VX Don’t Go Near It!!! ( My Biochemistry resurfacing ).
North Korean mad-man dictator’s half brother was killed in Malaysia recently with the neurotoxin, VX.
Classified as a WMD, it’s one of the most lethal substances on the planet. Just 10 milligrams, one hundredth of a gram absorbed through the skin, will kill the average person in seconds.
How does it work? Scientifically it’s an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor. Unless you happen to be a doctor or a biochemist, that probably means nothing, so let’s explain.
For muscles to contract, nerve impulses must jump the space, the synapse, between that conducting nerve fiber and the muscle. But, to make the leap, a chemical called acetylcholine must be present…in that gap. It functions as a sort of bridge, enabling the impulse to reach the muscle.
After the impulse has crossed the gap and caused the muscle to move, another chemical enzyme, acetylcholine esterase appears to break down the acetylcholine. If this didn’t happen, if the acetylcholine esterase didn’t do its job, the nerve impulses wouldn’t stop and neither would muscle stimulation. That would produce uncontrollable tremors.
Here’s where the VX comes in. It inhibits the action of acetylcholine esterase. That mean acetylcholine remains in the synapse so that the impulses continue and the muscle keeps being stimulated…that unending stimulation causes nerve fiber depolarization, the impulses stop altogether and the muscle goes flaccid. It stops moving.
In other words, the muscle is eventually paralyzed.
Breathing muscles so affected stop functioning and the person is asphyxiated and of course dies.