Entries in Chronic (2)


Botox a Boon for Some Headaches, Dud for Others

Mark Sullivan/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Research showing the wrinkle-buster Botox helps treat chronic migraines may be good news for some headache sufferers -- but it turns out that if you suffer from some other type of headache, you may be better off reaching for another remedy.

A new review of research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that botulinum toxin A -- which is best known by the brand name Botox -- can benefit patients who have chronic migraines, but it does not help those who have episodic migraines or chronic tension-type headaches.

Migraine headaches can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Chronic migraine patients are those who experience more than 15 migraines a month, while episodic migraine sufferers have fewer than 15 migraines a month.

By contrast, tension-type headaches are actually the most common type of headache, and patients who experience them more than 15 times a month are said to suffer from chronic tension headaches. They are usually described as a diffuse, mild to moderate pain that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around the sufferer’s head. According to the new review, all that these patients may get from Botox are fewer wrinkles.

Allergan, the makers of Botox, released a statement to ABC News following the publication of the review.

“These clinically relevant outcomes are further bolstered by real-world patient experience where treatment with Botox has resulted in headache-free days and headache-free hours, significantly decreasing the burden of the condition on their day-to-day lives,” the statement reads.

But even for migraine sufferers, it may not be a magic bullet.

“Botox works for some [migraine] patients, and when it works, it works dramatically well,” Dr. Joel Saper, director of the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, told ABC News. “It does not work for all patients, and it’s very difficult to predict who it will work for.

“Remember, this is group data so some patients will have a dramatic benefit and some have no benefit.  Some people will declare [Botox] as a miracle and some people will call it a dud.”

The finding that episodic migraines and chronic tension type headaches had no benefit with Botox highlights the importance of having an accurate diagnosis for the type of headache.

Chronic migraines affect approximately 6 million people in the United States, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. These headaches may lead to a variety of other effects, including missed work days and frequent emergency room visits.

Plastic surgeons first found that Botox could help tame migraines when patients treated cosmetically with Botox noticed that their migraines had improved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Could Inner Ear Infections Be a Cause of Obesity in Children?

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Researchers in Seoul, South Korea suggest that a certain type of ear infection could cause excess weight gain in kids. 

Findings in the new study, published in the March issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, show that chronic middle-ear infections, or chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) are associated with a change in the taste buds of children, causing a variation in their sensitivity to certain foods.  The researchers suspect that, because of this association, kids want to eat more of these foods, leading them closer to obesity.

The researchers at Kyung Hee University in Seoul gave taste tests to two groups of 42 children and also measured their body mass index (BMI).  One group with OME had a tube inserted to drain fluid from their ear.  The other group did not have OME.

They found that children with ear infections tended to be heavier than the children not suffering from ear infections.  Children with ear infections also had a higher threshold for sweet and salty flavors due to a reduced taste in the front part of the tongue.  The study authors reported that more food may be eaten to get the sweet and salty tastes the kids are craving, contributing to obesity.

But some pediatric experts say more research is needed to validate the study's findings.  Carolyn Landis, associate professor of pediatrics at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital at University Hospitals in Cleveland, says it could be that childhood obesity can cause children to be more susceptible to inner ear infections, HealthDay News reports.

The study notes that obese people can be more vulnerable to inner ear infections because they have a thicker fat padding around their ear.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio