Monday, 13 December 2010

Botox Could Cause Muscular Weakness in Cerebral Palsy Patients

For years now, doctors have been using Botox to help patients with cerebral palsy regain control of some of their muscles. Now, a new study finds that use of Botox could lead to muscular weakness away from the injection site.

The research was conducted by scientists at the University of Calgary. The study will soon be published in the Journal of Biomechanics. The researchers injected rabbits with the botulinum toxin, and found that the rabbits experienced muscular loss and atrophy six months after the injection. Even worse, this muscular weakness wasn't confined to the injection site. According to the researchers, the effects of the Botox spread far away from the injection site. The toxin affected muscles that were located far away from the injection site.

Earlier research had shown that the Botox injection also affects muscles surrounding the injection site. However, this new study finds that even muscles located elsewhere in the body may suffer from weakness and loss of muscle mass as a result of the injection.

Botox helps to block the nerve signals that tell specific muscles to remain clenched. It therefore helps patients with cerebral palsy to regain some control over their muscles. In fact, Botox has given patients with cerebral palsy not just a quick fix to their problems with muscle control, but has also allowed these patients increased mobility through physiotherapy exercises focusing on the spastic muscles.

No one is calling for this new research to be taken as a sign that Botox should not be used on patients with cerebral palsy. Currently, the benefits of using Botox seem to outweigh any adverse effects from it. However, Arizona medical malpractice lawyers believe that more research is needed into the long-term consequences of using Botox to treat muscular weakness in cerebral palsy patients.

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