Woman use to it get rid of those pesky wrinkles, but a doctor at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre has found another use for Botulinum toxin aka Botox - saving newborns from the CHARGE Syndrome.
CHARGE Syndrome includes a variety of birth defects in different organs, such as the heart, eyes or ears, but it also affects the salivary glands. The disorder is rare but can become life-threatening in its most severe form.
Newborns with CHARGE Syndrome are hyper-stimulated and secrete excessive fluids that are discarded into the lungs, causing asphyxia.
In most cases the only solution possible is for the infant to undergo devastating tracheotomy in which a direct airway is opened through a cut in the windpipe.
Dr. Sam Daniel, Associate Director of Research of the Otorhinolaryngology Division at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre injected a minute dose of Botox into each of a two and a half month old infant's salivary glands.
The infant, named Franck (name changed) was the first baby treated with botox, which is also one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances.
This had never been done before on such a young child.
Dr Daniel found that two weeks after the injections, Franck's extubation was a success.
He now leads the normal life of a three-year-old boy at home with his parents.
Dr. Daniel has described Franck's treatment with the toxin in an article from the Archives of Otolaryngology dated March 17th.