It seems every week there’s a story in the press about a new medical use for botox, this week stroke patients are the ones seeing benefits.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have licensed the muscle-freezing drug for the treatment of limb problems, after a trial with 120 patients who had post-stroke ankle injuries. By having botox in the affected area, it was found that sufferers were able to regain control and movement.
Strokes affect over 150,000 people in the U.K., and there are thought to be more than a million stroke survivors. Almost a third suffer with post-stroke spasticity – stiffness.
Dr Poovathoor J. Alexander, Consultant Physician in Neurological Rehabilitation for Walsall Healthcare Trust has said it works by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine from the nerve, stopping the muscle from contracting. It works within four to seven days, reaching its peak function within 6 weeks, and lasts about four months.
He also said, “It must be used in conjunction with physiotherapy to stop the muscles getting stiff. It relaxes the muscle injected so it is easier to stretch.”
Each treatment costs about £1,000, and will be offered on the NHS.