Botox shot may help children with cerebral palsy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In children with the movement disorder cerebral palsy affecting one limb, injections of botulinum toxin A, best known by the brand name Botox, appears to enhance the benefits gained from occupational therapy, new research suggests.

In the study, Dr. Remo N. Russo, from Flinders University in Daw Park, South Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned 43 children with hemiplegic (one-sided) cerebral palsy to receive four sessions of occupational therapy (over 4 weeks) alone or in combination with a shot of Botox in the affected limb.

Children treated with Botox showed a significantly better improvement in body structure and activities participation at 3 months compared with controls, they report in the journal Pediatrics.

Self-perception was also enhanced in the Botox group at 3 months.

By 6 months, no differences were seen between the groups in activities participation or self-perception, but the benefit of Botox on body structure was still apparent.

“This study adds to previous studies investigating the effects of injection of botulinum toxin in the upper limb of children with cerebral palsy, but is unique given the findings related to improvement in self-worth,” the authors note.

SOURCE: Pediatrics, May 2007.