In the world of dermatology and cosmetic surgery, everyone knows that Botox works to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles. But did you know studies have demonstrated that it also shows promise in the treatment of depression?
In a 2014 double-blind, randomized control study at the Hannover Medical School in Germany with 30 participants found that a single injection of Botox above the nose and between the eyebrows improved mood in patients with major depression resistant to treatment. The group who were given the Botox averaged a 47.1% reduction in symptoms over 16 weeks, vs. 9.2% in the group who were given only saline injections as a placebo.
Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain that reinforce those emotions,” according to Prof. Tillmann Kruger, one of the study’s authors. “Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin interrupts this cycle.
The Hannover experiment has since been repeated in two other studies, which showed similar results. Besides the fact that it seems to work in cases that have otherwise proven intractable, other advantages of using Botox for depression over more conventional treatments include the fact that it’s usually more cost-effective, has a proven track record of safety, has no interactions with other prescription medications, and—unlike drug or talk therapy—has minimal issues with patient compliance.
If you think this use of Botox might be right for you, talk with the doctors at Skin Associates of South Florida, whose extensive experience with injectable neuromodulators, including Botox, can help you make the right decision.