Botulinum and Pain Relief

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Ruchi Prakash


While the term "neurotoxins" inherently has a connotation of harm and danger, their targeting mechanism plays an important
role in pain relief. This paper takes a deeper look into a major neurotoxin - botulinum, one of the most poisonous chemical compounds. By blocking acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that facilitates communication between nerve endings and smooth muscle, botulinum has found popularity for cosmetic usage but more importantly muscle pain relief. However, new research has shown that it may be able to affect other neurotransmitters to provide a more direct effect.

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Author Biography

Ruchi Prakash, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ruchi Prakash is a sophomore pursuing a degree in psychology and neuroscience. Some of her academic interests include cellular neuroscience and the effect of drugs. In her free time, Ruchi enjoys painting, reading, and hanging out with friends. Currently, she is also a member of Illini Fighting Alzheimer's and Brainwaves. Through these organizations, as well as Brain Matters, she hopes to increase education of neurodegenerative disorders and brain science.