Botox :: Botulin toxin – Medical uses of botox

Botulin toxin or botox is the toxic compound produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is a protease that breaks down one of the fusion proteins (docking proteins that anchor the vesicle to the membrane) that allow neurons to release acetylcholine at a neuromuscular junction. By inhibiting acetylcholine release, the toxin interferes with nerve impulses and causes paralysis of muscles in botulism.

Botox is used to relieve the symptoms of dystonia. With the assistance of an EMG, the physician (usually a neurologist) injects very small doses of botox into the area that controls the muscles which the dystonia patient has difficulty moving.

Botox is also used as a treatment against hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and research shows some promise in aiding recovery in stroke victims.

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