Botox for low spinal fluid pressure

Botox has been shown to relieve headaches of low spinal fluid pressure in a case reported at the last annual scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in Washington DC. Low spinal fluid headache usually occurs after a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) or rarely without an obvious cause. The diagnosis is made by doing a spinal tap which normally shows low pressure and by a characteristic appearance of the MRI scan of the brain. The woman who was treated by doctors from the Mayo Clinic had a spontaneous leak of the spinal fluid and did not respond to blood patches which is the first-line treatment for this condition and consists of injections of person’s own blood into the area around the leak. She also did not respond to a variety of medications. Botox injections provided her with relief for the first time in 20 years. She has continued to receive Botox injections for three years now with sustained results. It somewhat surprising that Botox would help because the cause of low pressure headaches is thought to be tugging on the nerves due to sagging of the brain, which normally is floating in the spinal fluid. It is possible that Botox just stops pain sensations regardless of the cause, whether it is due to migraine, shingles or other nerve disturbance.

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