Byline: HEATHER GREENAWAY
CELEBRITIES who use Botox to keep them looking young could be risking serious side effects, a top neurologist warned yesterday.
Dr Peter Misra, of London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, says that research into the effects Botox can have on the body is far from complete.
And the toxin's image as a glamour drug, rumoured to be used by the likes of Madonna, Cher and even Cliff Richard, could be shattered.
He said: "Although negative side effects are few, its very long-term effects are still unknown."
Until now, the only potential side-effects mentioned by doctors was that Botox could cause eyelids and facial muscles to droop if an accidental overdose is given, or if it is injected into the wrong site.
But Dr Misra points out that in its natural form, Botox, a derivative of the deadly botulism toxin, could cause fatal muscular paralysis of either the heart or the diaphragm and should be treated with care.
In particular, Dr Misra said that much is still unknown about the effect the drug has on nerve cells. He believes animal experiments have shown that Botox affects the transmission of nerve pulses in the body and so can stop movement.
Dr Misra added that the toxin has been shown to inhibit the release of chemicals in the nervous system which allow muscles to contract.
Touted as the quickest, safest, least invasive and least expensive treatment in cosmetic medicine, Botox stops facial wrinkles in their tracks by paralysing the muscles that create lines.
The effects on frown line wrinkles and crow's feet last for four to six months.
Stars including Celine Dion, Jamie-Lee Curtis and even Sylvester Stallone are rumoured to have gone under the Botox needle, but only a few, such as veteran comedienne Joan Rivers and Hollywood actress Annie Potts, have admitted to being converts. …