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New Botox Side Effects Are the Latest Wrinkle in Anti-Aging

Apr 23rd 2012 at 6:37 AM

In 1989, Dr. Richard Clark published a study highlighting the effects of thebotulinum toxin on wrinkles in the journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Following this landmark study, a number of other independent groups also noted the effects of the botulinum toxin on wrinkles in various regions of the face. These studies finally lead up to the approval of botulinum toxin type A (also known as Botox Cosmetic) in April of 2002. The substance was marketed to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe wrinkles. Since this time, Botox has become popular as a safe, non-invasive anti-aging treatment.

The botulinum toxin is produced by a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum which interrupts the signals sent from nerves to muscle tissue in the body. It is a powerful neurotoxin that was once known for causing a very serious and sometimes fatal illness in humans and animals. Today, of course, despite its dubious past, the botulinum neurotoxin, popularly known as Botox, has become a well-revered staple in the cosmetic industry. By interrupting the nerve impulses sent to muscle tissue, Botox is able to cause temporary paralysis of muscles that are injected with the substance. Since its original development into an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle treatment in 2002, researchers have been carefully studying this powerful medical tool and recently, new and important side effects have become apparent, indicating that increased caution may be advisable when using Botox, especially under certain conditions.

A recent study, published this year in the journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society, noted that following Botox treatments, the body produced certain previously unnoticed systemic effects. Specifically, muscles other than the ones that received the Botox injection may be affected by the botulinum neurotoxin. Researchers noted that in some instances, there were lasting effects on muscles that are nowhere near the Botox injection site. For example, the study injected Botox into the hind leg of a rat and observed that not only was the injected muscle paralyzed by the botulinum neurotoxin, but the other hind leg also manifested muscle twitch disturbances.

Of particular interest in this study was the impact that Botox injections could have on the body when used in tandem with a commonly used muscle relaxant employed in many surgical procedures. This muscle relaxant, known as atracurium, is regularly used during cosmetic and plastic surgeries and the effects of Botox on this particular muscle relaxant can have an impact on a plastic surgeon’s ability to monitor a patient’s vital signs and mechanical ventilation during surgery.

Because a number of patients who seek out Botox injections may also sign up for plastic surgery, the Botox-atracurium connection is a notable find with important implications. Researchers noted that because plastic surgeons often monitor a patient’s muscle twitch response to determine whether atracurium’s effectiveness in relaxing the muscle tissues, the effects of Botox on this muscle-twitch feedback could have devastating effects by impeding patient monitoring during surgery. Patients who have undergone Botox treatments in the past are now being encouraged to tell their surgeon about the treatments prior to have having plastic surgery or any other type of surgery.


Source : This Article is originally posted by cosmeticsurgerynews.

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