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Keywords:

  • Spasmodic torticollis;
  • Botulinum toxin;
  • Double-blind trial

Abstract

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 23 patients suffering from intractable spasmodic torticollis (ST) were given successively either botulinum toxin A (BTA) or normal saline by intramuscular injections in the affected muscles. Evaluation was carried out by three blinded observers, using a clinical and video assessment of the severity of torticollis, employing a scoring system described by Tsui (1). Patients were also asked to subjectively comment on changes in the amount of pain and on changes in the activities of daily living (ADL). BTA was proven to be superior on all forms of assessment to placebo, and these results were statistically significant. Side effects mainly consisted of pain at the injection site. Tiredness occurred at equal frequency with BTA and placebo. No serious or systemic side effects were noted. Botulinum toxin is a safe, effective and relatively simple treatment for spasmodic torticollis.