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.

View Multiple Sclerosis Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideMultiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Multiple Sclerosis Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is spasticity?

Spasticity is a condition in which muscles exhibit almost constant contracture or activity, leading to loss of range of motion, decreased function, and even pain. Spasticity occurs after an area of the brain or spinal cord has been injured, leading to weakness and increased tone. When an arm or leg which is affected by spasticity is moved by an examiner, there is involuntary resistance to that movement. Often, this spasticity is made worse when the speed (or velocity) of the movement increases. Spasticity is often seen after a stroke, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, or in cases of multiple sclerosis. In some cases, spasticity can be associated with development of involuntary tremors.

How is Botox used to treat multiple sclerosis?

Botox can be used to treat many symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Patients who have spasticity affecting their arms or legs may be good candidates for botulinum toxin injections to relieve painful spasms and improve mobility to help with bathing or dressing. Botox may be especially beneficial in situations in which patients have a difficult time tolerating oral anti-spasticity medications due to side effects. Botox has also been used to treat overactive bladder symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Some patients with multiple sclerosis develop problems with their vocal cords, called dysphonia. Very small amounts of Botox injected into the vocal cords are used to treat this condition. It is important to recognize that Botox is used to decrease spasticity and cannot improve muscle strength.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016

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