|MEDIA RELEASE |
2 July 2012
Botox helps shake off Multiple Sclerosis tremors
In a world first, leading researchers at The Royal Melbourne Hospital have discovered a treatment for tremor and shakes in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using Botox.
According to research published in the July 3, 2012, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the use of Botulinum toxin (Botox) can improve shaking or tremors in the arms and hands of people with MS, a common, but under recognised trait of the condition.
Neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and study author, Dr Anneke van der Walt, said the results of the study were exciting, giving MS patients hope that Botox could put an end or improve the debilitating shakes and tremors often experienced.
“Our study found that people saw significant improvement in tremor severity, writing and drawing when tested at six weeks and again at three months after the botox treatment, compared to the placebo,” Dr van der Walt said.
“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.
“These findings support a new way to approach MS related arm tremors and shakes where there is currently little treatment available and it also sets the framework for a larger study to be rolled out in 2013.”
Dr van der Walt added while the number of patients involved in the trial was small, the effects could be life changing for many people with MS.
The study looked at 23 people with MS who were given botulinum toxin type A injections or a saline placebo for three months. Then they received the opposite treatment for the next three months.
Researchers 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 was supported by The Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation and the Box Hill MS Research Fund.
Media Contact: Melea Tarabay, Media Relations Manager on 93427469 or 0407 860 687