Botox Can Correct the Effects of Bell's Palsy

Botox injections may alleviate Bell's Palsy. Bell's Palsy is a condition of weakening or paralysis of facial muscles. The condition is caused by trauma to the cranial nerve and sometimes is associated with pregnancy or a viral infection like Herpes simplex. The condition is usually not permanent. Although more prevalent in elderly people, it can strike anyone at any age and affects 40,000 Americans every year.

Scientists at Melbourne's Brain Research Institute have discovered that certain areas of the brain may reorganize themselves after injections with botox, including damaged areas responsible for facial movements. Researchers studied 20 subjects suffering from Bell's Palsy before, immediately after, and up to six months following botox injections and facial exercises.

Researchers found a reduction in facial drooping and an improvement in control functions with these injections. These changes were associated with a shift in brain activity in the affected motor cortex. In some, the brain reorganized itself to adapt to controlling facial function.

 Botox is normally used as a cosmetic injection of botulism toxin that reduces frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet, and thick bands in the neck. The toxin blocks nerve impulses to temporarily paralyze muscles which gives the skin an artificial smooth appearance. Other studies have found that Botox is effective in relieving migraine headaches, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms in the neck and eyes.


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