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Botox Found Effective for Children With Cerebral Palsy

Research suggests treatment is safe and effective for localized spasticity

TUESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin is a safe and effective treatment for localized spasticity in children with cerebral palsy, according to a review in the Jan. 26 issue of Neurology.

Mauricio R. Delgado, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues reviewed 218 articles in the published medical literature regarding the efficacy and safety of drugs for childhood spasticity due to cerebral palsy.

The researchers found that botulinum toxin type A was an effective treatment for localized or segmental spasticity in the upper and lower extremities, although there was insufficient evidence regarding its effects on motor function. Although the treatment was generally safe in children, they note that severe generalized weakness may occur. For generalized spasticity, diazepam can be used for the short term. Tizanidine may also be used, although there is a risk of liver toxicity. The study notes that there was insufficient evidence on other treatments.

"For localized/segmental spasticity in the upper and lower extremities of children with cerebral palsy that warrants treatment, botulinum toxin type A should be offered as an effective and generally safe treatment," Delgado and colleagues write.

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