How a variation on Botox could be used to treat pain | Science News

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How a variation on Botox could be used to treat pain

Drugs made with botulinum toxin may offer an alternative to opioids, a study in mice finds

By
3:52pm, July 18, 2018
nerve cells

RIGHT ON TARGET  A painkiller made with botulinum toxin prevents certain nerve cells (green) from relaying pain information to the brain in mice.

Painkillers crafted with a part of the wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox provide long-term pain relief in mice.

Researchers added the modified Botox to molecules that target pain-messaging nerve cells. Mice given a single spinal injection of the new drugs showed signs of pain relief for the full duration of the experiments, around three weeks, researchers report online July 18 in Science Translational Medicine. Such painkillers could potentially one day be developed for humans as alternatives to more addictive drugs, such as opioids.

Created by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, botulinum toxin causes the food poisoning disease botulism. Botox, which is made from the toxin, is often injected into people to iron out worry lines and has been used to treat conditions that involve

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