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Botox For Depression? Yep.

Depression symptoms were reduced 47% in subjects given a one-time Botox injection. Huh?

Guess what? That Botox that you're injecting may be having an effect on more than just crows-feet.

File this under "cool things you can bring up during a Botox consultation".

In a study (Finzi et al., 2014), researchers found that it can also help treat symptoms of depression.

According to the P.I., Professor Norman Rosenthal the research offers a new approach that shouldn't conflict with other treatments the patient might be on.

The reserarchers injected 74 subjects, half with Botox and half with a placebo.

From the abstract:

To determine the antidepressant effect of onabotulinumtoxinA (OBA) treatment of corrugator and procerus muscles in people with major depressive disorder, we conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. In an outpatient clinical research center, eighty-five subjects with DSM-IV major depression were randomized to receive either OBA (29 units for females and 40 units for males) or saline injections into corrugator and procerus frown muscles (74 subjects were entered into the analysis). Subjects were rated at screening, and 3 and 6 weeks after OBA treatment. The primary outcome measure was the response rate, as defined by ≥ 50% decrease in score on the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). 

The result showed that in the group that got the Botox injections there was a 47% reduction in depression symptoms. The p;acebo group showed a reduction of just 21%.

The thinking is that there's a feedback loop where facial espressions aren't just an expression, but can actually influence mood. So people who can't frown (for whatever reason) aren't getting that reinforcement and feel less depressed. It's a theory from a new area of psychology called embodied cognition - the idea that we actually think with our bodies. So the Botox makes it harder to frown = people feel less depressed.

Reader Comments (1)

I just had to comment on this post. I read it a few days ago and twice in the last two days I mentioned just pre-treatment with two different patients. What surprised me was their reaction which might best be described as, "Yeah. That feels about right". Their reaction actually did surprise me, but what do I know. It made me really wonder how closely tied patient satisfaction from this effect is tied to the actual results. I'm rambling but I just found this unexpectedly interesting.

06.9 | Unregistered CommenterJLHam

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