Botox for depression

Can botox help patients suffering from depression? Dermatologists and scientific research are finding this is a viable treatment for patients suffering from depression. Dr. Smart of The University of Utah advises patients that botox could be the missing treatment in their struggle with depression.

Positive effects on mood have been seen in patients who’ve had Botox
treatment for the glabella and frown lines (the area above the nose
and between the eyebrows).  And a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds further evidence to support the use of botox as an adjunctive therapy to treat depression.

In this study a total of 30 patients with high levels of chronic and
treatment-resistant depression were enrolled in the study. Patients
were randomly assigned to receive a single injection of Botox or a
single injection of saline (placebo). Six weeks after a single
treatment, the Botox group had an average 47.1% reduction in
depression symptoms vs. 9.2% in the placebo group.

Why would this work?  Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles,
which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those
emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin to prevent the
facial muscles from expressing a frown or brooding scowl seems to
interrupt this cycle.

Neither this concept nor the evidence presented here are particularly new, but I never fail to find the link between the physical and the emotional fascinating. Or maybe people are just happy when their wrinkles get better.

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