Effects of botulinum toxin A on upper limb spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.
OBJECTIVE: Botulinum toxin A inhibits presynaptic release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction and has reportedly been successful in the treatment of spastic disorders. This prospective study attempted to determine whether botulinum toxin A injection resulted in clinically measurable gains for 4 mo. DESIGN: Measurements were obtained from 32 children (range, 1-18 yr; average age, 6.9 yr) with hemiplegic or quadriplegic cerebral palsy before and at 1, 3, and 4 mo after botulinum toxin A injections. Spasticity was measured using the Modified Ashworth Scale for 12 different joints. RESULTS: Results showed that spasticity as measured by Ashworth scores for elbow and wrist extension clearly declined (P < 0.02) by 1 mo after botulinum toxin A injection, and diminished spasticity continued for 3-4 mo. Caregivers reported improvement in subjectively rated management, appearance, and function. However, patient response to botulinum toxin A injection was not predictable. Age had no significant relationship to gains. CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed on the use of botulinum toxin A to diminish spasticity and improve function.
Friedman, A; Diamond, M; Johnston, MV; Daffner, C
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