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Botox May Prevent Some Migraines
Date:2/15/2010

Small study shows patients with ocular type benefit from treatment

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin type A (Botox), the drug that can temporarily erase wrinkles, may also help prevent some types of migraines, a small study suggests.

Specifically, Botox may help reduce the recurrence of those migraines people describe as crushing or eye-popping, otherwise known as ocular migraines. However, the treatment does not appear to work for migraines that are experienced as pressure inside the head, the researchers added.

"In a previous study, neurologists discovered that most patients with imploding and ocular headaches responded to botulinum toxin A injections with a reduction of their headache frequency, while the majority of patients with exploding type migraines did not respond," said lead researcher Dr. Christine C. Kim, a dermatologist in Encino, Calif.

"We tested this hypothesis in a cosmetic dermatology setting, using botulinum toxin A doses that were much lower than what is typically used by headache specialists, and found similar results," she added.

The report is published in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Kim's group looked at 18 patients who were already going to have Botox injection for cosmetic reasons, but who also suffered from migraines. Among these patients, 10 had the type of migraine described as feeling crushing or eye-popping, like "someone is pushing a finger into an eye."

In addition, nine described their headaches as exploding headaches, feeling like their head is going to explode or split, or pressure is building up. Several patients had more than one type of migraine.

Within three months after Botox treatment, 13 patients saw a reduction in migraine pain. These included 10 with imploding or ocular migraine and three with exploding headaches. The six patients who did not respond to Botox all had exploding migrain
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