Cervical dystonia is a neurological movement disorder causing abnormal posture of the head. It may be accompanied by involuntary movements which are sometimes tremulous. The condition has marked effects on patients' self-image, and adversely affects quality of life, social relationships and employment. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the treatment of choice for CD and its efficacy and safety have been extensively studied in clinical trials. However, current guidelines do not provide enough practical information for physicians who wish to use this valuable treatment in a real-life setting. In addition, patients and physicians may have different perceptions of what successful treatment outcomes should be. Consequently, an international group of expert neurologists, experienced in BoNT treatment, met to review the literature and pool their extensive clinical experience to give practical guidance about treatment of CD with BoNT. Eight topic headings were considered: the place of BoNT within CD treatment options; patient perspectives and desires for treatment; assessment and goal setting; starting treatment with BoNT-A; follow-up sessions; management of side effects; management of non-response; switching between different BoNT products. One rapporteur took responsibility for summarising the current literature for each topic, while the consensus statements were developed by the entire expert group. These statements are presented here along with a discussion of the background information.
Keywords: Botulinum toxin type A; Botulinum toxins; Consensus development conference; Decision making; Dystonia; Torticollis.