The botulinum toxin, which is used for medical purposes, is a genetically designed protein that weakens the activity of muscles by disrupting the chemical signals between the motor nerve and muscle. Botulinum toxin is commonly used in neurology for the treatment of the following conditions:
Chronic migraines, Spasticity (stiffness and limited range of movement caused by injury to the brain or spinal cord from conditions like stroke and multiple sclerosis), Dystonia (abnormal movements of muscles), Tremors, and similar neurological disorders.
Botox® is a specific product and the most common form of botulinum toxin used at Oxford Neurology Clinic. More information can be found on the official Botox® website botoxmedical.com
Botox® is administered using a very small needle to inject minute amounts of botulinum toxin into muscles. In some cases, physicians may use an EMG signal to find abnormally firing muscles and guide where to place the injections. Each condition requires a different set of muscles be treated. There is a minimal amount of pain caused by the injections themselves. It may take 2 weeks before clinical effects can be seen, and in many cases, the optimal clinical response is not achieved until the 2nd or 3rd round of injections. The injection pattern with some conditions, like dystonia, is refined over time.
Side Effects Of Treatment
Though rare, the risks of this treatment are due to its intended effects. Botulinum toxin weakens muscles and the fluid injected can spread to muscles other than those being directly treated. An excessive amount of weakness from botulinum toxin can be produced in the muscles of the face and throat. This can cause difficulty in breathing, speaking, and swallowing. In very rare cases this can be life threatening. Please notify our clinic immediately if these symptoms develop in the days to weeks after treatment.