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Wednesday
Aug132014

Botox And It's Effects On The Brain

Does paralizing the muscles used to frown actually effect the brain?

Here's some completely antecdotal findings that preventing people from physically frowning might actually have effects that make them happier. (Not scientifically validated of course.)

The facial feedback hypothesis states that facial movement can influence emotional experience. Charles Darwin was among the first to suggest that physiological changes caused by an emotion had a direct impact on, rather than being just the consequence of that emotion. Recently, strong experimental support for a facial feedback mechanism is provided through the use of Botox to temporarily paralyze facial muscles.

In a functional neuroimaging study, Andreas Hennenlotter and colleagues, Botox decreased activation of brain regions implicated in emotional processing and emotional experience (namely, the amygdala and the brainstem). These studies suggest that botox can dampen the ability to understand another's emotions, and they lend considerable support to Darwin's original notion.

Botox: The Brain Effect Dr. Patrick Treacy IACD Sao Paulo BRAZIL 2014

Article Rejuvenate Magazine 2006
Can Botox Treat Depression?
 

Addendum from the Editor of the Journal of Dermatological Surgery: However, this report must be considered anecdotal as there were no appropriate methods of control utilized. In addition, there were other methodological weaknesses including limited follow-up, lack of randomization, the absence of blind evaluation, and especially the small number of individuals included. The method evaluating depression should be more rigorous. Patients’ self-report of depressive symptoms by administration of the BDI-II introduces a significant self-report bias. This is of more concern because of the potential for secondary gain. 

While the BDI-II is an accepted method of evaluating an individual’s level of symptoms over time, self-report in isolation is not an acceptable method of diagnosing depression. In order to ensure that patients’ psychiatric symptoms are accurately classified, a thorough psychiatric interview must be conducted, and a second blind evaluator would add some credibility. That being said, this is an intriguing report, which fits with our clinical impression. Obviously further work is merited on this important observation. ALASTAIR CARRUTHERS, FRCPC Vancouver, Canada

I must say that I was initially heartened to see the study of the treatment of depression with Botox as many doctors will reveal a similar picture from their patient's own experience. I examined Finzi's paper in the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and have concerns that this doctor used a very small number of patients, lacked a control group, had no assessing the patients and even t psychiatrist allowed the patients to assess themselves. I noted in an accompanying commentary, that editor Alastair Carruthers, also cited a series of flaws with the study and concluded that its finding must be considered anecdotal. It is of more than passing interest that this doctor has now filed a patent concerning this treatment. If Botox does relieve depression then this is not the paper to prove it.  Dr. Patrick Treacy Dublin Ireland

Does Botox effect the Brain?

In a functional neuroimaging study, Andreas Hennenlotter and colleagues asked participants to perform a facial expression imitation task in an fMRI scanner before and two weeks after receiving botox injections in the corrugator supercilii muscle used in frowning. During imitation of angry facial expressions, botox decreased activation of t brain regions implicated in emotional processing and emotional experience (namely, the amygdala and the brainstem), relative to activations before botox injection. These findings show that facial feedback modulates neural processing of emotional content, and that botox changes how the human brain responds to emotional situations. Hennenlotter et al.,

Functional MRI and glabellar botulinum injection 2008

These findings show that facial feedback modulates neural processing of emotional content, and that botox changes how the human brain responds to emotional situations. Hennenlotter et al., 2008 2008
2012

In the first randomized, controlled study on the effect of botulinum toxin—known commercially as Botox—on depression, researchers investigated whether it might aid patients with major depressive disorder who had not responded to antidepressant medications. Participants in the treatment group were given a t single dose (consisting of five injections) of botulinum toxin in the area of the face between and just above the eyebrows, whereas the control group was given placebo injections. Depressive symptoms in the treatment group decreased 47 percent after six weeks, an improvement that remained through the 16-week study period. The placebo group had a 9 percent reduction in symptoms. The findings appeared in May in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Charles Darwin concluded work on The Descent of Man on 15 January 1871. On 17 January 1871, he started work on The Expression of the Emotions, employing the unused material on emotional expression. He published on 22 August 1872.

Facial expressions are motions or positions of the muscles beneath the skin of the face. There are two brain pathways associated with facial expression; (1) voluntary expression involving the cortex. (2) emotional expression originating in the extrapyramidal motor system involving the subcortical nuclei. Primary emotions are not t associated with the cortex and are displayed unconsciously. 2008 This is demonstrated in infants before the age of two; they display happiness, sadness, fear, anger, degust and surprise. Infants’ displays of these emotions indicate that they are not cortically related.
Similarly, blind children also display emotions, proving that they are subconscious rather than learned. The amygdala have a significant role in the recognition of fear and negative emotions. It is believed that the emotion disgust is recognized through activation of the insula and basal ganglia. t 2008 Happiness Sadness Fear Anger Disgust Surprise. 2008

Charles Darwin was among the first to suggest that physiological changes caused by an emotion had a direct impact on, rather than being just the consequence of that emotion.

The facial feedback hypothesis states that facial movement can influence emotional experience. For example, an individual who is forced to smile during a social event will actually come to find the event more of an enjoyable experience. t The free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it. On the other hand, the repression, as far as this is possible, of all outward signs softens our emotions... Even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our minds. Charles Darwin 1872 2008

When the muscles that control frowning are frozen, a person tends to smile more – the act of smiling produces feelings of happiness. Displaying expressions of positive emotions can actually put you in a good mood!

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