Does Botox damage the brain?
Having seen this this report on Bloomberg.com in early April, I expected to see a flurry of news/talk show hysteria. Instead I’ve been surprised at how few people seem to know about this new study that says: “Botulinum neurotoxin type A, sold as Allergan Inc’s Botox remedy for wrinkles, can move from its injection site to the brain…”
According to the Journal of Neuroscience (April 2), when scientists injected rat’s whisker muscles with botulism toxin, “tests of the brain tissue found that botulism had been transported to the brain stems.” Also, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether patients contracted botulism, a muscle-weakening illness, from Botox and Myobloc, products from Solstice Neurosciences Inc.”
“Botulism neurotoxin can disrupt nerve cells’ ability to communicate and may change spinal cord circuity, the authors wrote in the study.”
Mathew Avram, the director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Center, who was not involved in the study, said in a phone interview: “Mouse and rat physiology is different from that of humans, so the results may not predict what happens in people… “The idea that there could be some transmission of this to the central nervous system needs to be followed up, but this treatment has been used on millions of people for years, and we’re not seeing major central nervous system uses with it.”
An Allergan spokeswoman Caroline Van Hove emailed a statement that said: “The authors used a laboratory preparation of botulinum toxin and did not use Botox, and data suggest that different preparations of botulinum toxin react differently in both the laboratory and in clinical practice.”
The chief medical officers of Solstice Neurosciences said: “Myobloc is botulinum neurotoxin type B, a different type of botulium than studied.”
In a related story on Foxnews.com the FDA was cited as “probing reports of illnesses in people of all ages who used the drugs for a variety of conditions, including at least one hospitalization of a woman given Botox for forehead wrinkles.”
Read the articles noted above in full (click on their links provided). There have been many drugs that were found safe in the short-term, only to be “found out” later on. Then, when you decide about Botox, you can make a better-informed choice.