Botox injections, combined with occupational therapy, is being used to help 6-year-old Dakota Dileo’s cerebral palsy condition. Doctors at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Australia, said research into Botox and occupational therapy at their pediatric rehabilitation center had shown dramatic results, especially in Dileo, who has become more independent as a result, and is now active in jazz ballet.

As a premature newborn, Dileo was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Since her diagnosis, her right arm and leg have been affected, making it hard for her to walk and run easily and perform fine motor skills. But in the past four years, she has responded well to Botox injections with special exercises led by occupational therapist, Brian Hoare, to keep her right arm and hand developing.

The injections block a chemical message from the brain to the muscles, making them more floppy, allowing her to engage in playful activities that encourage the use of arms and hands such as pushing and pulling things apart, according to the research.

”It can cause a downward spiral where the muscles are used less and less,” Hoare said of cerebral palsy. ”If you immobilize a muscle for long enough it becomes stiff and the muscle properties become less elastic and then eventually the bones grow and the muscles stay short and then can’t straighten them out.”

[Source: The Sydney Morning Herald]