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14 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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People with movement disorders may become immune to botox therapy

People with movement 
disorders may become 
immune to botox therapy

Some people who receive botulinum toxin injections for disorders that cause muscle tightness and contractions develop resistance to the treatment, researchers say. The new study included nearly 600 patients with dystonia or spasticity who had been receiving botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as "Botox") for about three to five years. The researchers found that about 15 per cent of the patients developed an immune response that made the treatment less effective or ineffective.

"People may be able to lessen their chances of developing this response by making sure the dose of the drug in each injection is as low as possible, the time between injections is not shortened and booster injections are avoided," study author Dr. Philipp Albrecht said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.  Albrecht is a member of the medical faculty at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The study findings were published online recently in the journal Neurology.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), spasticity is a condition in which certain muscles are continuously contracted, which can interfere with normal movement and speech. Spasticity is usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement.

Dystonia is a complex neurological disorder characterized by involuntary muscle contractions. As many as 250,000 people in the United States have dystonia, making it the third most common movement disorder after essential tremor and Parkinson's disease, the AANS says. Botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known to man. Scientists have estimated that a single gram could kill as many as 1 million people and a couple of kilograms could kill every human on earth. In high concentrations, botulinum toxin can result in botulism, a severe, life-threatening illness. Botulism, left untreated, may result in respiratory failure and death. Despite botulinum toxin being so toxic, Botox is in huge demand.

Despite this, botulinum toxin has proven to be a successful and valuable therapeutic protein.

Botulinum toxin can be injected into humans in extremely small concentrations and works by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles, therefore paralyzing them.

In order for muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten.

Injected botulinum toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, preventing contraction of the muscle cells. Botulinum toxin causes a reduction in abnormal muscle contraction, allowing the muscles to become less stiff.

Botox is most commonly used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Botulinum toxin is predominantly used as a treatment to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines.

Beyond aesthetic applications, Botox is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including eye squints, migraines, excess sweating, and leaky bladders.

Botulinum toxin is currently used to treat over 20 different medical conditions, with more applications under investigation.

HealthDay

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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