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Botox for Migraine

Chronic migraine is a neurological disorder associated with reduced quality of life and often negative socioeconomic impacts. The aetiology is not fully understood although central nervous system dysfunction appears to play a pivotal role. Modifiable risk factors that can trigger attacks in people susceptible to migraine include stress, change in sleep patterns, excessive tiredness, consumption of caffeine or alcohol, and the use of visual display units. Many patients with migraine use excessive quantities of acute pain medication.  

The management requires a multidisciplinary approach. The main aims of treatment are to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, reduce the reliance upon acute pain medication, and improve quality of life. Symptomatic migraine therapy alone, although beneficial for many patients, is not sufficient for all. Preventative treatment has demonstrated efficacy at reducing the frequency and severity of attacks and is considered for patients whose migraines have a substantial impact on their quality of life despite appropriate use of symptomatic medication.

Botox (botulinum toxin ) is a novel treatment for chronic migraine. Treatment with botulinum toxin has been the subject of a series of clinical studies worldwide and its use has been an established procedure in the USA for some years and is increasing in popularity in Europe as well.

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It is administered in a series of multiple injections into head and neck muscles. There are a number of points at which nerves pass through muscles in the head. When the muscles are contracted, the nerve is compressed. Migraine symptoms in many patients are caused by muscles contracting in the following areas:        

•    In the eyebrow area
•    On the nose
•    At a specific point on the temple
•    At a point on the upper part of the neck

The effect lasts about two to four months after which time acetylcholine is released again and the muscle in question is reactivated. The doctor determines the individual injection sites based on the patient’s trigger points.

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