Botox Patient: What’s the #1 treatment at medical spas?

By: Botox Patient - In: Allergan|Botox Cosmetic|Botox Patient|Cheap Botox|Dysport

7 Dec 2009

For many medical spas, Botox is the number one physician performed treatment.

There may soon be a better way to fight unsightly wrinkles. Researchers have discovered a novel way to increase the potency of botulinum neurotoxin treatments – commonly known as Botox – that they say could one day allow patients to receive the injections less frequently while maintaining or even enhancing its cosmetic benefits.

By allowing lower doses, the new approach could also make the treatment safer by reducing the risk of complications associated with immune system recognition that can sometimes occur with frequent injections, according to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Smaller, more potent doses may even lead to lower prices for the popular wrinkle-remover, the researchers say. Their study is published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Although popular for removing wrinkles, 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 bioterrorist weapon. In a medical setting, small doses of a purified version of the toxin block the release of a chemical (acetylcholine) that signals muscle contraction, resulting 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 developed a synthetic molecule that can ‘superactivate’ the neurotoxin used in Botox by binding to specific sites on the neurotoxin protein. The synthetic molecule works by increasing the activity of an enzyme that cleaves proteins that are critical for neurotransmitter release, thereby increasing the blockage of acetylcholine and enhancing the toxin’s paralyzing effect. In laboratory studies, the researchers found that this ‘superactivator’ could boost the activity of the toxin by as much as 14 times that of the untreated toxin.

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.

(Dysport has recently been approved by the FDA.  It’s a competitor of Botox.)

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