Botulinum toxin injection in patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis


Dr Marc Rousseaux, Service de Rééducation Neurologique, Hôpital Swynghedauw, CHRU, 59037 Lille Cedex, France (tel.: +33 320444872; fax: +33 320445832; e-mail:


In an open label study, we analyzed the efficacy of botulinum toxin injection at the lower limbs of patients with hereditary spastic paraparesis (HSP). Fifteen patients who showed disabling spasticity with no or poor effect of oral treatment were recruited consecutively. Botulinum toxin was injected (400 U; Botox®) into the spastic muscles identified by clinical examination (equinus, varus, and pathological hip adduction). Patients were regularly assessed from the first day to the fifth month: spasticity (Ashworth), motor strength, range of movements, Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC), gait parameter, Rivermead Motor Assessment, self-analysis of benefit and satisfaction. We observed a moderate and significant (P < 0.05) reduction of ankle plantar flexor and hip adductor spasticity, with a partial increase in the range of the active and passive motion at the ankle and in gait velocity. At an individual level, six of 15 patients showed an increase in gait velocity. The FAC and RMA did not change. Patients often reported partial improvement in foot position and lower limb propulsion, and fair satisfaction. In conclusion, botulinum toxin injection can be effective in HSP patients with relatively ancient spasticity. This technique can be introduced into the therapeutic panel, which also includes physiotherapy, oral treatment and baclofen pump.