Dealing with depression? Try some Botox.

Dr. Smart discusses treating depression with Botox

botox
Positive effects on mood have been seen in patients who’ve had Botox treatment for the glabella frown lines (the area above the nose and between the eyebrows). And a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry adds further evidence to support the use of botox as an adjunctive therapy to treat depression.

In this study a total of 30 patients with high levels of chronic and treatment-resistant depression were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single treatment of Botox or a single treatment of saline (placebo). Six weeks after a single treatment, the Botox group had an average 47.1% reduction in depression symptoms vs. 9.2% in the placebo group.

Why would this work? 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 to prevent the facial muscles from expressing a frown or brooding scowl seems to interrupt this cycle.

About Dr. David Smart

Dr. Smart was born in Salt Lake City and grew up climbing and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and must have enjoyed the harsh winters of the upper Midwest so much that he decided to stay in nearby Chicago to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. With a particular interest in laser and cosmetic medicine, as well as general dermatology, Dr. Smart is excited to join the Advanced Dermatology team as the laser and cosmetic fellow.

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