BOTOX: Poison or Medicine

BOTOX: Poison or Medicine

Botox is considered as the deadliest poison of the world. According to facts, only 4 grams of it can kill entire population on earth. But do you think that a poison can be this much deadly? Well its not the complete truth about Botox. Lets me tell you what Botox really is…

Botox or Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxic protein (Toxins that are poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue causing neurotoxicity) produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon (long, slender projection of a nerve cell) ending at the neuromuscular junction and causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism. The toxin is also used commercially in medicine, cosmetics & research.

At one end of an elongated structure is a branching mass. At the centre of this mass is the nucleus and the branches are dendrites. A thick axon trails away from the mass, ending with further branching which are labeled as axon terminals. Along the axon are a number of protuberances labeled as myelin sheaths.

Botulinum is the most acutely lethal toxin known, with an estimated human median lethal dose (LD50) of 1.3- 2.1 ng/kg intravenously or intramuscularly and 10–13 ng/kg when inhaled.

There are eight types of botulinum toxin, named type A–H. Type A and B are capable of causing disease in humans and are also used commercially and medically. Types C–G are less common; types E and F can cause disease in humans, while the other types cause disease in other animals. Type H is considered the deadliest substance in the world – an injection of only 2-billionths of a gram can cause death to an adult. Type H is the one which can kill the whole population of the world with just 4 gram of it.

Botulinum toxin types A and B are used in medicine to treat various muscle spasms and diseases characterized by overactive muscle. The commercial form is marketed under the brand name Botox, among others. Botox is made by Allergan (Multi-national pharmaceutical).

Medical uses

Botulinum toxin is used to treat a number of disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement, including post-stroke spasticity, post-spinal cord injury spasticity, spasms of the head and neck, eyelid, vagina, limbs, jaw, and vocal cords. Similarly, botulinum toxin is used to relax clenching of muscles, including those of the esophagus, jaw, lower urinary tract, and bladder, or clenching of the anus which can exacerbate anal fissure. It may also be used for improper eye alignment. Botulinum toxin appears to be effective for refractory overactive bladder.

Cosmetics

In cosmetic applications, botulinum toxin is considered safe and effective for reduction of facial wrinkles, especially in the uppermost third of the face. Injection of botulinum toxin into the muscles under facial wrinkles causes relaxation of those muscles, resulting in the smoothing of the overlying skin. Smoothing of wrinkles is usually visible three days after treatment and is maximally visible two weeks following injection. The treated muscles gradually regain function and generally return to their former appearance three to four months after treatment.

Side effects

While botulinum toxin is generally considered safe in a clinical setting, there can be serious side effects from its use. Most commonly, botulinum toxin can be injected into the wrong muscle group or spread from the injection site, causing paralysis of unintended muscles.

Side effects from cosmetic use generally result from unintended paralysis of facial muscles. These include partial facial paralysis, muscle weakness, and trouble swallowing. Side effects are not limited to direct paralysis, however, and can also include headaches, flu-like syndromes, and allergic reactions. Just as cosmetic treatments only last a number of months, paralysis side-effects can have the same durations. At least in some cases, these effects are reported to dissipate in the weeks after treatment.

Role in disease

Botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum is the cause of botulism. Humans most commonly ingest the toxin from eating improperly-canned foods in which C. botulinum has grown. However, the toxin can also be introduced through an infected wound. In infants, the bacteria can sometimes grow in the intestines and produce botulinum toxin within the intestine and can cause a condition known as the floppy baby syndrome. In all cases, the toxin can then spread, blocking nerves and muscle function. In severe cases, the toxin can block nerves controlling the respiratory system or heart, resulting in death. Botulism can be difficult to diagnose, as it may appear similar to diseases such as Guillain–Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis, and stroke.

Botulinum antitoxin is available and may be used to prevent the worsening of symptoms, though it will not reverse existing nerve damage. In severe cases, mechanical respiration may be used to support patients suffering from respiratory failure. The nerve damage heals over time, generally over weeks to months. With proper treatment, the case fatality rate for botulinum poisoning can be greatly reduced.

Mechanism of action[edit]

Target molecules of botulinum neurotoxin (abbreviated BoNT) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT), toxins acting inside the axon terminal

Botulinum toxin exerts its effect by cleaving key proteins required for nerve activation. First, the toxin binds specifically to nerves which use the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Once bound to the nerve terminal, the neuron takes up the toxin into a vesicle. As the vesicle moves further into the cell, it acidifies, activating a portion of the toxin which triggers it to push across the vesicle membrane and into the cell cytoplasm. Once inside the cytoplasm, the toxin cleaves SNARE proteins preventing the cell from releasing vesicles of neurotransmitter. This stops nerve signaling, leading to paralysis.

Overview

So Botox is medicine also and the deadliest poison also. A pinpoint mistake in dose can cause death or paralyze your whole body. It is used to cure various diseases also and is used in cosmetics also as its paralyze the muscle that helps to remove wrinkles from face & give a younger look.

And Botulinum-H toxin is that poison about which we read facts that its only 4 gram is sufficient to kill the entire population of earth.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: