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Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

Most of us know Botox can be useful in treating a variety of conditions such as fine lines, wrinkles, excessive perspiration and migraine headaches, but now recent studies suggest Botox may also be effective in helping to relieve depression. Botulinum toxin as an anti-depressant? According to researchers at the Hannover Medical School in Germany, yes.

A total of 30 patients who possessed chronic depression unresponsive to traditional forms of treatment participated in the study. Essentially, patients randomly received a single injection of either botulinum toxin or a placebo. Injections were placed at the “frown-line” area (between the eyebrows). At a six week post-treatment follow-up, Botox recipients reported a 47.1 percent decrease in depression related symptoms whereas placebo recipients only reported a 9.2 percent reduction in depression related indications.

Study analyst Professor Tillmann Kruger explains, “Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin interrupts this cycle.”

Have you ever heard smiling can actually trick your brain into thinking you are happy? This is the essence of Botox therapy.

The study has since been replicated in two similar investigations, giving Botox injection therapy a promising reputation in the field of psychiatry. Where oral anti-depressants present a myriad of possible side-effects, Botox therapy for depression exhibits no evidence of side-effects other than an added bonus-a reduction in wrinkles and fine lines. Moreover, oral depression medications typically require daily use whereas a single injection of botulinum toxin lasts around three months.

Because insurance does not currently cover Botox for depression, this form of treatment can be costly- starting around $500 per treatment. But for many depression patients resistant to traditional therapy, the investment may be worth a try. Worst-case scenario, reduction in depression may not be notable, but frown-lines are erased allowing for a happier, more youthful appearance.

Botox injections only take around 30 minutes to perform and require no downtime. Patients report minimal discomfort.

If you are interested in frown-line treatment, call 423-648-4011 and schedule your complimentary consultation with our Board Certified Surgeons.

Information for this article was referenced from “More Evidence Botox Works for Depression” by Caroline Cassels found on webMD.com

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