At the moment patients with chronic pain are forced to take powerful drugs or even narcotic analgesics in order to cope with his condition. However, as reported by the online edition of Science Translational Medicine, a team of scientists has successfully tested a new type of analgesic based on botulinum toxin, popularly known as Botox.
Responsible for the development of the team from University College London. As you know, botulinum toxin is one of the best natural neurotoxins produced by the botulinum bacteria сlostridium. It is already used for edema syndrome of hyperactivity of the muscles and to smooth mimic wrinkles. However, experts from the UK found him another application that will eventually be able to replace some opioid analgesics.
2 developed a modified preparation of botulinum toxin, the scientists tested it on laboratory mice. The first version called SP-BOT is created on the basis of the mixture of Botox with P — a neuropeptide that can communicate with the NK1R receptor. They are located in the axons (long processes) projection neurons of the spinal cord and are responsible for transmission of pain signal to the brain. The second version was called Derm-BOT and it is a botulinum toxin coupled with dermorphin — opioiddependent substance synthesized on the basis of secret skin of frogs рhyllomedusa. This version of the drug affects the μ-opioid receptors, causing blocking of the nerve signal.
At the stage of laboratory research both substances introduced into the cerebrospinal fluid of rodents, and then explored them with esthesiometer. This is a device to measure skin sensitivity. It turned out that both tools were effective. By blocking nerve impulses due to chronic pain or inflammatory drugs do not only take pain, but not harm neurons, did not cause side effects and did not reduce motor activity. Now scientists are planning the next clinical stage research into new painkillers.