The Amazing Medical Uses of Botox
Botox to Regulate Heartbeats
Researchers in Russia looked at Botox injections given into the upper chambers of the heart in people with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. The idea was that Botox might smooth out the heartbeats and help the heart more efficiently pump blood out to the body. Atrial fibrillation, which is very common, can lead to stroke, blood clots, or heart failure.
, of the State Research Institute of Circulation Pathology in Novosibirsk, Russia, and his colleagues conducted a study of 60 patients with a history of atrial fibrillation who were undergoing heart surgery for coronary artery disease. Half got Botox injections into the fat pad surrounding the heart, while the others were given a placebo salt solution. Within a month, only 7 percent of the patients who got Botox had atrial fibrillation episodes, compared to 30 percent in the placebo group. What’s more, one year after surgery, none of those who'd had Botox injections had atrial fibrillation episodes, versus 27 percent of those getting the placebo, according to a report published in 2015 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.
“Atrial fibrillation recurrences usually strike just one week after open heart surgery,” Dr. Pokushalov says. “Botox might be able to prevent this occurrence.” No side effects were noticed in the small study, but he acknowledges that the research needs to be replicated in a larger population before it’s considered conclusive.
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