NEWS

Botox injections may help lessen depression, study says

Botox may smooth out your mood as well as your wrinkles.

Wrinkles — and depression — be gone.

Botox isn’t just used for smoothing signs of aging. The injection, which is derived from a bacterial toxin, also has a host of known medical uses including easing migraines, muscle spasms, excessive sweating and, according to a new study, potentially lessening depression.

“For years, clinicians have observed that Botox injected for cosmetic reasons seems to ease depression for their patients,” said lead author Ruben Abagyan in a press release for the study, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.

Previously, it was believed this was due to a psychological side effect from Botox reducing the appearance of sadness, but Abagyan and his team found that the drug lessened depression even when it wasn’t used on the face.

“It’s been thought that easing severe frown lines in forehead region disrupts a feedback loop that reinforces negative emotions. But we’ve found here that the mechanism may be more complex, because it doesn’t really matter where the Botox is injected,” Abagyan, who is also a professor of pharmacy, said.

Jessica Rowe on Botox and cosmetic surgery. And Mummy gets her face ironed

A new treatment to fight depression

To determine this, researchers mined over 13 million reports in the Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Effect Reporting System database to locate nearly 40,000 reports of Botox treatment in individuals who were not taking antidepressants. Botox recipients, compared to those who received different treatments for the same issue, reported depression significantly less, researchers found.

“This finding is exciting because it supports a new treatment to affect mood and fight depression, one of the common and dangerous mental illnesses — and it’s based on a very large body of statistical data, rather than limited-scale observations,” said FDA research fellow and study co-author Tigran Makunts.

More research is needed to confirm why Botox works as an antidepressant, but researchers currently hypothesize that either the injection interacts with mood-determining regions of the central nervous system or that it treats chronic conditions which were contributing to depression, thus indirectly relieving the depression by way of relieving the condition causing it.

This story originally ran in the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.

Tags

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close