Dr. John Hardin is chief science officer at the Arthritis Foundation, and a professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. He agreed that more study of botulinum for arthritis pain was needed but was optimistic. "It appears very promising, that this is useful in achieving pain relief," he said.
Hardin added a caveat, however: "It probably needs to be made clear this is not thought of as an intervention that stops the progression of the disease." And he warned those who might get the treatment that just because the pain was reduced didn't mean the disease had gone away.
"It's still in the experimental stage," Hardin said.
Besides easing facial wrinkles, Botox is also used to treat bladder problems, migraine headaches and excess sweating, among other conditions.
The new study was funded by the North Central chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. In the past, Singh has received travel funds for other research projects from Allergen Pharmaceuticals, which makes Botox, he said.
For more about arthritis treatments, visit the Arthritis Foundation.
SOURCES: Jasvinder A. Singh, M.B.B.S., M.P.H, staff physician, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, and assistant professor of medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, visiting scientist and K-12 scholar, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine; John Hardin, M.D., chief science officer, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, and professor of medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Nov. 9, 2007, presentation, American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, Boston
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