August 30, 2016
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Botox to Treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (cont.)

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What is spasticity?

Spasticity is a condition in which muscles exhibit almost constant contracture or activity, leading to loss of range of motion, decreased function, and even pain. Spasticity occurs after an area of the brain or spinal cord has been injured, leading to weakness and increased tone. When an arm or leg which is affected by spasticity is moved by an examiner, there is involuntary resistance to that movement. Often, this spasticity is made worse when the speed (or velocity) of the movement increases. Spasticity is often seen after a stroke, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, or in cases of multiple sclerosis. In some cases, spasticity can be associated with development of involuntary tremors.

How is Botox used to treat multiple sclerosis?

Botox can be used to treat many symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Patients who have spasticity affecting their arms or legs may be good candidates for botulinum toxin injections to relieve painful spasms and improve mobility to help with bathing or dressing. Botox may be especially beneficial in situations in which patients have a difficult time tolerating oral anti-spasticity medications due to side effects. Botox has also been used to treat overactive bladder symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Some patients with multiple sclerosis develop problems with their vocal cords, called dysphonia. Very small amounts of Botox injected into the vocal cords are used to treat this condition. It is important to recognize that Botox is used to decrease spasticity and cannot improve muscle strength.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016


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