Can Botox really be used for treating patients who have lost
movement from stroke?
A research project underway at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH)
is currently answering this question, using botulinum toxin (Botox) to help
stroke patients suffering from a debilitating condition known as spasticity.
Spasticity is a condition brought on by a stroke, where
certain muscles are continuously contracted, causing stiffness or tightness of
the muscles. This can interfere with normal movement, leaving patients unable
to complete basic tasks.
Someone who knows all too well about this devastating
condition is Elizabeth (Mandy) Bosson. Her life turned upside down after
suffering a major stroke in September 2012 at just 51 years old
The stroke left Mandy with severe physical side effects,
causing her life to change instantly. She went from having a successful career
and the freedom to live, to being unable to talk and forced to give up her job
at The City of Adelaide.
Refusing to accept her prognosis, Mandy pushed herself,
undergoing intensive rehab and learning how to speak again. She found hope when
Dr Anupam Gupta at TQEH became her specialist and as part of his research trial
began injecting Botox in her leg to assist with her movement.
“I feel the effects begin to kick in after about a week, and
with the help of physiotherapy, it makes such a difference to my mobility.
Without the Botox injections I am at a higher risk of falling and my movement
is very limited. I can now drive again and I have my independence back,” Mandy
“I couldn’t have hoped to achieve anything like that without
the Botox injections.”
Dr Gupta hopes to recruit 80 stroke patients who are living
with spasticity over the next three years to participate in his trial, funded
by The Hospital Research Foundation thanks to your support of the Hospital
Research Home Lottery.
“If Botox injections can help improve the function and
balance for those who’ve suffered a stroke and have been told they can no
longer drive or walk unassisted, then it will lift their spirits knowing their
condition can be improved,” Dr Gupta said.