Tetanus toxin, that causes the disease tetanus, have therapeutic properties that can be effective against mental disorders like anxiety disorder, depression and anorexia.
Researchers of the Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona in Spain have discovered the beneficial effects of the tetanus toxin by isolating a harmless part of the toxin called the carboxy-terminal domain. This part of the toxin stops serotonin from being transported by the synaptic membranes, and thus the membranes cannot interconnect to pass on the neural signals through the brain. In comparison with the serotonin inhibitors current used, these molecules are more powerful and more effective, and work more specifically. This property of the molecule makes it suitable for being turned into a drug with extensive uses in conditions like depression, anorexia, as well as neuro-degenerative disorders like Parkinson's disease.
Tetanus toxin is a form of neurotoxin belonging o the group of toxins like botulinum neurotoxins. These toxins have currently being used to treat disorders due to abnormal muscle contractions like cerebral palsy, strabismus, torticollis etc. they have also found use in cosmetic preparations that fight the wrinkles that appear on the skin due to age.
Reference: Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona, press release, June 2005