Botulinum toxin a shot in the arm for preventing MS tremor: research

July 2, 2012

Botulinum toxin may help prevent shaking or tremor in the arms and hands of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research published in the July 3, 2012, print issue of Neurology.

"Treatments in use for tremor in MS are not sufficiently effective and new alternatives are needed," said study author Anneke van der Walt, MD, consultant neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and research fellow with the University of Melbourne in Australia.

For the study 23 people with MS were given botulinum type A injections or a saline for three months. Then they received the opposite treatment for the next three months. Scientists measured the tremor severity and their ability to write and draw before, during and after receiving the treatments. Video assessments were also taken every six weeks for six months.

The study found that people saw significant improvement in tremor severity, writing and drawing at six weeks and three months after the botulinum toxin treatment compared to after placebo. In tremor severity, the participants improved an average of two points on a 10-point scale, bringing their tremor from moderate to mild. In writing and drawing, participants improved by an average of one point on a 10-point scale.

"Our study suggests a new way to approach arm tremor related to MS where there are currently major treatment challenges and it also sets the framework for larger studies," said van der Walt.

developed in 42 percent of people after treatment with botulinum toxin compared to six percent after placebo. The weakness was generally mild and went away within two weeks.

Explore further: Botulinum toxin injection may help prevent some types of migraine pain

Related Stories

New insights about Botulinum toxin A

December 2, 2010

A new study by researchers at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, is raising questions about the therapeutic use of botulinum toxin A.

Botulinum toxin does not cure common forms of neck pain

July 6, 2011

There is no evidence that Botulinum toxin injections reduce chronic neck pain or associated headaches, says a group of scientists who reviewed nine trials involving a total of 503 participants. Their findings are published ...

AAN releases updated guideline for treating essential tremor

October 19, 2011

The American Academy of Neurology is releasing an updated guideline on how to best treat essential tremor, which is the most common type of tremor disorder and is often confused with other movement disorders such as Parkinson's ...

Recommended for you

Special nerve cells cause goose bumps and nipple erection

August 29, 2016

The sympathetic nerve system has long been thought to respond the same regardless of the physical or emotional stimulus triggering it. However, in a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the Nature Neuroscience, ...

A new window to understanding the brain

August 29, 2016

Scientists in recent years have made great strides in the quest to understand the brain by using implanted probes to explore how specific neural circuits work.

Next steps in understanding brain function

August 26, 2016

The most complex piece of matter in the known universe is the brain. Neuroscientists have recently taken on the challenge to understand brain function from its intricate anatomy and structure. There is no sure way to go about ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.