Content » Vol 42, Issue 4

Original report

Effect of addition of botulinum toxin-A to standardized therapy for dynamic manual skills measured with kinematic aiming tasks in children with spastic hemiplegia

Eugene Rameckers, Jacques Duysens, Hans J.S. Vles, Bouwien C.M. Smits-Engelsman
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0521


Objective: To measure the effect of intensive therapy and the lasting effect of a standardized functional training programme with vs. without the addition of chemodernervation of the muscles of the forearm and hand.
Patients and methods: Twenty children with spastic hemiplegia, aged 4–16 years, were matched for baseline characteristics and randomized to standardized task-oriented therapy for 6 months with or without botulinum toxin injections. Dynamic kinematic outcome measures were: speed, accuracy, end-point spread and performance. Measurements of active and passive range of motion, stretch-restricted angle of the elbow and wrist, Ashworth scores and Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Upper Limb Function were made. All measures were performed at baseline, 2 weeks after injection of botulinum toxin and after 6 months (at the end of therapy), and 3 months after end of the therapy.
Results: Clinical measures showed improvement in both groups. However, no significant differences emerged between groups on functional measures. Directly after the botulinum toxin injection all kinematic outcome measures showed a decrease, but baseline values were re-established during the therapy period. After botulinum toxin injections a temporarily significant greater increase in speed and performance was found. These results illustrate the need for further quantitative research into the effects of botulinum toxin.

Lay Abstract


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