The Plastic Surgeon who Discovered that Botox® Could Relieve Migraines Will Speak at the Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. William J. Binder’s September 21st Address in Chicago Comes Just 10 Days After Botox-Maker Allergan Announced Positive Results of Phase III Trials Using the Popular Wrinkle Treatment to Relieve Pain from Migraines and 16 Years After the Surgeon’s Discovery

Renowned Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. William Binder was testing the effect of Botox on wrinkles back in 1992 when he noted that several of the study patients noticed the pain from their migraine headache was disappearing along with their wrinkles after the toxin was injected into their foreheads.  Dr. Binder decided to test this “serendipitous finding” further and over the next several years devised an initial protocol which was used in a combined multi-center, open label study to assess the efficacy of Botox® in the prophylactic management of migraine headaches and related symptoms.  According to Dr. Binder , half of the patients achieved complete elimination of migraine symptoms and 32% have experienced at least a 50% reduction in migraine frequency or severity.

Although many in the medical communities remained skeptical, research continued by those who believed that the treatment of Botox for migraine headache was effective.  Allergan continued its own studies culminating in Phase III trials that concluded with an announcement on September 11, 2008 that Botox helped reduce the number of days people suffer from the headaches as well as the number of episodes of the headaches.

The news apparently took many in the medical community by surprise.  For Binder, it was an affirmation that was long overdue.  “The exact way that Botox® works to relieve migraines was not clearly understood, so I can see why some would be skeptical,” Binder acknowledged. “We do know that botulinum toxin has a blocking ability not only at the neuro-muscular junction but at the cellular level as well. And now we also know it can provide effective relief for many of the millions of people who suffer from this condition”

Dr. Binder will be lecturing on “Botulinum Toxin for Headache and Pain” to hundreds of physicians at the Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in Chicago on September 21st.   It was to this same group at their annual conference nine years ago that Dr. Binder presented the data of his original study.