The American Academy of Neurology has updated its guidelines concerning the use of Botox for treating chronic migraines, among other neurological diseases. Normally used in beauty surgeries, it appears Botox does have health properties as well.
Also known as the botulinum toxin, Botox is made from a certain type of bacteria. Apart from smoothing wrinkles, the toxin is also capable of effectively blocking the release of substances at the endings of nerves, thus reducing the contraction of muscles and the pain signals transmission.
The guidelines were modified after a study conducted by a team of researchers that reviewed scientific data on the four botulinum toxin preparations that are available in the United States. After a close inspection, they reached the conclusion that the treatment is both effective and safe for several neurological conditions, including cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, spasticity in adults and chronic migraine.
Cervical dystonia is a brain disorder that influences the control of the neck muscles and thus determines the involuntary neck movement or head tilt. Blepharospasm refers to the disorder causing the eyes to uncontrollably close. Adult spasticity usually develops after a neurological or spinal cord injury or after a stroke and affects movement because of muscle tightness. Chronic migraine refers to the condition where a person has such terrible headaches fifteen or more days in a month.
According to Mark Hallett, co-author of the guidelines from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
“We chose these diseases because we had a sense that there were sufficient data to show they were going to change in particular ways. We already had a feeling for what we were going to find, but we had to prove it carefully.”
At the moment, there are four variants of botulinum toxin available on the market in the United States: incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin), abobotulinumtoxinA (Dysport), onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) and rimabotulinumtoxinB (Myobloc).
The new guidelines were developed by Dr. David Simpson, who is working at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, along with his colleagues. The guidelines were last updated back in 2008 when there simply was not enough information in order to create recommendations for chronic migraine. However, the researchers managed to find that Botox does provide benefits for the unfortunate persons suffering from the excruciating headaches.
The updates were published in the Neurology journal online on April 18, and they will also be presented next Monday during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Vancouver, Canada.
Image Source: Flickr