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Keywords:

  • botulinum toxin;
  • cervical dystonia;
  • physiotherapy;
  • biofeedback

Abstract

Currently, the best treatment option for idiopathic cervical dystonia (ICD) is injection of botulinum toxin (BTX) into the affected muscles, whereas rehabilitative approaches have given disappointing results. We evaluated whether the association of an ad hoc rehabilitative program may improve the clinical efficacy of BTX treatment in a single-center, cross-over, controlled study. Forty patients with ICD were randomly assigned to two different treatment groups: (1) BTX type A (BTX-A) plus a specific program of physical therapy (BTX-PT) or (2) BTX-A alone (BTX-0). Patients in the BTX-PT group showed a longer duration of the clinical benefit (118.8 vs. 99.1 days) and needed a lower dose of BTX at reinjection (284.5 vs. 325.5 units). In addition, they showed more marked reductions in their disability in activities of daily living (−9.7 vs. −4.85 points) and subjective pain (−13.35 vs. 6.95 points) scores. Association of BTX-A therapy with a specific program of physical therapy may improve ICD treatment outcome. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society