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Botox Could Help Children Suffering from Migraines

Botox Could Help Children Suffering from Migraines

USA- Everyone suffers from a headache at one time in their life. However, migraines are a long term debilitation and often chronic condition that affects about 37 million adults in the United States. More recently discovered that also children can suffer from this, about 5 million children have been reported. There is treatment available for migraine sufferers who are under eighteen years of age. There is a study on Botox, a treatment already used in adults could also relieve kids from migraine pains. Nine year old Manu Teave remembers his very first headache at just three years old. He recalls the pain feeling as if someone was punching him in the head, he often would want to lay down and sleep. As time went on his migraines became harder to deal with. He was nauseous, spending a lot of time laying down, but not sleeping at all, he was bed ridden during his migraine episodes. Manu's mother, Jackie Teave often wondered how a child could suffer migraines, having to see her child always vomiting and in a lot of pain was very hard for Manu's mother. Manu who reside in Westminster, California was hospitalized for his migraines, he was in the fourth grade at the time.

Symptoms in migraine are vomiting, nausea, which often causes dizziness, blurred vision, light and noise sensitivity. Mood and temperament change can often be a side effect as well. It is estimated that about twenty percent of migraine sufferers often start off with a headache on the one side of the head. Most migraines are usually accompanied by an aura which usually starts about an hour before the migraine begins, this is something that Doctors still have not been able to understand. The amount of time a migraine last is different for everyone, adult migraines can usually last for days. A child's migraine can often last about an hour to one day. The few options available for children suffering from migraines are usually over the counter analgesics, or anticonvulsants. Anti-seizure medications can often be hazardous for children. Some kids only need a quiet dark room and some sleep to feel better, but most kids seem to suffer through the pain. Dr. Shalini Shah, chief of pain medicine and director of pain services at UC Irvine Health, says that these kids usually fall behind in school and are not having functional lives. He decided to give Botox a try on of his patients, and surprisingly his first patient reacted well to the treatment, so he decided to continue to try it on other patients. 

Botulonin Toxin, which is the brand name for Botox, is more commonly used to smooth out wrinkles. However the Federal Drug Administration has approved it to be used for conditions like excessive sweating, incontinence of the bladder and migraine treatment in adults. the University of California, Irvine researchers led by Shah, discovered that Botox could also work on children and teens to relieve them of migraine pain. Children who receive Botox regularly, about every 12 weeks or so, will show improvements in how often they get migraines and how  strong those migraines are. The studies were done on children between the age of seven and seventeen years of age who were suffering with chronic migraines. They reported having at least 15 migraines per month, this was based on a 30 day month. After a period of treatment, kids were responding quite well, they were not as painful and also reported less symptoms. They were only reported two to ten days a month and migraines lasting only seven to twenty four hours. In order for treatments to be successful they needed to have thirty one injections in different areas of the head and neck. The study was recently presented at the Annual Anesthesiology meeting in 2017.

Botox can cost more than $400 when used for anti-aging. However if used for medical reasons it may be covered under your medical insurance. Manu is currently under treatment of his migraines by getting the injections every ten weeks. His mother noticed a huge difference, he was back to his normal self, playing with his siblings, participating in sports and was attending school again. Shah advises precise and accurate research and testing be done on Botox and how effective it can be on treating migraines at a pediatric level in the future. Shah hopes that the Federal Drug Administration will one day change the way Botox is marketed and labeled. Results are outstanding and he hopes that this can be a choice for treatment of migraine in children in the future.


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