Botulinum neurotoxin: A tool for the pathway to full beauty and glory or for digging our own grave? And other toxins
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For several years, even decades, people have under gone cosmetic surgeries to approach a better looking skin without the signs of aging. Botox has been the ingredient that many people let inject to treat the symptom of getting older, the wrinkles it brings along. Even other syndromes, like migraine, or involuntary twitches are targeted for treatment with botox. But where does this agent come from that has been able to create wonders in peoples minds. It is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a relative from Clostridium tetani, the causative bacterium of tetanus. Clostridium botulinum was first known to cause the so-called ' sausage-disease' , as it was often hidden in meat and canned food. The discoverer of the toxin now used for botox has predicted that eventually we would know enough about the toxin for us to find a beneficial aspect for the toxin. And indeed, it is now incorporated in daily use and procedures. But how safe is it really, and are their possibly other bacterial toxins that can help us ameliorate diseases or treat them as a whole? To dig deeper in the existence of bacterial toxins, three categories will be discussed in their method of toxicity, namely the membrane-damaging toxins, receptor-targeting toxins and the internalised toxins, spread over several chapters. The final chapters are dedicated to the hypothetical design of toxins that can be used in treatments.