April 11, 2008

Botox may travel to the brain

botox for laugh linesThere is some scary news for those who turn to Botox as a quick fix to get rid of their forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet. Botox, as we know, is one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances in the world. It is derived from a toxin produced by the bacteria which causes botulism, a lethal food poisoning. Though it is highly toxic, when injected in minute doses, it freezes twoman injected with botox on her foreheadhe muscles to stop them from contracting, thereby smoothing out the wrinkles. The injections take around 20 minutes and feel like little insect bites with tiny yellow bruises afterwards and one must not lie down for three to four hours afterwards. However, one treatment will keep a forehead line-free for 3-4 months but can cause side-effects such as headaches, an upset stomach or flu-like symptoms. Even women in their late twenties are getting hooked.

In a latest study, Italian scientists injected the whisker muscles of rats with the toxin. Within three days, they discovered traces of potentially deadly botulism in the rodents' brain stems. The study’s author also said that the toxin also moved from one hippocampus, which controls long-term memory, navigation and eye-head coordination , to the hippocampus on the other side of the rat's brain. Although rats and humans have a different physiology and their responses may vary, scientists are of the opinion that the results should lead to more research.


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