It’s not just for fine lines and wrinkles: Botox is showing promise as a treatment for chronic pain. Or, rather, the botulinum toxin that’s used commercially to erase signs of aging is also being studied as a potential alternative to opioid drugs.
A new paper in Science shows that a single dose of botulinum toxin, injected into the spinal cavity, prompted several weeks of pain relief from chronic and neuropathic pain — in mice. The researchers developed a new form of the neurotoxin to selectively silence key pain-causing neurons in the spinal cord. It worked for 23 days without killing any nerve cells and without causing any toxicities, the study found.