Answers to Common Headache Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about headaches.

How does Botox work?

Dr. Richard Kim discusses how Botox works to treat migraine. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

How does Botox work?

So no one really knows the exact answer. There's some theories. One theory is that it decreases muscle contraction, that decreases irritation of nerves. The other theory is that, and this is only shown in animals, so in mice, I think, so they think that some of the nerves that are on the inside of the skull come out through the sutures where the bones on the skull meet, and they think that Botox travels through those nerves and gets into the brain and prevents release of a chemical called CGRP, which is one of the main neurotransmitters involved in migraine pain.

 

So no one really knows the exact answer. One thought is that Botox decreases muscle contraction or tightness, which reduces nerve irritation. Another theory – shown only in mice – is that Botox is able to travel into the brain through nerves that extend through the skull. Once in the brain the Botox may prevent the release of a chemical called CGRP, which is one of the main neurotransmitters involved in migraine pain.

    Source: Richard Kim, MD, The Clinical Neuroscience Institute; Aaron Block, MD, Franklin Family Practice

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