Researchers have found that injections of botulinum toxin eases hand spasticity among stroke survivors. Spasticity in the limbs is a common after effect of stroke, and it causes much disability, because it interferes with activities like getting dressed and eating. Previous research has shown that botulinum toxin - a substance that relieves muscle tightness - may help with this problem.
In the first large trial of botulinum toxin (also known as botox) in stroke, a group of 120 stroke patients affected by hand and finger spasticity had either a one-off botox injection or placebo. Significant improvements were reported in the botox group during the 10 weeks of follow up. They were better able to take care of personal hygiene and dressing and had fewer problems with pain or positioning their hands, they said.