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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2010 Sep;10(5):338-44. doi: 10.1007/s11910-010-0129-z.

An update on the neurologic applications of botulinum toxins.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic Arizona, 13400 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA.


Initially used to treat strabismus in the 1970s, botulinum toxin now has more than a hundred possible medical applications. Its utility in neurologic conditions has largely involved treating movement disorders (particularly dystonia and conditions with muscle hyperactivity), although practically any hyperkinetic movement disorder may be relieved by botulinum toxin, including hemifacial spasm, tremor, tics, myoclonus, and spasticity. Although initially thought to inhibit acetylcholine release only at the neuromuscular junction, botulinum toxins are now recognized to inhibit acetylcholine release at autonomic cholinergic nerve terminals, as well as peripheral release of neurotransmitters involved in pain regulation. Thus, their use in neurology has been expanded to include headache and other pain syndromes, as well as hypersecretory disorders. This article highlights some of the common neurologic conditions currently improved by botulinum toxins and reviews the scientific evidence from research studies and clinical experience with these conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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