Multiple Sclerosis: Botox Treatment

  • Medical Author:
    Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

    Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

The Effects of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves) resulting in symptoms that range from mild (numbness) to severe (paralysis). Although the cause is not known, most researchers and clinicians think that somehow environmental, genetic, and/or infectious agents may, either alone or in combination, trigger an immune response in individuals that causes immune cells to begin to destroy the nerve-insulating myelin coverings. Myelin coverings protect nerves from interfering electrical impulses, irritating chemicals in their immediate environment, and promote good nerve signals. Simply stated, myelin acts like the insulation on wires that are bundled together in close proximity; if the wires start to lose their insulation, they may not function well and if they get wet, they can short out and not function at all. The disease has many symptoms that are nonspecific and makes MS a disease that is difficult to distinguish from many others. However, diagnosis is possible and once diagnosed MS can be treated (but not cured).

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is Botox?

Botox is one specific brand of purified botulinum toxin, which is the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Medical uses of botulinum toxin began in 1980, when targeted weakening of eye muscles was identified as a potential treatment of strabismus, a condition in which the eyes don't line up correctly.

Although many different types of botulinum toxin have been identified, only types A and B are approved for the use in treatment of muscle problems. In addition to Botox, other approved forms of botulinum toxin A include Dysport and Xeomin. Myobloc is the approved form of botulinum toxin B.

When used for clinical purposes, the toxin is used in small amounts, leading to weakness in the muscles into which it is injected. This weakness can be beneficial in various conditions characterized by too much muscle activity, such as dystonia or spasticity. This is in distinct contrast to the disease botulism, which occurs when the non-purified bacterium is ingested and the toxin is dispersed through the body causing widespread weakness.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that causes demyelination of the brain and spinal cord. When this occurs, axons (the parts of the nerve cells that conduct impulses to other cells) don't work well. As more areas are affected by this loss of myelin, patients develop symptoms. The specific symptom that someone might experience is related to the area of injury in the brain or spinal cord. Patients might describe numbness, tingling, or weakness. The weakness may be mild or severe enough to cause paralysis of one side of the body. In some cases, patients may develop incontinence or even an inability to empty their bladder. As multiple sclerosis progresses, some patients are left with muscle spasticity or an involuntary painful contraction of certain muscles.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016

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