The research of Andrea J. Boon, M.D., focuses on the use of ultrasound to enhance the electrodiagnostic evaluation and noninvasive diagnosis of neuromuscular disease.
In addition, she has an interest in the use of botulinum toxin — given its potential pain-relieving effect — for the management of painful musculoskeletal conditions.
- Role of botulinum toxin in pain management, such as for osteoarthritis, lateral epicondylitis and myofascial pain
- Complementary use of diagnostic ultrasound as a component of electrophysiologic testing, including the development of ultrasound-guided nerve conduction study techniques
- Relative risk of bleeding associated with needle electromyography (EMG) in patients taking blood thinners
- Electrophysiologic findings in critical illness myopathy
- Sensitivity and specificity of automated nerve conduction testing devices
Significance to patient care
If ultrasound can be used to reliably diagnose and follow nerve and muscle disorders — such as myopathy, motor neuron disease, peripheral neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome — it has the potential to provide a relatively cost-effective, simple and painless way of screening patients (especially children) for those diseases and could be used as a tool for evaluating the efficacy of various treatments for such disorders.
If botulinum toxin is found to be clinically effective in painful osteoarthritis, it could be a widely used second-line treatment in patients with arthritis who have failed cortisone injection and do not wish to — or cannot — undergo joint replacement surgery.