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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can Botox cause Alzheimer's disease?

Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3706 Questions

Posted on Mon, 13 Feb 2017 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hello, My husband is 57 and developed cervical dystonia/spasmodic torticollis 6 years ago. It got progressively worse and he was forced to retire 3 years ago XXXXXXX 31st. He has been taking botox injections in his neck to help with the movement but it only serves to paralyze the muscles so he can turn his head towards a normal position - it does nothing for the pain which is constant. Muscle relaxers and pain medications do not work on him - he's tried everything. I've noticed over the past year that his short term memory is getting bad. Example: today he ate breakfast, lunch around 1130, another lunch at 130 (which was more like a dinner), a sandwich at 4 and another one again at 6 but still complained that he was hungry and didn't remember eating earlier. Not more than an hour ago he woke up complaining he felt sick and dizzy. This is only one symptom of changes I have been noticing but it is starting to worry me this may lead to Alzheimer's or Dementia. Can too much botox do this? He gets the injections every three months; last year the doctor got approval from the Medical Board to give him injections every 2 months, but now Blue Cross/Medical Community has stated it is firm at the 3 month interval and no sooner or they won't approve it. What can be contributing to this memory loss? He is also very depressed and has taken to drinking (he has not had a drink in 5 days now so I know today's issues were not from the vodka). He says drinking is the only thing that helps with the pain now. Help - he's getting worse before my eyes and I don't know how to help him.
Please contact me at YYYY@YYYY . He sits in his chair and stares out the window all day with a heating pad on his neck; he also has tremors, he repeatedly moves his left hand back and forth on the arm of the chair (for hours), his legs and arms are very weak, and he is very unsteady on his feet. He has been going to therapy twice a week getting myofascial massage and stretching exercises for his neck and his range of motion has improved, but once he gets home he complains about the increase in pain from the stretching and feels terrible for the next day. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Botox should be stopped, consider surgery.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HCM.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

There is still no scientific prof that Botox injections may cause Alzheimer's, but studies have shown that the toxin may penetrate the nervous system and there are doubts that Botox may be linked with Alzheimer's.

In my opinion, Botox isn't working well and uncertainties exist about dementia, so, other possible treatment options should be evaluated.

Since drug treatment and physical therapies options are exhausted, surgery is an option.

Deep brain stimulation and denervation (cutting the nerves) of the affected muscles are surgical options to treat cervical dystonia/torticollis.

Discuss with a Neurosurgeon about surgical treatment.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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