Since its initial approval in 1989 by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of blepharospasm and other facial spasms, botulinum toxin (BoNT) has evolved into a therapeutic modality for a variety of neurological and non-neurological disorders. With respect to neurologic movement disorders, BoNT has been reported to be effective for the treatment of dystonia, bruxism, tremors, tics, myoclonus, restless legs syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, and a variety of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. More recently, research with BoNT has expanded beyond its use as a powerful muscle relaxant and a peripherally active drug to its potential central nervous system applications in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Although BoNT is the most potent biologic toxin, when it is administered by knowledgeable and experienced clinicians, it is one of the safest therapeutic agents in clinical use. The primary aim of this article is to provide an update on recent advances in BoNT research with a focus on novel applications in the treatment of movement disorders. This comprehensive review of the literature provides a critical review of evidence-based clinical trials and highlights recent innovative pilot studies.
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