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June 19, 2008

Toxin Effective Brain Treatment

Posted in: Diseases and Conditions

According to a research that was conducted by a group of scientists, it was found that a toxin can open a new avenue in treating the different brain illnesses and conditions. The researchers found that a toxin that was derived from the sea snail attaches itself with the nicotine receptors in the brain and that has shown promising effects to treat the different brain conditions.

It was in 1979 that a scientist discovered that another medical toxin known as conotixin, which is also known as Prialt was the one that got approved in about 2004 and it is this toxin that was being used to treat the cancer pain, pain associated with the injury, failed back surgery, as well as nervous system dysfunction. The new toxin that is being found is known as alpha cotoxin OmIA. This toxin is being taken from the snail known as conus omaria and that is being derived from the cone of the snail. This snail is being found from the Pacific and the Indian oceans.

The researchers are thinking that they will be able to treat the different medical conditions related to brain and those problems include the Alzheimer’s disease, depression, nicotine addiction, as well as even schizophrenia. The researchers added that they will be working on the different diseases separately and will be coming up with the treatment of the different conditions through this toxin. They said that they have to go through the different research layouts to see as to how this toxin will be able to help the different brain diseases. They said that with this toxin they are looking forward to even help people quit smoking. Wouldn’t that be amazing.

The way that this toxin works, which is the OmIA conotoxin is that it binds up with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which is found on the nerve cells that are present in the brain as well as the spinal cord. The nicotinic receptors are those where the nicotine binds up with that is being smoked by an individual. This binding of the nicotine to the nicotine receptors causes the secretion of the neurotransmitters from the nerve cells and that causes an excitatory feeling by these neurotransmitters.

It is also of importance to know that there are different types of nicotinic receptors. These nicotinic receptors are alpha and beta and they both have subcategories in which the alpha has subcategories ranging from 2 till 10 and the beta receptors have categories ranging from 1-4. All these subcategories are known to perform their different functions. All the different subcategories of the receptors are known to perform their own function and that are different. The researchers were thinking that it would bring about a great influence in treating different conditions by making the different subcategories work really effectively. For example in the Parkinson’s disease the neurotransmitter dopamine decreases in amounts and thus causes a problem known as tremors. If the specific receptors are being made to secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine then this can cause the prevention of tremors in Parkinson’s disease. This then would be a big breakthrough in eradicating the different brain illnesses.

There was another comment that was made to making the smokers aware that if their child in the mother’s womb is being exposed to the smoke, then this can cause the child to have a significant variation in the structure of the nicotinic receptors and the smokers should either quit smoking for that specific period of time or should take measures where they are not smoking in home or are not making their wives smoke passively, which can directly affect the health of their child.

Now coming back on the topic, these toxins that are being found are known to bind directly to the nicotinic receptors. It is being thought that the nicotinic receptors are responsible for alcohol addiction and that with these toxins that bind to these receptors they can cause the individual to not have the craving for alcohol. It is also known that one of the nicotinic receptors are known to be related to the memory and it affects the memory if there is any problem related to these nicotinic receptors and with this toxin it is being thought that the problem of memory related to Alzheimer’s can be treated. Also the people who smoke can be made to leave the cigarettes with the help of this toxin.

Another major breakthrough that can be achieved is that the nicotinic receptors are known to secrete two other neurotransmitters known as serotonin and norepinephrine and the imbalance in these neurotransmitters result in the mood disorders and these can be used to treat the two common disorders known as depression and schizophrenia, which is going to help large number of people throughout the world.

The researchers added that this toxin will not become a drug but will be used as a tool to identify and isolate the different receptors and they will make the medicines according to that. He recommended that the receptors will be the locks whereas the medicine will be the key to open up these receptors. They added that they need to find as to the exact neurotransmitters that are present because the making of the specific drugs will be dependent on the finding of the specific receptors and their shape so a very close model key can be built in the form of a medicine that would unlock it and give the desired results.


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