Botox (botulinum toxin A) injection, better known as a wrinkle-buster, has proven itself over time that it is not just a vanity treatment. Since hitting the cosmetic market in 2002, Botox has been used in a variety of medical applications. The market leader of Botox is Irvine, California-based Allergan Inc. (AGN: Quote), and it rakes in over a billion dollars in Botox sales annually.
Some of the FDA-approved medical uses of Botox include, blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids), cervical dystonia (severe neck muscle spasms), severe primary axillary hyperhydrosis (excess sweating), spasticity in flexor muscles of the elbow, wrist and fingers, chronic migraine headache in adults and neurogenic urinary incontinence. Now add to that a new potential use for Botox.
Australian researchers have found that botulinum toxin may also help prevent shaking or tremor in the arms and hands of people with multiple sclerosis for which there are currently no sufficiently effective treatments.
The new finding was based on a study of 23 people with multiple sclerosis who were given botulinum toxin type A injections or a saline placebo for three months. The patients then received the opposite treatment for the next three months. Scientists measured the patients' tremor severity and their ability to write and draw before, during and after receiving the treatments.
According to the study author Anneke van der Walt, consultant neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and research fellow with the University of Melbourne in Australia, there was significant improvement in tremor severity, writing and drawing abilities at six weeks and three months after the botulinum toxin treatment compared to placebo.
The study was published in the July 3, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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