When people say Botox, the first thing that comes to mind is Botox injection used to smoothen out wrinkles. But what is Botox in the first place? Believe it or not, Botulinum toxin or Botox is one of the most potent naturally-occurring poisons produced by bacterium Clostridium botulinum . Despite being toxic, as was said, Botox is sold commercially for minor cosmetic treatments. Other than that, it also has a nobler use as treatment for muscle spasm. This time, Botox found another purpose, as it becomes the hope for babies with CHARGE syndrome.
CHARGE syndrome, explained in layman's terms, is a disorder which affects a patient's ability to swallow. In effect, patients literally drown in their own saliva which seeps into their lungs. As such, pneumonia is a frequent side-effect of the syndrome, along with blindness, as CHARGE also affects one's ears, eyes, brain, and heart. The usual way to deal with the problem is to perform surgical tracheotomy on the baby, with which the windpipe would be incised and inserted with a breathing tube. Opting for surgery though, would mean exerting enormous effort in trying to maintain the tube in its best condition.
A couple from Montreal with a newborn baby suffering from CHARGE syndrome refused to go for surgery and pushed for an alternative method instead. The baby's otolaryngologis, Dr. Sam Daniel, took a chance and injected Botox into the nerves controlling the salivary glands of the newborn infant. The effect? Said infant is now three years old, and aside from the periodic Botox shots, never needed subsequent medical treatment again that's related to CHARGE syndrome.
According to Dr. Jean-Philippe Vaccani of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, using Botox as treatment for "drooling" extends not only to CHARGE patients. It can be used for a variety of excess salivation conditions in children, as well as in adults suffering from Parkinson's disease or Lou Gehrig's disease. Botox has gone far from being recognized as mere toxic material. As Dr. Vaccani said, "I think Botox is a good option for a lot of these children, and adults, and has made a great difference in their lives."
Source: Yahoo News