For many people, Botox could do wonders.
The toxin could erase wrinkles, ease painful migraines and even help kids with a debilitating brain disorder learn to walk normally.
Dylan, 8, loves to play sports like any other boy his age. However, Dylan is not like any other boy.
Two months ago, he could not run after a football.
He walks up on his toes a lot and we have even done surgery to help not walk up on his toes, said Dylans mom, Kathi Vaughn.
Dylan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that permanently affects body and muscle movement.
Rady Childrens Hospital orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hank Chambers said, These kids are just walking on reflexes.
Because cerebral palsy causes stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes, Dylan does not walk normally.
Chambers said, We can inject botox into those muscles and they can get better.
Chambers is leading experts in using botox to help kids with cerebral palsy regain control over spastic muscles.
"It turns out when you put this botox in the muscle it partially paralyzes the muscle and so that makes the spasticity less," said Chambers.
Chambers injected botox into Dylans leg muscles. The toxin interrupts the communication between the nerves and the spinal cord, which lets muscles relax.
Four days after the injection, Dylan should be able to walk better and the effects could last up to four months.
It has really revolutionized the way we take care of children with cerebral palsy, said Chambers.
Partially paralyzing the stronger muscles with botox gives children an opportunity to stretch and strengthen the weak muscles, according to Chambers. Injections and physical therapy will help children like Dylan achieve better muscle strength and balance.
Vaughn said, He's able to get his feet on the ground, for the first time he is able to left his toes and walk on his heels; he's never been able to do that before.
Dylan could run just like other kids now when he plays soccer, baseball and while scrimmaging with his dad.
"I just notice him being a happier kid now, he's participating more in sports, he's taking more of an interest because he's better at it now, said Dylans dad, Tom Vaughn.
Not only does botox give kids like Dylan a better quality of life, it also could reduce the need for additional muscle-lengthening surgeries, said Chambers.
"They have one less hospitalization, one less cost of surgery, one less trauma in their life, said Chambers.
Dylans family is amazed that one of the most toxic substances on Earth is helping their son reach for the stars and more.
Chambers said not every patient with cerebral palsy will benefit from botox injections. The dose is adjusted by the childs body size, according to Chambers.
Botox could also help adult stroke patients by relaxing muscles, Chambers said.
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