review of neurotherapeutics 2008 Feb 8 2 201-4
Resident and fellow section. Teaching case: ophthalmoplegicmigraine.
Vargas BB Headache 2008 Oct 48 9 1396-8
Posttraumatic headache in combat soldiers and civilians: what factors influence the expression of tension-type versus migraine headache?
Vargas BB Current pain and headache reports 2009 Dec 13 6 470-3
Occipital nerve stimulator placement under general anesthesia: initial experience with 5 cases and review of the literature.
Trentman TL, Zimmerman RS, Dodick DW, Dormer CL, Vargas BB Journal of neurosurgical anesthesiology 2010 Apr 22 2 158-62
Risk of development of medication overuse headache with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy for migraine: a critically appraised topic.
Starling AJ, Hoffman-Snyder C, Halker RB, Wellik KE, Vargas BB, Dodick DW, Demaerschalk BM, Wingerchuk DM The neurologist 2011 Sep 17 5 297-9
The portrayal of migraine in popular music: observations and implications.
Roberts DL, Vargas BB Headache 2012 Jul-Aug 52 7 1164-70
Long-term outcome in occipital nerve stimulation patients with medically intractable primary headache disorders.
Brewer AC, Trentman TL, Ivancic MG, Vargas BB, Rebecca AM, Zimmerman RS, Rosenfeld DM, Dodick DW Neuromodulation : journal of the International Neuromodulation Society 2013 Nov-Dec 16 6 557-62; discussion 563-4
Imploding and exploding migraine headaches: comparison of methods to diagnose pain directionality.
Files JA, Schwedt TJ, Mayer AP, David PS, Vargas BB, Chang YH, Hunt M, Patel S, Ko MG, Tozer BS, Burstein R, Dodick DW Headache 2014 Jun 54 6 1010-8
Neurostimulation for Treatment of Migraine and Cluster Headache.
Schwedt TJ, Vargas B Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) 2015 Sep 16 9 1827-34
Migraine with and without aura and risk for cardiovascular disease.
Vargas BB, Dodick DW, Wingerchuk DM, Demaerschalk BM Current atherosclerosis reports 2008 Oct 10 5 427-33
Chronic migraine: current pathophysiologic concepts as targets for treatment.
Vargas BB Current pain and headache reports 2009 Feb 13 1 64-6
Occipital nerve stimulation with the Bion® microstimulator for the treatment of medically refractory chronic cluster headache.
Strand NH, Trentman TL, Vargas BB, Dodick DW Pain physician 2011 Sep-Oct 14 5 435-40
Vargas BB, Dodick DW Current opinion in neurology 2012 Jun 25 3 284-9
Sensitivity of MRI of the spine compared with CT myelography in orthostatic headache with CSF leak.
Starling A, Hernandez F, Hoxworth JM, Trentman T, Halker R, Vargas BB, Hastriter E, Dodick D Neurology 2013 Nov 81 20 1789-92
A Narrative Review of Evidence-Based Preventive Options for Chronic Migraine.
Starling AJ, Vargas BB Current pain and headache reports 2015 Oct 19 10 49
Tension-type headache and migraine: two points on a continuum?
Vargas BB Current pain and headache reports 2008 Dec 12 6 433-6
The face of chronic migraine: epidemiology, demographics, and treatment strategies.
Vargas BB, Dodick DW Neurologic clinics 2009 May 27 2 467-79
Greater occipital nerve stimulation via the Bion microstimulator: implantation technique and stimulation parameters. Clinical trial: NCT00205894.
Trentman TL, Rosenfeld DM, Vargas BB, Schwedt TJ, Zimmerman RS, Dodick DW Pain physician 2009 May-Jun 12 3 621-8
Cluster headache: diagnosis and treatment.
Halker R, Vargas B, Dodick DW Seminars in neurology 2010 Apr 30 2 175-85
The impact of unruptured intracranial aneurysm repair in headache management: putting the data into clinical practice.
Vargas BB Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache 2011 Jul 31 10 1071-3
Teleconcussion: an innovative approach to screening, diagnosis, and management of mild traumatic brain injury.
Vargas BB, Channer DD, Dodick DW, Demaerschalk BM Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association 2012 Dec 18 10 803-6
Reliability of real-time video smartphone for assessing National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores in acute stroke patients.
Demaerschalk BM, Vegunta S, Vargas BB, Wu Q, Channer DD, Hentz JG Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation 2012 Dec 43 12 3271-7
Smartphone teleradiology application is successfully incorporated into a telestroke network environment.
Demaerschalk BM, Vargas JE, Channer DD, Noble BN, Kiernan TE, Gleason EA, Vargas BB, Ingall TJ, Aguilar MI, Dodick DW, Bobrow BJ Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation 2012 Nov 43 11 3098-101
Primary exertional headache: updates in the literature.
Halker RB, Vargas BB Current pain and headache reports 2013 Jun 17 6 337
Occipital nerve block for the short-term preventive treatment of migraine: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study.
Dilli E, Halker R, Vargas B, Hentz J, Radam T, Rogers R, Dodick D Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache 2015 Oct 35 11 959-68
- 2007 Scottsdale Headache Symposium.
- Headache and Facial Pain
- Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Q&A by Bert Vargas, M.D.
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