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Study - Cosmetic Procedure May Ease Migraine Pain

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, July 31, 2009 10:32 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Migraines, Headaches, Women's Health, Protecting Your Family, Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Procedure


IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockPhoto / splitting headache / author: pidjoe

Are you one of the 30 million people in the world that suffers from the debilitating pain of migraines? I am.

Nearly $13 billion a year is spent on headache treatments and loss of time from work -- which no one can afford these days -- due to the severe pain brought on my migraines.

The origins of migraine headaches are largely a mystery, but research shows that the irritation of certain facial nerves by nearby muscles might be to blame in some cases.

Now, a common plastic surgery procedure may offer new hope and relief to some of those millions of people. The findings are published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

In a small, double-blind study, researchers (including a plastic surgeon and two neurologists) identified three common trigger sites and randomly assigned 75 patients to the actual surgery (49 patients) or sham-surgery (26 patients). Patients then underwent either a perceived or real deactivation operation (similar to a traditional forehead lift).

After a year, 57 percent of patients in the surgery group reported no headaches compared to only 4 percent of the fake surgery group. Furthermore, 83 percent of the actual surgery group observed at least a 50 percent reduction in migraines. And while there was a high (57 percent) incidence of symptom improvement in the sham surgery group -- researchers note the difference in migraine improvement and elimination reported by the two groups was statistically significant.

A study last year found that some patients treated with Botox often reported relief from migraines. Researchers believe the Botox relieves the source of these migraines by paralyzing the muscles surrounding these facial nerves.

Another recent study found women who suffer from migraines with aura are at a great risk of brain lesions when they are older.

The lesions appear in the cerebellum, a region of the brain that plays an important role in the integration of sensory perception, coordination and motor control. #

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