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Botox, a Belgian discovery

The content of a syringe with muscle relaxant Botox is not new. Already in 1773, a German doctor named Dr. J. Kerner made the connection between eating contaminated sausages and the occurrence of temporary muscle weakness and reduction in sweating. The condition was given the name Botulism, after the Latin word Botulus which literally means "sausage".

Picture by Pixaby

The origin of the condition remained unknown for more than a century. The Belgian professor of microbiology Emile Van Ermengem from Ghent was the first to succeed in isolating the germ that produces the toxin (botulin exotoxin A).

In 1895, he carefully examined the food poisoning of all those present and the suspicious death of three musicians who performed a funeral service in Elzele. In the food served at the funeral, a poorly prepared ham and histological specimens of the spleen of the deceased, he was able to find the bacterium and identify the action of the poison. He then referred to the bacterium as Bacillus botulinus. In 1897 he published his findings in the scientific Zeitschrift für Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten.

The first experiences started positively in this century when babies with muscle cramps were successfully treated. Later, patients with facial nerves and migraine attacks were also eligible for therapy. Only after it was noticed that their wrinkles had disappeared on the treated side of the face, the product was also used against expression wrinkles. It is still used today.

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