Thursday, January 23, 2003

Study to test Botox on kids' headaches

The Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio - Medical research will try to find out if the cosmetic drug Botox can relieve chronic headaches in children.

The Food and Drug Administration last year approved Botox as a wrinkle remover for adults. But during testing, doctors noted that people who got Botox injections also reported fewer headaches.

That led to new tests of Botox as a possible therapy for adult chronic headaches. A doctor at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron wants to determine if Botox also might help youngsters 10 and older with the debilitating condition.

"Headaches are really common in children," said the study's director, Dr. Robert Burnstine, head of pediatric ophthalmology at the hospital.

Pediatricians who cannot determine why a child is having persistent headaches often conclude poor vision must be responsible.

Although Botox is widely known as a wrinkle remover, the FDA approved the drug more than a decade ago to treat involuntary muscle contractions that cause crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinking.

Botox, a brand name for botulinum toxin type A, temporarily paralyzes muscles where it is injected.

Dr. Burnstine said he will recruit 10 to 20 volunteers from patients referred to him.

After the patients receive injections in the face and neck, they will keep a "headache diary" for three months to compare how they fared before and after treatment.

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