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Botox Considered as a New Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Patients

Botox is often thought of as a vanity procedure, injecting medicine into the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  However, some doctors are using Botox as a treatment for children with cerebral palsy.

The Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper, has come publsihed a story on how doctors at the Monash Medical Centre are using Botox injections to help children keep developing their affected muscles.  Combined with the use of occupational therapy, Botox is proving to be a beneficial therapy.

Improving functioning in children

The injections work by blocking a chemical message from the brain to the muscles, which then makes cerebral palsy patient’s limbs floppy, letting children participate in playful activities.  During the therapy, Children are encouraged to work on their fine motor skills such as cutting and pasting.

Botox is thought of as beneficial because it allows children to use muscles they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.  Because it is difficult to use the affected limbs, children often avoid them, which in turn causes the muscles to atrophy even more.  The less a muscle is used, the more stiff and immobile it will become.

Allowing children to live more active lives

The therapy is being taught to other therapists, and could become a standard option for cerebral palsy patients.  The aim is always to make the children more independent, relying less and less on parents and teachers for assistance.

A 6-year-old girl, Dakota Dileo, has been undergoing the therapy for four years, and her mother sees real results.  She is now participating in jazz ballet.

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