Botulinum toxin is used to treat multiple conditions in movement disorders including dystonia, tremor, drooling, and spasticity to name a few.
Dystonia is involuntary twisting, contraction, or spasming of muscles
Spasticity is stiffness caused by an imbalance and signal from the brain or spinal cord to the muscle usually as a result of stroke, multiple sclerosis, hereditary disorder, or spinal cord injury.
Many patients ask, it is the same botulinum toxin used for cosmetic purposes but a much different locations and in much different dosages. It is also deemed medically necessary for the purposes of movement disorders.
Examples of conditions in which botulinum injections can be helpful include:
Apraxia of eyelid opening
Cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis
Writers cramp or musician's cramp (focal dystonia of the hand)
Upper limb spasticity
There are currently 4 types of botulinum toxin:
Botox (onabotulinum toxin type A)
Xeomin (incobotulinum toxin type A)
Myobloc (rimabotulinum toxin type B)
Dysport (abobotulinum toxin type A)
Botulinum toxin works by preventing the release of the chemical acetylcholine thereby preventing the muscle from contracting.
Specialized doses are used to not weaken the muscle too much but provide enough weakness so that the forceful contraction is not as bothersome or noticeable. In the case of drooling, this reduces the amount of contraction of the salivary glands producing less saliva.
It typically takes 1 week for the effects of botulinum to begin working and lasts on average about 3 months. Injections are every 12 weeks.
Botulinum injections can be life changing and provide real relief for some patients.
For more information, please our team at Texas Movement Disorder Specialists, PLLC.