Not long ago, the idea that the bacteria that causes a rare disease known as botulism could be useful would have sounded like science fiction. But Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, is indeed useful in medicine. Here are five things this bacterium is useful for:
This early use of Botox didn't fill wrinkles so much as it helped to prevent them. The botulism toxin is a neuromuscular blocker, which means any muscles it is injected into becomes paralyzed. Many women get frown lines between their eyes. They aren't necessarily frowning, they may just be concentrating on something, but over the years, this can create two vertical lines between the brows. A Botox injection will smooth these wrinkles out and paralyze the muscle to provide short-term prevention for a few months.
The first use of Botox wasn't actually for cosmetic purposes. Instead, it was for people who have a lazy eye, becoming cross-eyed since the muscles don't hold it in place as it should. When Botox is injected into the muscles that control eye movement, the muscles become paralyzed and reduce the cross-eyed appearance.
Many people are left with chronic pain from both injuries and disease. Pain that involves the nerves and muscles, such as those with some spinal cord injuries, can make every move excruciating. Severe nerve damage can cause pain without any movement. By using Botox in the little muscles around the spine and in the neck, the pain can be blocked from the brain recognizing it as pain.
One of the unfortunate side effects of Parkinson's Disease is patients have a difficult time swallowing. Swallowing is important not only when eating and drinking; it's important to be able to swallow the saliva the mouth produces. This inability can cause drooling out the side of the mouth in sufferers. By injecting Botox into the salivary glands, the glands gradually begin producing as much saliva, which enables those with Parkinson's Disease to not deal with the embarrassing and uncontrollable drooling that unfortunately comes as the disease progresses.
Chronic migraine sufferers often have several migraines per month. This can be extremely debilitating, interfering with every aspect of their life, from holding down a job to caring for their families. Some people's migraines are so severe, anxiety and depression result. Botox injections administered into the neck and head every three months have shown promise in reducing the frequency and the severity of the attacks.
Contact a medical office near for more information on Botox treatments.