New insights about Botulinum toxin A

Dec 02, 2010

A new study by researchers at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, is raising questions about the therapeutic use of botulinum toxin A.

The study found that animals injected with Clostridium Botulinum type A neurotoxin complex (BOTOX, Allergan, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada) experienced muscle weakness in muscles throughout the body, even though they were far removed from the injection site. The study also found that repeated injection induced and loss of contractile tissue in the limb that was not injected with the Toxin.

"We were surprised by the degree of and atrophy in the limb that was not injected with the Botulinum toxin," says Rafael Fortuna the lead author of the paper will soon be published in The Journal of Biomechanics, "I think it's fair to say that the paper raises some important questions about the long-term therapeutic use of Botox, especially with children and adolescents."

The study used dosages that approximated therapeutic doses used to treat conditions like cerebral palsy where muscle contraction can't be controlled resulting in muscle dystonia and spasticity. The study follows previous research in Dr. Walter Herzog's lab, which found that Botulinum toxin A, easily crosses the muscle membrane barrier, resulting in muscles weakness in the surrounding (non-injected) muscles.

This study shows, for the first time, that over time Botulinum toxin A use also results in , atrophy and loss of contractile tissue in non-injected muscles far-removed from the injection site."It may be that the benefits of using Botox for these kinds of therapeutic, medical uses, outweighs these potential long-term consequences," says Dr. Herzog, "however I think this study raises some important issues that need to be followed to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients, in the long term."

A is also used as a cosmetic treatment, where the drug paralyzes small muscles in the face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Herzog notes that while this study was looking at larger doses, the results should be valid for any application of the drug.

Explore further: First vital step in fertilization between sperm and egg discovered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New research examines commonly used toxin

Feb 26, 2008

New Research at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Kinesiology suggests that Botulinium type-A toxin (BTX-A) passes easily to surrounding muscles and is more difficult to control once injected than many people suspect. ...

Botulinum injection provides relief of tennis elbow

Apr 26, 2010

An injection of botulinum toxin can provide relief for "tennis elbow" but needs to be injected properly to avoid potential paralysis, states a research article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Dysport the newest wrinkle-stopping drug to hit market

May 13, 2009

There's a new wrinkle remover on the market. Late last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sanctioned Dysport for cosmetic and therapeutic use. Like Botox, it's an injectable drug derived from a botulinum toxin. ...

Botox eases nerve pain in certain patients

Jun 10, 2010

Made popular for its ability to smooth wrinkles when injected into the face, Botox — a toxin known to weaken or paralyze certain nerves and muscles — may have another use that goes beyond the cosmetic.

Recommended for you

Researchers transplant regenerated oesophagus

Apr 15, 2014

Tissue engineering has been used to construct natural oesophagi, which in combination with bone marrow stem cells have been safely and effectively transplanted in rats. The study, published in Nature Communications, shows ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

HIV+ women respond well to HPV vaccine

HIV-positive women respond well to a vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV), even when their immune system is struggling, according to newly published results of an international clinical trial. The study's findings ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...

Revealing camouflaged bacteria

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so cal ...