What is botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a protein. It can stop some of the chemical messages that are sent from the nerves. These messages tell the muscles to contract in spasms (to tighten up). Botulinum toxin is used to stop muscle spasms because it blocks these messages. Botox ® and Myobloc® are two different brands of botulinum toxin. Both brands of botulinum toxin work in the same manner and all of the information provided here will apply to both of them.
Return to MAIN Menu Botulinum is a bacterial toxin produced by a bacteria (Clostridium botulinum), that causes the most severe form of food poisoning. The disease is called Botulism, the potentially deadly food poisoning characterized by muscle paralysis. In a normal muscle, the place where a nerve ends to give the command to the muscle is called the muscle end plate. There is a gap between the nerve ending and the muscle surface. From the stimulated nerve, a chemical called Acetyl choline is released that bridges the gap and stimulates the muscle to cause it to contract. Botulinum is a toxin that destroys the muscle end-plates capability to respond to the chemical secreted from the nerve ending. It takes 2 to 4 months for the nerve to regenerate a new muscle end plate. Till that time, the affected muscle remains paralyzed. However, small doses of Botulinum toxin injections can have a paradoxical benefit for some stroke survivors and patients with spasticity due to CP. The toxin can re
Botulinum toxin is one of the most lethal toxic substances on Earth, but ironically has a dual-use as a drug for migraines and neuromuscular disorders. Its LD50 (the dose at which half of those exposed can be predicted to die) is about a nanogram per kilogram of body mass, making the typical lethal dose for adults in the 50-100 nanogram range. For comparison, the mass of an average human cell is one nanogram. Therapeutic doses of botulinum are significantly below even this tiny mass. When used commercially, botulinum toxin goes by the brand names Botox® and Dysport®. The botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be found in soil around the planet and is cultured easily. The main reason why millions don’t day from exposure to it daily is because it degrades rapidly on contact with air. This is also why it is seen as an inferior agent for chemical warfare. However, if delivered robotically by insect-sized drones, it could be a superior chemical weapon.
Definition Botulinum toxin is the purified form of a poison created by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. These bacteria grow in improperly canned food and cause botulism poisoning. Minute amounts of the purified form can be injected into muscles to prevent them from contracting; it is used in this way to treat a wide variety of disorders and cosmetic conditions. Purpose Botulinum toxin was developed to treat strabismus (cross-eye or lazy eye), and was shortly thereafter discovered to be highly effective for many forms of dystonia. Spasticity can also be effectively treated with botulinum toxin. Injected into selected small muscles of the face, it can reduce wrinkling. Other conditions treated with botulinum toxin include: achalasia anismus back pain bruxism excess saliva production eyelid spasm headache hemifacial spasm hyperhidrosis migraine palatal myoclonus spastic bladder stuttering tics tremor uncontrollable eye blinking vaginismus It is important to note that as of early 2004,