The effects of botulinum toxin injections on spasticity and motor performance in chronic stroke with spastic hemiplegia

Yen Ting Chen, Chuan Zhang, Yang Liu, Elaine Magat, Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, Gerard E. Francisco, Ping Zhou, Yingchun Zhang, Sheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Spastic muscles are weak muscles. It is known that muscle weakness is linked to poor motor performance. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injections are considered as the first-line treatment for focal spasticity. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively investigate the effects of BoNT injections on force control of spastic biceps brachii muscles in stroke survivors. Ten stroke survivors with spastic hemiplegia (51.7 ± 11.5 yrs; 5 men) who received 100 units of incobotulinumtoxinA or onabotulinumtoxinA to the biceps brachii muscles participated in this study. Spasticity assessment (Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) and reflex torque) and muscle strength of elbow flexors, as well as motor performance assessment (force variability of submaximal elbow flexion) were performed within one week before (pre-injection) and 3~4 weeks (3-wk) after BoNT injections. As expected, BoNT injections reduced the MAS score and reflex torque, and elbow flexor strength on the spastic paretic side. However, motor performance remained within similar level before and after injections. There was no change in muscle strength or motor performance on the contralateral arm after BoNT injections. The results of this study provide evidence that BoNT injections can reduce spasticity and muscle strength, while motor performance of the weakened spastic muscle remains unchanged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number492
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Botulinum toxin
  • Force variability
  • Motor control
  • Motor performance
  • Spasticity
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of botulinum toxin injections on spasticity and motor performance in chronic stroke with spastic hemiplegia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this