What is botulism?
Botulism is a medical condition caused by nerve toxins (neurotoxins) produced by a specific type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. This neurotoxin blocks nerve impulses thereby leading to muscle weakness and paralysis. It is potentially fatal as it can lead to respiratory arrest. Botulism is therefore always treated as a medical emergency. The nerve damage with botulism is irreversible at times and recover may take long periods of time after the toxin is eliminated from the system. However, this neurotoxin also has medical uses such as wrinkle reduction, eyelid twitching and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) at specific areas of the body.