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Can Botox Treat Depression?

Posted Dec 13 2012 12:00am
Guest Post by David Cooper

Botox may be used as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression, according to a new study from the University of Basel, Switzerland. When injected with Botox, depressive symptoms decreased.

Botox, chemically known as botulinum toxin, is a protein and neurotoxin that is commonly used to fight wrinkles when used as an injectable treatment.

Any Botox Westchester specialist would agree that one of main critiques of Botox among those that use it - and who interact with people who use it - is that the injection can affect a person's ability to show emotion through facial expressions. However, this complaint may help those suffering from depression that is resistant to prescription anti-depressents.

The study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, was the first randomized, controlled study on the effect of Botox on depression. Thirty participants diagnosed with long-standing treatment-resisent depression were divided into two groups: the control group, who didn't receive Botox but placebo injections, and the treatment group, who were given a single dose (consisting of five injections) of Botox in the area of the face between and just above the eyebrows.

Six weeks after the onset of the study, the authors ranked the patients' depressive symptoms, which included sullen mood, insomnia, and weight loss. Depressive symptoms in the treatment group decreased by 47 percent and the placebo group had a 9 percent reduction in symptoms. For both groups, the mood elevations found remained stable throughout the rest of the 16-week study period.

The lead author on the study, M. Axel Wollmer, a psychiatrist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, believes the treatment “interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions.”

Previous studies have shown that Botox impairs a person's ability to identify other people's feelings. This new study, building upon that finding, indicates that the face muscles are just as important for identifying and experiencing emotions as they are for displaying them.

Before using Botox, it is recommended to speak with an experienced physician or  dermatologist Westchester  specialist.
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