Botox may not just be for beauty seekers. Scientists have modified Botox to create a new bio-therapeutic molecule that could be used to treat neurological disorders such as chronic pain and epilepsy.
A team of 22 scientists from 11 research institutes led by Bazbek Davletov, now at the University of Sheffield, created the compound to alleviate hypersensitivity to inflammatory pain.
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The development, reported in the scientific journal Bioconjugate Chemistry, uses the elements of Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani neurotoxins — commonly known as Botox — and tetanus toxin to treat such conditions, without unwanted toxic effects.
"Currently painkillers relieve lingering pain only temporarily and often have unwanted side effects," noted Davletov. "A single injection of the new molecule at the site of pain could potentially relieve pain for many months in humans and this now needs to be tested.
"We hope that the engineered molecule could improve the quality of life for those people who suffer from chronic pain. We are now negotiating transfer of the technology to a major pharmaceutical company."
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