Melek Karaçam, Deniz Selçuki

Department Of Norology, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey

Keywords: Stroke, muscle spasticity, botulinum toxins.


OBJECTIVE: Spasticity is a common dysfunction in stroke patients. It hinders the performance of everyday living activities and lowers the quality of life. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the effects of botulinum toxin A therapy on various aspects, such as muscle tone, pain, daily living activities and disability.

METHODS: Fifteen patients with stroke presenting with focal spasticity in the botulinum toxin outpatient unit were evaluated. Results before and after treatment were evaluated by applying different scales. Modified Ashworth Scale was applied for the severity of spasticity. The Medical Council Research Scale was used to test muscle power, and the disability scoring scale, Visual Analogue Pain Scale and Barthel index were the other measures tested.

RESULTS: It was found that therapy with botulinum toxin A was effective in spasticity. The increased muscle tone and the disability scores decreased prominently after the treatment (p< 0.05). Lower values in pain scores (p< 0.05) also contributed to better functional outcome (p< 0.01). Along with the significantly good outcome according to the scales, the higher scores in quality of life, feeling of well-being, good performance during the physiotherapy sessions, and less medications needed for spasticity were also indications in commencing the therapy of botulinum toxin A in spasticity.

CONCLUSION: Spasticity is a complicated condition causing serious disability. Botulinum toxin A is a preferred therapy when there is an increased motor activity. The effects of the agent are reversible and reliable. The duration of the treatment is long-lasting. Since botulinum toxin A is easily applied and the outcome in focal spasticity is favorable, it is recommended as the first-line choice in the treatment of focal spasticity.