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Beauty treatment gives relief to Parkinson’s patients

Thursday April 29, 2010

Health News - One of the world’s most fashionable beauty treatments is gaining popularity for something other than the war on wrinkles.

Botulinum Toxin, commonly known as Botox, is being used at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Centre (MAPC) at Barrow Neurological Institute to help manage symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

“Botox is the most powerful nerve toxin known to man and it’s dramatically improving the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s,” says Guillermo Moguel-Cobos, movement disorder neurologist at the Centre. “For this type of treatment, it’s a miracle drug.”

Parkinson’s disease is characterised by muscle rigidity, tremors, a slowing of physical movement and a loss of physical movement.

Botox, which has been purified and then diluted, can be injectedstraight into the muscle, relieving the spasms and most importantly, the pain.

“It’s a medical treatment but it’s also an art to administer. Every patient receives Botox differently in different muscles, in different locations and in different dosages, so experience with the drug and the disease is crucial,” says Moguel-Cobos.

MAPC has been using Botox to treat Parkinson’s and other movement disorders such as dystonia since the early 1990s.

The treatment has recently gained popularity due to the growing number of patients at the MAPC. Out of approximately 1,600 patient visits each year, 30 percent receive Botox injections.

To help with the demand, the Centre runs a Botox Clinic two days a week. Depending on the patient and the severity of their movement disorder, their Botox can take 30 minutes to an hour to inject and can take up to seven days to become effective.

For most, the drug will provide significant but variable relief of symptoms that can last up to three months, says a release from the Barrow Neurological Institute.