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

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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AAN releases updated guideline for treating essential tremor

Oct 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 ...

Botulinum toxin does not cure common forms of neck pain

Jul 06, 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 ...

Recommended for you

The brain's electrical alphabet

Jan 23, 2015

The brain's alphabet is a mix of rate and precise timing of electrical pulses: the observation was made by researchers at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste and the Italian Institute ...

Dragnet for epilepsy genes

Jan 23, 2015

An international team of scientists together with the University of Bonn Hospital have taken a new path in the research into causes of epilepsy: The researchers determined the networks of the active genes ...

The molecular biology behind ALS

Jan 23, 2015

UA researchers have identified a molecular defect in motor neurons that may help explain the mechanisms underlying ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

User 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.