(HealthDay News) – Targeted botulinum toxin type A injections may be an effective treatment option for disabling arm tremors in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to a study published in the July 3 issue of Neurology.

Anneke Van Der Walt, MBChB, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned 33 upper limbs from 23 MS patients to receive botulinum toxin type A or placebo at baseline and the reverse treatment at 12 weeks. Randomized video assessments performed every six weeks over six months were scored by an independent rater.

The researchers found that, compared with placebo, there was a significant improvement at six and 12 weeks in the Bain score for tremor severity, writing, and Archimedes spiral drawing after botulinum toxin treatment. Significantly more patients developed weakness after botulinum toxin treatment (42.2%) than after placebo injection (6.1%), but weakness resolved within two weeks and was characterized as mild (just detectable) to moderate (still able to use limb).

“Targeted botulinum toxin type A injections significantly improve arm tremor and tremor-related disability in patients with MS,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Allergan, which donated the Botox for the study.

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