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It’s botox but not as we know it

August 7, 2013 |

Most popular for its age defying benefits, botox was originally developed to  correct cross-eyes and uncontrolled blinking.

Another unusual application, as recently reported in the Mail Online, may be for atrial fibrillation  or irregular heartbeats, with clinical trials showing promise.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when contractions of the heart’s chambers  don’t  pump rhythmically. It’s a common condition often associated with  age and  traditional treatments can include blood-thinning medication  and in extreme  cases, open heart surgery.

But, doctors at New York’s Columbia University have been utilising the  paralysing properties of botox as an alternative. In a trial of 60 patients,  doctors are injecting botox into the fat pads surrounding the heart. The fat  pads are the nerve control centre for the heart and when injected with botox  they relax and paralyse the nerves responsible for the irregular rhythm.

Cardiologist from Westmead Hospital Dr David Ross is cautious about the  results of the trial, believing it’s a short term solution to a long term  problem. “It’s certainly an idea worth exploring and previous trials have shown  promise. But the controlling effect of botox is not permanent and therefore the  condition will reappear once the effects have worn off,” he said.

While this latest use for botox can potentially prove to be a lifesaver, it’s  just one of a long list of medical applications it can be used for.

Excess Sweating

Excessive sweating, also known as  hyperhidrosis, is a condition that most commonly effects the underarms or the  hands. Sufferers of hyperhidrosis are known to sweat four times more than the  average person.

Dr. Jill Tomlinson is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who regularly uses  botox to treat patients with hyperhidrosis. “Treatment can take up to an hour in  which injections are placed in a one centimetre grid pattern over the affected  area. The treatment reduces sweating by 90 per cent by blocking signals between  the nerves and sweat glands,” she says.

Patients can expect relief from their condition for six to 12 months.


Clare Maxfield suffered from debilitating  migraines for ten years. Botox was the last in a long line of treatments she  attempted to cure her condition.

Read the Full Article at

Source:  by Cassy Small, July 30, 2013 for WA Today.

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