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Keywords:

  • Botulinum toxin A;
  • dystonia;
  • evaluation;
  • mechanism;
  • spasticity;
  • systematic review;
  • therapy;
  • tremor

Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is most commonly used to reduce focal over-activity in skeletal muscle, although newer indications such as management of drooling, pain and tremor are emerging. Treatment of spasticity incorporating BoNT is usually part of an integrated multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme. Prior to initiating this therapy, specific functional limitations, goals and expected outcomes of treatment should be discussed with the patient/carers. Muscle selection and the order/priority of treatment should be agreed. Treatment goals may involve increasing active or passive function or the avoidance of secondary complications or impairment progression. This paper describes the basic science mechanisms of the action of BoNT and subsequent nerve recovery and introduces a supplement comprising the best available evidence and expert opinion from international panels on questions of assessment, indications, BoNT regimen, adjunctive therapy, expected outcomes and recommended monitoring. Speciality areas reviewed include Paediatric Lower Limb Hypertonicity, Paediatric Upper Limb Hypertonicity, Adult Lower Limb Hypertonicity, Adult Upper Limb Hypertonicity, Cervical Dystonia, Drooling and Pain and Niche Indications. There is good quality scientific evidence to support the efficacy of BoNT to reduce muscle over-activity in the limbs secondary to central nervous system disorders in adults and children, to address primary or secondary cervical dystonia, to reduce saliva flow and to treat some pain syndromes. There is emergent evidence for the efficacy of BoNT to reduce focal tremor, to treat other types of pain including neuropathic pain and also to improve function following treatment of focal muscle over-activity.