Medical Expert - Allison Brashear, MD

Area of Expertise: Neurology
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Allison Brashear, MD

Chair and Professor, Neurology

Dr. Brashear is head of the spasticity clinic at Wake Forest Baptist and is a nationally known expert in the treatment of spasticity and other movement disorders, neuromuscular diseases, and Botulinum toxin. Brashear and colleagues conducted clinical trials showing Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) to be an effective treatment for the condition. It was the largest study to date to evaluate treatment with Botox for post-stroke spasticity, finding that one-time injections of Botox are safe and effective in people with wrist and finger spasticity after a stroke. Her research findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. A follow-up study published in the journal Neurology in 2004 demonstrated repeated benefits of the injections in patients with post-stroke spasticity. Her research contributed to the FDA’s 2010 approval of Botox to treat upper limb spasticity (excessive muscle tightness) following a stroke.

Brashear is the chair of the American Academy of Neurology/Movement Disorder Society Spasticity/Dystonia Advisory Board and directs courses at national workshops designed to teach the technique of botulinum toxin treatment. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on topics including the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of dystonia and spasticity. Her 2002 publication, “Intramuscular Injection of Botulinum Toxin for the Treatment of Wrist and Finger Spasticity After a Stroke” in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated functional improvement in patients treated with botulinum toxin for post-stroke spasticity.

Brashear is the lead author on two pivotal papers on the use of botulinum toxin type B in cervical dystonia and spasticity and is the principal clinician to describe a unique genetic form of dystonia-parkinsonism, Rapid-Onset Dystonia-Parkinsonism (RDP). The gene responsible for RDP, mutations in the Na/K ATPase a3 subunit, was reported in Neuron in July 2004. Dr. Brashear’s work has appeared in such journals as Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Movement Disorders, Muscle and Nerve and others. Brashear is a frequent reviewer for these and other journals. She is listed in Best Doctors in America.

She has authored "Spasticity: Diagnosis and Management."

Keywords

neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, botulinum toxin, botox, spasticity, post-stroke spasticity, dystonia, dystonia-parkinsonism, Rapid-Onset Dystonia-Parkinsonism

IN THE NEWS

Hundreds Attend Upper Limb Spasticity Event

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Sept. 16, 2011 – More than 200 people from across the region attended an inspiring community event on Upper Limb Spasticity (ULS), hosted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Research Suggests Shared Genetic Link in Psychiatric and Movement Disorders

Fewer than 100 people in the world are known to be affected by a movement disorder called rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP), but its symptoms are life-changing. Seemingly normal young people are suddenly and dramatically unable to control movement of their arms or legs and have trouble speaking or swallowing.  A normal life is nearly impossible.

RDP is caused by a genetic mutation (ATP1A3) that often runs in families. Now Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers believe that same the genetic predisposition might also be associated with psychiatric problems, such as anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse/dependence.

 

Wake Forest Baptist January Awards, Recognitions and Announcements
Wake Forest Baptist Announces their January Awards, Recognitions and Announcements
Wake Forest Baptist June Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist releases their June Awards and Recognitions.
Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist March Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist October Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist October Awards and Recognitions
Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Program Certified as Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s stroke program is among an elite group of 33 hospitals across the nation to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

Related Experts

Cheryl D. Bushnell, MD, MHS
Director of the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center
Education Associate Professor, Neurology
Area of Expertise: Neurology

Dr. Bushnell is an expert on stroke and stroke prevention and has done groundbreaking research that looked at women who experience migraines during pregnancy. She is also researching sex differences in subclinical vascular disease in midlife, with a special emphasis on differences


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