I've never had Botox and I have always found the idea unappealing (even though the results can look very good) for three reasons. I have an expressive face with big cheek muscles that push everything around and squish my eyes when I smile or laugh. Its the way I've always been and, wrinkles or not, I don't want to not look like me. Secondly, muscle atrophy sets in as the Botox prevents them from moving, which ultimately causes more sagging. Thirdly, its a poison and there is no data on the cumulative, long term effects.
A couple of days ago, the results of a study were released showing that injected botulinum toxin can travel to the brain, degrading proteins. Now there is one thing that I can't afford as I approach peri-menopause and that is degrading brain protein. Umm, so what was I saying?
Oh yes. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience last week, was conducted in Italy. Rats were given injections of botulinum around their whisker muscles and three days later it was found that some of the toxin had reached their brains. It was still there six months later. To be fair, not all of it; most of it remained in situ. The Botox that did reach the brain acted on the nerves and entered the brain cells. This could be a good thing if you want to treat over-active brain neurons. But I'm pretty certain that is a problem I don't have.
Allergan, the makers of Botox, say that the Italian study is inconclusive. Maybe, but a month ago another study in Canada, this time on cats, revealed that the toxin passed easily into the surrounding muscles and weakened all the muscles in the area. The results support other research that has already shown that botulinum can pass through tissue surrounding muscle.
You can have a giggle at Perez Hilton's take on this story by clicking here