by CK Dillon · Filed Under: African American Baby Boomer Health Alert · African American Baby Boomer Wellness
I read some exciting information in a New York Times Health Feed written by Donald G. McNeil Jr. It published in GoUpState.Com on Tuesday, March 17, and was titled:
‘After a Stroke, Freeing Muscles with Botox’
The heart of the matter is Botulinum toxin; known best by the brand names:
- Botox – manufactured by Allergan
- Myobloc – manufactured by Solstice Neurosciences
- Xeomin – manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals
Botulinum toxin has far more medical uses than smoothing out a few wrinkles, but some uses are unofficial and not yet approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Here’s The Good News
Botulinum toxin has not been approved for use by stroke victims, but has been proven so effective that Medicare and other insurers under certain circumstances will consider reimbursement for its use.
Most stroke victims have never heard of the treatment from their neurologist or primary care doctors, because those physicians often are not aware of the benefits of the treatments.
It’s Up To You To Inform Your Doctor
Even if they have heard of the treatment, many doctors are not trained to administer the deeper injections that are required; the procedure is a bit more involved than procedures dermatologists perform, to erase wrinkles.
According to Mr. McNeil’s article, “most neurologists are in the habit of prescribing anti-spasticity drugs like tizanidine and baclofen, which are oral and inexpensive, but which cause drowsiness and weaken every muscle in the body, not just the target ones.”
Therefore, according to Dr. David M. Simpson, Clinical Neurophysiology Director at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, a leading Botulinum toxin researcher, 95 percent of the stroke victims who could benefit, never receive the injections.
Botulinum toxin is not a miracle drug and will not heal every problem caused by stroke, but it is worth a look.
See what Donald G. McNeil Jr. has to say here in his excellent article concerning Ms. Francine V. Corso, a software engineer who has to go out of her way to receive regular treatment but claims, “I’m completely transformed — I drive, I volunteer, I take art classes.”
How great is that!
As always, there’s one caveat. Be sure to find the right neurologist. Dr. Mark Hallett of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, says he uses ultrasound and electromyography when treating patients.
When an uninformed physician performs the necessary injections, close isn’t good enough.
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