According to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. by allowing lower doses, the new approach could make the treatment safer by reducing the risk of complications associated with immune system recognition that can sometimes occur with frequent injections. Smaller, more potent doses would even lead reduce the prices for the popular wrinkle remover, they feel.
Botox is also used to treat a growing number of other conditions, including migraine headaches, lazy eyes and excessive sweating. It is developed from the botulinum neurotoxin, the most lethal poison known and a potential bio terrorist weapon. In a medical setting, small doses this toxin blocks the release of a chemical acetylcholine that is necessary for muscle contraction, this in turn results in a localized, temporary paralysis that erases wrinkles and unwanted muscle spasms.
Kim Janda, Ph.D, a chemistry professor at Scripps and head of the research study, and his associates says that they have developed a synthetic molecule that binds to the toxin and increases its normal function, The discovery of small molecule activators may ultimately provide a valuable method for minimizing dosage, reducing resistance, and increasing its clinical efficacy he felt.
The new treatment has not yet been tested in humans or animals, the researchers say. If further studies prove successful, the technique could be available to consumers in four to six years, the researchers estimate.
One of the most important complications of Botox injections is that their repeated use can lead to recognition by the immune system, especially when patients are given frequent, high doses of the toxin. Higher doses can also increase the risk of adverse complications, which can include pain in the face, redness at the injection site and muscle weakness.
Their study is published in the March 29 issue of the weekly Journal of the American Chemical Society.