It is commonly known that Botox helps to smooth out wrinkles. However, Botox is also a potential for soothing the pain of cancer, arthritis, and migraines. All of this can be seen without side effects.
Botulinum is the main ingredient in Botox injections. Generally, it is used to prevent wrinkles by disabling messages sent by nerve cells to contract with muscles. This process generally forms wrinkles. However, this process can also be the one used to stop pain signals for months at a time. Botulinum and tetanospasmin, combined, carry the pain reliever to the spinal cord to stop pain signals from being sent to the brain. Tetanospasmin is generally found in the Tetanus bug.
Who it can help:
The fears that it will paralyze the area being treated have prevented it from being widely used for pain relief. To avoid this, Sheffield University Researcher Professor Bazbek Davletov took the pain-relieving part of Botox and ‘stapled’ it to a friendly part of a similar poison produced by the tetanus bug. Painkillers are only a temporary solution to long-term pain. An injection of this new molecule at the site of pain could potentially relieve pain for many months.
People who suffer from chronic migraines are likely to be among the first to benefit from this procedure. Sufferers of chronic back pain and women who have given birth by C-section could also benefit from the new procedure. With one injection, pain can stop for months on end. This is extremely helpful and it removes the need for patients to take several daily doses of painkillers, that only remove pain temporarily. Botox could be injected into any part of the body and is well on the way to revolutionize pain treatment. Cancer patients would also be high on the list as the side-effects of powerful painkillers such as morphine can be unbearable. Professor Davletov, who reports his research in the journal Bioconjugate Chemistry, hopes the drug will cost around £1,000 a year, making it cheap enough for use on the NHS.
A public which is willing to have injections for cosmetic purposes would likely be okay with this type of treatment. Receiving medicine from an injection isn’t a new concept. Normal Botox can already be used as a treatment for crippling headaches, but fears that it will paralyze the face mean that many sufferers miss out. Now, pain management can be revolutionized! Botox is generally seen as something celebrities get, but now it can do so much more in terms of pain management.
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