The first Botulinum toxin street in the Netherlands!

On November 20th, the UMCG's Movement Disorders Expertise Center will open the first Botulinum toxin street in the Netherlands. The aim of this street is to make the care of dystonia patients referred to the UMCG a lot more efficient and patient-friendly.

Patients with focal dystonia, such as a twisting neck (torticollis) or dystonia of the eyes (blepharospasm), are often treated with botulinum toxin injections. These injections reduce the altered position of the neck in torticollis or pinching of the eyes in blepharospasm, because botulinum temporarily paralyzes the muscles partially, reducing the disruptive movements.

Previously, patients from the Netherlands and abroad who were referred to the UMCG had to travel to Groningen several times. The first time to make or confirm the diagnosis at the outpatient clinic of Professor de Koning-Tijssen, the second time for a polymyographic examination to determine which muscles are overactive and the third time to be treated with botulinum.

There must be a better way they thought in the UMCG and that is why a Botulinum toxin street was developed. Now, patients receive the various appointments and examinations on one morning, which are immediately assessed by the neurologist. A treatment plan is also drawn up together with patients the same morning and, if necessary, patients are also treated immediately with botulinum toxin.

‘This of course saves a lot of valuable travel time for dystonia patients,’ says Tjerk Lagrand, neurologist in training and one of the initiators of the Botulinum toxin street. ‘In the past, patients from far away had to visit different dystonia therapists at the outpatient clinic up to three times before treatment was initiated, it could be that the appointment itself took only 15 minutes.’ ‘We met with our dystonia team consisting of neurologists, KNF lab technicians, clinical neurophysiologists and secretarial staff and came up with this Botulinum toxin street, so that we arrive at a treatment plan together more quickly, which only enhances the care for this patient group.’

The dystonia team of the national and European (ERN-RND) Expertise Center for Movement Disorders of the UMCG is ready to receive the first patients in Botulinum toxin street and to optimize care for this patient group.

The development of the botulinum toxin street is financially supported by an unrestricted fund from Merz