08 October 2008

Researchers at a Presbyterian Hospital are conducting experiments involving Botox in an attempt to combat hot flashes usually experienced by menopausal women.

According to, researcher Craig Crandall stated that: "We know with a hot flash the skin increases blood flow and it sweats, but we really don't know why that is and what's going on with the body."

Part of the experiment involves a panel of volunteers - comprised of menopausal women - donning skin-tight, scuba-style suits to get wired and monitored in an attempt to discover exactly which nerves react to the hormonal wave triggered by a hot flash.

The second section of the experiment uses Botox. Botulinum toxin is widely known as a serum that is injected into problem areas as a wrinkle-relaxing treatment. It has also been used to stop parts of the body from sweating.

Less known is how Botox has been proven to have several medical uses - for example, it was recently revealed that Botox can alleviate chronic migraines to the point that patients find they no longer suffer from them.

Its main use - facial rejuvenation via smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines - has led to its worldwide success and spurred on competing researchers to develop similar or improved versions.

The use of Botox could prove immensely useful towards research into treatment for hot flashes. Mr Crandall acknowledged the effects of the procedure, explaining that "Botox prevents certain nerves from firing."

In the experiment, Botox is injected into volunteers' browlines to discover whether the treatment offers relief against heat and perspiration in that area when a hot flash occurs over the following weeks.

If successful, scientists would then move on to work on a treatment similar to Botox that would allow for safe usage all over the body, meaning that women suffering from hot flashes could then seek a safe, non-invasive treatment that could settle their symptoms.