Conference Coverage

Many oromandibular dystonia patients report improvement after botulinum toxin injections


AT ANA 2018

– A majority of oromandibular dystonia patients treated with botulinum toxin injections reported improvement in symptoms in the largest cohort of patients to date.

Dr. Laura Scorr, a neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Emory University, Atlanta, Doug Brunk/MDedge News

Dr. Laura Scorr

Improvements in the range of 50%-100% occurred in 78% of oromandibular dystonia (OMD) patients who received botulinum toxin injections in the retrospective, multicenter analysis, which was presented by Laura Scorr, MD, at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

In an effort to better describe the clinical characteristics of patients with OMD, Dr. Scorr, a movement disorders specialist at Emory University, Atlanta, and her colleagues analyzed data collected from 164 OMD patients enrolled at 26 international sites in the Dystonia Coalition and 37 additional patients who were evaluated at the Emory University within the last year. Subjects enrolled at Dystonia Coalition centers underwent evaluation by a movement disorders specialist to determine distribution of dystonia, areas affected, and severity as measured by the Global Dystonia Rating Scale. A subgroup of patients also completed the SF 36-item Health Survey, the Beck Depression Scale, and the Liebowitz social anxiety scale. Meanwhile, the charts of patients seen at Emory underwent review for data on clinical characteristics, treatment type, botulinum toxin doses, and response.

Among all 201 patients, the average age of onset was 54 years and 65% were female. About 45% were determined to have focal dystonia, 36% had segmental dystonia, and 19% had generalized dystonia. Among a cohort of 47 patients evaluated in the Dystonia Coalition biorepository, the researchers observed significantly increased social anxiety and impaired quality of life on the Liebowitz social anxiety scale and the SF-36 Health Survey.

Of the 37 Emory patients, 31 (84%) received botulinum toxin injections. Of these, 39% reported symptom improvement that ranged from 75%-100% while 39% reported symptom improvement that ranged from 50%-74%. Only 13% had a minimal response, defined as improvement that ranged from 1%-24%.

“Oromandibular dystonia is particularly disabling,” Dr. Scorr said. “There have been a few reports in the literature that say it does not respond to botulinum toxin injections. But in our retrospective review, the majority of patients not only have a response, but a response that’s greater than 50% improvement, which is significant.” She acknowledged that the study’s retrospective design is a limitation. “I think we need more prospective studies, specifically on response to treatment with botulinum toxin,” she said.

The study was funded in part by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. Dr. Scorr reported having no financial disclosures.

SOURCE: Scorr L et al. Ann Neurol. 2018;84[S22]:S90, Abstract S216.

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