Botox (Botulinum toxin) injections can temporarily control the eye movements, but because of side effects such as double vision and ptosis or drooping of the eyelid, and because it is not a permanent solution, Botox is not used often.
Unless you've been living in a cave the last 10 years, you probably already know that Botox is a therapeutic agent derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum, which in certain strains is botulism, a dangerous paralytic illness.
Vaccines have not been developed directed against botulism, which makes prevention of infant botulism or other forms of the disease difficult, since exposure to the botulinum toxic is typically unrecognized.
The toxin's origin and identity remained vague until Emile van Ermengem (1851-1932), a Belgian professor, isolated Clostridium botulinum in 1895 and identified it as the source of food poisoning.
These toxins (except those from C. botulinum) cause inflammation of the stomach lining and the small and/or large intestines, resulting in abdominal muscle cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Laboratory tests look for the presence of botulinum toxin or Clostridia in suspected foods and/or the child's blood serum, feces, or other specimens for traces of botulinum toxin or Clostridia.
C. botulinum grows well in non-acidic, oxygen-free environments, meaning that if the cooking temperatures are too low or the cooking time too brief the bacteria in the food are not killed.
Infants, however, cannot receive this antitoxin and are usually treated instead with injections of human botulism immune globulin (BIG), an antiserum that neutralizes the botulinum toxin.
Although the definitive diagnosis comes from laboratory tests, it can usually be diagnosed by recognizing the distinctive neurological symptoms typical of contamination with C. botulinum.
In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of botulinum toxin (Botox) for treatment of axillary (underarm) hyperhidrosis that resists treatment with topical drugs.