Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Innovative treatment for migraines combines Botox and surgery

01.03.2007
Five years ago, Sharon Schafer Bennett suffered from migraines so severe that the headaches disrupted her life, kept her from seeking a job and interfered with participation in her children's daily activities.

Now, thanks to an innovative surgical technique performed by a UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic surgeon who helped pioneer the procedure, the frequency and intensity of Mrs. Bennett's migraines have diminished dramatically – from two to three per week to an occasional one every few months.

The technique – performed by a handful of plastic surgeons in the U.S. – includes using the anti-wrinkle drug Botox to pinpoint which of several specific muscles in the forehead, back of the head or temple areas may be serving as "trigger points" to compress, irritate or entrap nerves that could be causing the migraine. Because Botox temporarily paralyzes muscles, usually for about three months, it can be used as a "litmus test" or "marker" to see if headaches go away or become less intense while the Botox's effects last, said Dr. Jeffrey Janis, assistant professor of plastic surgery.

If the Botox is successful in preventing migraines or lessening their severity, then surgery to remove the targeted muscle is likely to accomplish the same result, but on a more long-term and possibly permanent basis, he said.

For Mrs. Bennett, the surgery proved to be life-altering.

"I can't even begin to tell you what a change this has made in my life," said Mrs. Bennett, 45, a Houston-area resident. "For the first time in years, I can live like a normal human being and do all the normal 'mom' and 'wife' things that the migraines physically prevented me from doing. My family thinks it's great because they don't have to put their lives on hold numerous times a week because of my migraines. I'm also going back to school to get a second degree, something I could never have considered before."

Dr. Janis said: "Many neurologists are using Botox to treat migraines, but they are making the injections in a 'headband-like' circle around the forehead, temple and skull. They are not looking at finding the specific location of the headache's trigger point. While patients may get temporary relief, after the Botox wears off they will have to go back and get more injections or continue medications for migraines.

"It's like a math equation. I will inject the Botox into one trigger point at a time and leave the others alone. The Botox is used as a diagnostic test to determine what trigger point is causing the problem. If patients get a benefit from the Botox, they likely will get a benefit from the surgery. If there's no benefit from the Botox, then there won't be a benefit from the surgery."

Dr. Janis began collaborating more than five years ago with Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a plastic surgeon at Case Western Reserve University and the first to explore using surgery to relieve migraines, following the revelation by several of his patients that their migraines had disappeared after they had cosmetic brow lifts. Dr. Janis has assisted his colleague by performing anatomical studies on cadavers to explore the nerves and pathways that might cause migraines. Together they have identified four specific trigger points and developed a treatment algorithm that includes using Botox prior to deciding whether to perform surgery.

During the past several years, numerous peer-reviewed articles have been published in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery detailing their research efforts and the researchers have presented the technique at professional meetings of plastic surgeons.

Approximately 28 million Americans, 75 percent of those women, suffer from migraines, according to the National Institutes of Health. For employers, that translates into an estimated 157 million lost workdays annually.

"A migraine is something you can't explain to someone who hasn't had one," said Mrs. Bennett, who began suffering monthly migraines as a teenager. As she grew older, the headaches become more frequent and unpredictable. "They were messing up my life. I couldn't make any commitments or plan activities for my kids. This surgery has made a huge difference in my life. It's awesome."

Dr. Janis only sees patients who have been diagnosed with recurring migraines by a neurologist and have tried other treatments that have failed.

"Plastic surgeons are not in the business of diagnosing and treating headaches," he said. "This is a novel method of treatment that is proving to be effective and potentially more long lasting than other things used before. But it is still in its infancy."

Donna Steph Hansard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single-photon detector can count to 4

18.12.2017 | Information Technology

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>