Does botulinum toxin affect psycho-social aspects in dystonia?

Angelica Marfoli, Francesca Mameli, Edoardo Nicolò Aiello, Fabiana Ruggiero, Angelica De Sandi, Denise Mellace, Beatrice Curti, Roberto Vimercati, Barbara Poletti, Nicola Ticozzi, Daniela Pia Rosaria Chieffo, Gabriella Santangelo, Sergio Barbieri, Alberto Priori, Roberta Ferrucci

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Dystonia is a movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions give rise to abnormal postures or involuntary movements. It is a disabling and disfiguring disorder that affects activities of daily living and gives people a bizarre appearance often associated with psychological morbidity, embarrassment and social avoidance. Intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin (BoNT) is the most effective treatment for motor symptoms in focal dystonia, but little is known about its impact on the psycho-social dimension. The main aim of this study was to evaluate psycho-social changes in patients with focal dystonia after starting BoNT treatment using self-reported scales. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Body Uneasiness Test (BUT), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) assessing body self-image, satisfaction with physical aspects, social avoidance, self-reported depression, and self-distress were completed by 11 patients with dystonia and 9 patients with hyperhidrosis as a control group before BoNT (T0). VAS was then performed after four weeks (T1) to assess whether BoNT induced changes in the psychosocial dimension. Our results showed that only depressive symptoms and rumination about body defects improved in patients with dystonia after BoNT treatment, while improvement in self-distress and satisfaction with physical aspects was also found in hyperhidrosis. Individuals with hyperhidrosis experience poorer psychological well-being and suffer from higher levels of distress compared to dystonic patients. This suggests that individuals with this disabling condition are more vulnerable to social impact than dystonic patients.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-8
Numero di pagine8
RivistaJournal of Neural Transmission
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2024


  • Body image
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Depression
  • Focal dystonia
  • Psycho-social correlates


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