Sunday, March 17, 2013
Australia - Using Vanity Drug Botox For Stroke Recovery
Injecting Botox into the arm muscles of stroke survivors who suffer from severe spasticity may assist with longer-term recovery.
Injecting botulinum toxin (botox) into the arm muscles of stroke survivors who suffer from severe spasticity may assist with longer-term recovery, according to new research.
Researchers at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) monitored nerve activity in the arms and brains of stroke survivors before and after botox injections in rigid and stiff muscles in the arm.
They found that botox not only improved arm muscles, but also altered brain activity in the cortex – the brain region responsible for movement, memory, learning, and thinking.
“Botulinum toxin is used to treat a range of muscular and neurological conditions and our data shows that this treatment results in electrical and functional changes within the brain itself,” said Dr. William Huynh, lead author of the study and a research neurologist at NeuRA.
Huynh said that the effect botox has on the brain may arise because the toxin travels to the central nervous system directly, or because muscles treated with botox are sending different signals back to the brain.
“Either way, we found that botox treatment in affected muscles not only improves muscle disorders in stroke patients, but also normalizes electrical activity in the brain, particularly in the half of the brain not damaged by stroke,” he explained.
“Restoring normal activity in the unaffected side of the brain is particularly important because we suspect that abnormal information sent from affected muscles to the brain may be disrupting patients’ long-term recovery,” he said..
The article can be found at: Huynh W et al. (2012) Botulinum toxin modulates cortical maladaptation in post-stroke spasticity.