Botox for Mood Enhancement?

By Dr. James White

For over ten years now, Botox has proven itself an effective method of temporary fine line and wrinkle reduction. A recent study now suggests that the benefits associated with Botox extend beyond cosmetic enhancement, possibly serving a psychological role.

According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Botox may help patients suffering with depression, who are resistant to previous treatment, by preventing the face’s capacity to exhibit negative expressions or emotion. During the 16 week, randomized double-blind trial , a control group of 15 participants received only placebo injections while a treatment group of 15 participants received one session of Botox where 5 total injections were placed between the eyebrows (11 lines) and above the brows.

After 6 weeks, both participating groups were evaluated. The treatment group expressed a 47 percent reduction in depression-related symptoms which lasted the duration of the 16 week study while the placebo group only reported a 9 percent reduction in symptoms .

The director of the study, M. Axel Wollmer of the University of Basel, explains “that because Botulinum Toxin interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions,” Botox injections may be effective in addressing some forms of depression.

Ultimately, this study supports the theory that facial muscles not only project emotions, but also manage mood. Or perhaps, looking better on the outside positively effects the way we feel on the inside. Regardless of these findings, it is important to note that Botox has not been proven as a valid means of mood medication replacement. It is effective for the reduction of dynamic lines and wrinkles.

If you are interested in botulinum toxin treatments, we offer many options at our practice including Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. We can help you put on that “happy face”. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call 423-648-4011.

For a complimentary consultation call 423-648-4011.