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Freezing Wrinkles a Possible Alternative to Botox
Date:4/2/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new technology that temporarily zaps away forehead wrinkles by freezing the nerves shows promise in early clinical trials, researchers say.

The technique, if eventually approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, could provide an alternative to Botox and Dysport. Both are injectable forms of Botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin that, when injected in small quantities, temporarily paralyzes facial muscles, thereby reducing wrinkles.

"It's a toxin-free alternative to treating unwanted lines and wrinkles, similar to what is being done with Botox and Dysport," said study co-author Francis Palmer, director of facial plastic surgery at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles. "From the early clinical trials, this procedure -- which its maker calls cryoneuromodulation -- appears to have the same clinical efficacy and safety comparable to the existing techniques."

Palmer is also consulting medical director of MyoScience, Inc., the Redwood City, Calif.-based company developing the "cryotechnology."

The results of the clinical trials were to be presented Friday at an American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) conference in Grapevine, Texas.

To do the procedure, physicians use small needles -- "cryoprobes" -- to deliver cold to nerves running through the forehead, specifically the temporal branch of the frontal nerve, Palmer said. The cold freezes the nerve, which interrupts the nerve signal and relaxes the muscle that causes vertical and horizontal forehead lines.

Although the nerve quickly returns to normal body temperature, the cold temporarily "injures" the nerve, allowing the signal to remain interrupted for some period of time after the patient leaves the office.

The technique does not permanently damage the nerve, Palmer said.

Researchers said they are still re
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