First Migraines, now Asthma…what else can Botox Treat?

We are not skeptics about the wonders of Botox, or Botulinum Toxin Type A.  We are, of course, already familiar with its potential for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, treating excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) and even of its medicinal uses for an array of good: from Essential Tremor to Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebal Palsy (almost any condition involving involuntary muscle movement!).  More recently, those in the Medical Aesthetics industry have heard of the potential to treat their patients with Botox injections for Migraine. And now, the most recent development launched in Australia on Tuesday, comes testing of Botox as an Asthma alleviant.

Monash University tests Botox for Vocal Exhaustion
The research, conducted at Melbourne’s Monash University, involves particularly severe asthma cases….and Botox injections directly to the voicebox!

The focus is ‘vocal exhaustion’: as the Telegraph has reported, ‘half of people with asthma also have voicebox spasms that can make it difficult to exercise or perform other normal activities’.  The theory is that using Botulinum Toxin Type A to work its paralysing magic on the voicebox will stop the spasms, allowing severe asthma sufferers to resume normal standards of breathing and activity.

Is Botox to the Throat really Safe
Botox is already used for other vocal chord disorders (like spasmodic dysphonia) so there is definitely logic behind this line of thinking and it could well work…if patients can be persuaded to have shots of paralytic toxin directly to their throats! The trials (lasting a year and initially conducted on 60 patients – 30 real, 30 placebo) are only based in Australia for now and the USA and UK are likely to take a little more persuading before theydecide to go ahead with similar research.  For now, these countries are probably happy to sit back and watch with interest as director of respiratory medicine, Phil Bardin, and his team conduct the pioneering study: particularly as they are currently only “reasonably reassured that it’s safe”. Temporary quietness of the voice, however, is the only side-effect that they claim to be expecting.

One thing is for sure: continued research like this does show the credibility of Botulinum Toxin as a career path for Medical Professionals….this is not just a “Beauty” sector and there is a great deal of good, potential for pioneering work and health treatments which can be performed once you choose to train in Botox techniques.