BIOL130 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Neuromuscular Junction, Botulinum Toxin, Synaptic Vesicle

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Document Summary

Onabotulinumtoxin-a (botox) is a neurotoxic protein naturally produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes botulism (paralysis). The public most commonly recognizes botox for its medical, cosmetic and scientific benefits as it temporarily blocks nerve activity in the muscles resulting in temporarily reduced muscle activity. With the advancement of medical uses, botox is becoming increasingly popular. Scientists have discovered that small and diluted amounts of botox can be directly injected into specific muscles to cause controlled weakening of said muscle. This essay will cover how botox causes neuroparalysis in relation to the neuromuscular junction and exocytosis, and how. Firstly, the neuromuscular junction relies several cooperative mechanisms involving the synapse in order to generate a muscle contraction. What botox does is prevent muscle contraction through the inhibition of the exocytosis of acetylcholine (temporarily) in the synaptic cleft of a neuron, causing the innervated structure to become paralyzed (neuroparalysis). To support this statement, a study was conducted to observe the affects of botox.