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Analgesic Effects of Botulinum Toxin in Children with CP

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Sandahl Michelsen, J.; Normann, G.; Wong, C.

Experiencing pain is the greatest contributor to a reduced quality of life in children with cerebral palsy (CP). The presence of pain is quite common (~60%) and increases with age. This leads to missed school days, less participation, and reduced ambulation. Despite these alarming consequences, strategies to relieve the pain are absent and poorly studied. Moreover, it is difficult to evaluate pain in this group of children, especially in cases of children with cognitive deficits, and tools for pain evaluation are often inadequate. Botulinum toxin has been shown to alleviate pain in a variety of disorders and could potentially have an analgesic effect in children with CP as well. Even though most of the studies presented here show promising results, many also have limitations in their methodology as it is unlikely to capture all dimensions of pain in this heterogeneous group using only one assessment tool. In this review, we present a new way of examining the analgesic effect of botulinum toxin in children with CP using a variety of pain scores.

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