The anti-wrinkle treatment Botox can spread from the face to the brain, researchers have claimed. Botox – based on a natural poison – is used by millions of women every year in the quest for smoother skin. But scientists who injected rats with the toxin said they observed traces of it in the rodents’ brain stems three days later.
Tiny amounts of the drug are used for beauty treatments, but it is made from botulinum toxin – one of the world’s deadliest natural poisons.
In the latest study, 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. And the toxin was still present six months later. “The idea that there could be some transmission of this to the central nervous system needs to be followed up,” said Matthew Avram, director of Massachusetts General Hospital¿s Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetology Centre.
Botox injections work by weakening or paralysing muscles or blocking nerves to smooth out the skin. The effects last about three to four months, but can cause side-effects such as headaches, an upset stomach or flu-like symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is already investigating whether patients contracted botulism from Botox and competitor Myobloc. The government inquiry was launched following reports of deaths and breathing difficulties associated with the drugs.
– by David Gardner, Daily Mail