venom derived drugs

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Can  venom  from  spiders  and  other  animals  really  be  used  in  medical  treatment  safely
Spiders

A study by the University of Buffalo found that spider venom contains a protein that can treat muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is an umbrella term for several diseases that cause loss of muscle mass leading to inability to move, walk or even swallow. The study found the protein helps to stop muscle cells from deteriorating. Though it was not a complete cure on its own, it assists to slow down the disease from progressing.

Tarantulas spiders harbor healing properties in the venom. Yale University had a screening process called "toxineering" that can sift through millions of spider toxins to find those with most compatibility to painkiller drugs. Researchers found thatPeruvian green velvet tarantula has a toxin that can block chronic pain. Another recent study found that venom of spider has seven different compounds that can help to relieve chronic pain. Analysis of 206 different spider species shows that 40% of the poisons have compounds that block nerve activity relating to chronic pain.

Researchers also have a reason to believe that further development of spider venoms might lead to treatments for spinal cord damage, cardiac arrhythmias, and erectile dysfunction.The need to study venom’s ability to cure erectile dysfunction is as a result of a long-lasting erection that a South American developed after a bite by spider called “armed spider.”

Snakes

Snake venom has been a subject of scientific study for decades, and it has medicinal properties. Most have antibacterial and painkiller features. Snake venom has hem toxins that target the circulatory system and specifically attack the clotting ability as well as the muscles. Scientists found that they could use hemotoxins in medicine to treat blood disorders and heart attacks.

Scientists have some Tunisian vipers show that they have anti-tumor properties. Other drugs developed from neurotoxins in snakes’ venom are for treating these conditions that affect the brain:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Brain injuries
Scorpions

Scorpions’ stingers release venom that they use to inject a prey for it to paralyze or die. Scorpion venom has compounds that treat autoimmune conditions that develop because the body loses itsability to regulate some controls of the immune system that then attacks the body tissues.

Scorpion venom has compounds that can stop this reaction by inhibiting potassium channels in the cells to prevent inflammation. The ability by scorpion venom to interact with sodium channels makes it have painkiller properties. Additionally, it helps to develop a tumor paint that identifies brain cancer and lights it up by making the infected cells to glow for doctors to notice them.

Sea creatures

Many of the sea creatures such as anemones have venom that they use for defense capturing their prey and protection against predators. Their poison has a mix that harbors potential treatments and cures for disease. Sea anemones and core snails produce toxins that can treat autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis.

Centipedes

Chinese redhead centipede that injects their prey with venom to paralyze by blocking a sodium channel protein has effects similar to morphine hence can work as a painkiller.

The ironical thing is that the properties that make venom to be deadly are also the same thing that makes them valuable for medicine. Most of the venom toxins target the same molecules that treatment tries to control and manage the disease. Venom work quickly and is extremely specific. Its active components (peptides and proteins that work as toxins and enzymes) target particular molecules. They fit into the molecules well like keys into locks.