Can Botox injections cure your blues?
Over the years Botox has evolved from a procedure to reduce wrinkles and frown lines to a treatment for various medical conditions, such as migraine headaches, incontinence and even excessive sweating. Now, new research suggests that the injectable might become a leading way to ease depression.
According to Everyday Health, two recent studies have suggested that Botox has positive long-lasting effects on people with depression. One such study, based out of Switzerland and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, compared the symptoms of depression in 30 patients, administering one round of Botox injections to 15 of them. After following the patients for six weeks, the researchers found that people who received Botox treatment not only had a 47 percent decrease in their depression symptoms, but also reported overall improvement on later surveys.
A Maryland-based plastic surgeon has built upon the Switzerland study, conducting a placebo-controlled experiment with 74 patients. The news source stated that the researcher received similar results - 27 percent of the patients who received Botox injections saw their symptoms alleviated, compared to only 7 percent of the placebo group.
"Our brain uses our body - in this case our facial muscles - as a yardstick, a reference, for our emotional states," the plastic surgeon wrote. "The lack of this negativity then creates a tremendously significant positive effect on our brain's assessment of our mental state."
While these researchers might be satisfied with their findings, some doctors have varying views. According to Medical News Daily, a researcher in Wales who recently tracked the progress of 25 people who received Botox injections stated that a majority of them felt more depressed after the treatment. However, these patients received the injections for wrinkle reduction, not for underlying depression.