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September 28, 2012
Botox is a known anti-wrinkle treatment which has gained extreme popularity for the last few decades. It is a special toxic medication with the main active ingredient derived from the Clostridium botulinum germ, used for its very powerful muscle relaxant properties. Botox injection is a cosmetic treatment to help smooth wrinkles by temporary paralyzing certain parts of facial muscles. Botox effects can be applied beyond just only cosmetic industry, and this treatment actually has a number of other health benefits. In particular, this medication is used as a part of stroke treatment or as a solution to relieve the symptoms affecting cerebral palsy sufferers. Besides, nowadays Botox effects are being studied as a promising part of new multiple sclerosis therapy, primarily to relieve muscle stiffness. However, a number of researches and clinical tests aiming to enhance possible effects of Botox for MS symptoms relieving are still ongoing.
Thus, a group of scientists tested Botox effects as a new solution for tremors in MS patients. The Royal Melbourne Hospital scientists reported earlier this summer that using Botox injections can assist in reducing certain MS symptoms, including hand shaking, upper limb shaking, and others. The expert group led by neurologists Dr. Andrew Evans and Dr. Anneke Van Der Walt tested Botox effects on 23 patients with multiple sclerosis. After certain procedures involving Botox injections, all the participants experienced considerable (up to 40 per cent) reduction in their tremor severity. In addition, most MS sufferers who participated in the experiment have demonstrated serious improvement (up to 30 per cent) in their drawing and writing abilities. At that, all participants reported about significant improvements in their abilities to perform daily activities, too.
Australian scientists are convinced that their findings give grounds for continuing studying Botox effects on MS patients and developing a new effective multiple sclerosis therapy in the nearest future. “We feel that this gives us a platform now to test this in more patients. Hopefully this will translate into a very significant treatment for patients with MS who have this shaking of the upper limbs,” Dr. Van Der Walt said to the media. According to the researcher, it can be enough to treat MS patients with one Botox injection every two-three month, and even injecting this medication once per every 6 months can have quite considerable positive effects. For achieving better results, a dose and timing of the injection should be stipulated for every individual MS patient. Dr. Van Der Walt underlined that multiple sclerosis therapy involving Botox had one side effect which is muscle weakness, but in most cases it disappeared in just one-two weeks. The findings of this study were published this summer in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Other very promising Botox effects were studied in the framework of researching new stroke treatment opportunities. Expert group of Dr David Werring, a neurology specialist and senior lecturer at University College London, studied a case of Mel Strzebrakowska, who had a stroke when she was only 15 and suffered from an arteriovenous malformation. It caused inability to walk, problems when speaking, but years of therapy helped young woman reduce the symptoms. However, since Mel suffered from severe muscle stiffness, she could not perform some daily tasks with her right hand. Muscle relaxant Botox effects were offered her as a part of stroke treatment therapy, and the treatment helped loosen Mel’s muscles for some long period of time. Botox acts by blocking acetylcholine, a neuro-transmitter involved in linking brain and muscles, telling muscles to contract.
A stroke is one of the most common serious cardiovascular conditions linked to a bleed in brain or a blockage in blood supply causing depriving brain from oxygen, which leads to certain damage of nerve cells and related functions. It is estimated that every year, over 150,000 people in today’s UK suffer from this health condition. Currently, more studies are being carried out in order to study the effects of a combination of Botox injections and physiotherapy as a new post-stroke treatment. The researches are sponsored by the Stroke Association. ‘We are very excited about this study. We are always looking for new ways to help stroke survivors adapt to their life after a stroke and recover as much movement as possible,’ said Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research for Stroke Association. The first findings are expected to be received in 12-18 months.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.