Botox May Move from Face to Brain

Anti-wrinkle toxin traveled to rats' central nervous system

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 3, 2008 10:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Botox can spread from the face to the brain, scientists who injected rats with the anti-wrinkle treatment say. Traces of the toxin turned up in the rats' brain stems three days after it was injected into their whisker muscles, Bloomberg reports. A dermatologist says the findings call for further investigation, although he notes that rats and humans have different physiologies.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, were experimenting to see if the muscle-paralyzing toxin could be used to treat epilepsy and were surprised to find it traveled to the rats' brains. The FDA is already probing the safety of Botox and a competitor after reports of deaths among children being treated for cerebral palsy with the drug.

Anna Ragaz makes one of 15 injections of Botox into the forehead of patient David Wain Coon, 38, in Seattle, Washington.
Anna Ragaz makes one of 15 injections of Botox into the forehead of patient David Wain Coon, 38, in Seattle, Washington.   (KRT Photos)
Surgical assistant Debbie Murphy undergoes her fourth Botox treatment at a Botox party.
Surgical assistant Debbie Murphy undergoes her fourth Botox treatment at a Botox party.   (KRT Photos)
Following reports of Botox moving from the face to the brain in rats, an expert noted that millions of people were using the treatment without central nervous system disruptions.
Following reports of Botox moving from the face to the brain in rats, an expert noted that millions of people were using the treatment without central nervous system disruptions.   ((c) EverJean)
A bottle of Botox is seen in this March 20, 2002 file photo.
A bottle of Botox is seen in this March 20, 2002 file photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
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