The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has published on Monday an updated guideline that established the use of botox, more commonly used as a quick fix against wrinkles, for chronic migraine and other neurological disorders.
Scientifically known as botulinum toxin (BTX), is a chemical produced by the Clostridium botulinum and related species of bacteria. It has previously been used for the treatment of some neurological disorders such as blepharospasm and others neurologic injuries, but its use on migraine had not been officially approved.
In the previous guidelines published in 2008, scientists did not have enough information about the use of BTX as a treatment for chronic migraine.
“To treat chronic migraines, Botox is given approximately every 12 weeks as multiple injections around the head and neck to try to dull future headache symptoms,” the FDA published with its approval. “Botox has not been shown to work for the treatment of migraine headaches that occur 14 days or less per month, or for other forms of headache,” they added.
The guidelines were published in the ANN journal Neurology and presented at the Academy’s 68th annual meeting, as reported by Newsweek. BTX in migraine was previously considered an experimental treatment.
How does it work in other neurological disorders?
The BTX works by temporarily paralyzing muscles, so, in the cases of the neurological disorders that causes involuntary muscle movement like blepharospasm, this stops the contractions for a certain amount of time.
With chronic migraines, the BTX blocks the nerve endings that are in charge or releasing the substance that triggers pain signaling. The treatment has been considered as the most effective compared to other ones more traditional, and it was determined as well that is a medication that comes with fewer side effects.