Botox for Voice Tremors
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Voice tremors may respond to botulinum toxin type A injections, according to a new study.
Essential tremor, a very common movement disorder, increases in incidence with age and usually affects the hands and head. While voice tremors are not uncommon, the condition can be disabling and embarrassing to people who suffer from it.
Previous treatments for voice tremor, such as oral medications or surgery, are not very effective and are primarily recommended for treating hand tremors.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., studied 13 men and women, with an average age of 73, who had voice tremors but no spasmodic dysphonia, or head, mouth, jaw, or facial tremors.
Participants in the study were given injections of Botox in each vocal cord in varying doses. Results were evaluated using a patient tremor rating scale (on a five-point scale. All of the participants reported an effect from the injection, with an average improvement of 1.6 points after six weeks, according to the study authors.
The main adverse effects of the treatment were breathiness and difficulty in swallowing.
Authors conclude, "[Botox] is a promising treatment for voice tremor, and further controlled studies should be pursued."
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SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, 2004;61:1416-1420