Botox Use Extends Into Music?

If you believe, like I do, the use of Botox has gotten way out of hand -- using it in combination with surgically severing facial muscles to "cure" migraines -- this new study ought to confirm it. Botox has been used to remedy the involuntary muscle contractions that plague some professional musicians.

Scientists studied some 85 German musicians, including pianists, string players, guitarists and woodwind and brass players, with focal dystonia who had received injections of Dysport, a British brand of botox. Focal dystonia is particularly problematic for musicians as they can suffer from involuntary muscle spasms when they try to play their instruments which could become a career-ending condition.

Although 69 percent believed Botox had helped them, the "cure" was short lived: Only 36 percent reported a lasting improvement in their ability to perform. Also, just 24 patients were still receiving botulinum toxin injections, a fact experts say illustrates the difficulty of treating focal dystonia in musicians.

Another problem with such "treatments": Nearly all patients in the current study had some muscle weakness after their injections, which were given in the forearm in most cases.

Just one more reason, it sounds perfectly insane to use a derivative of botulinum toxin Type A -- a bacterium found in contaminated food -- to treat anything!

Yahoo News January 28, 2005

Neurology January 25, 2005;64:341-343

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