Los Angeles Cosmetic Surgeon: Botox Improves Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

Published on May 14, 2014
Doctor with a needle

According to Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Abergel, the cosmetic drug Botox – which paralyzes the facial muscles involved in producing frown lines – appears to help alleviate the symptoms of depression, especially among patients who exhibit a high degree of hyperactivity.

While utilizing Botox in this way might seem more like treating a symptom of depression rather than the cause, it should be noted that emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Because Botox is known to target the same region in the forehead that produces frowns, this cycle can be interrupted.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, 15 subjects who suffered from major depressive disorder and had been resistant to other forms of therapy were each given a single injection of Botox. That drug’s effect on facial muscles is known to last for three to six months, and this study lasted 16 weeks.

Within six weeks, symptoms of depression had been reduced by almost 50% among the Botox-injected group, versus a 9.2% reduction among those who received the placebo. The researchers also found that by the end of the study, almost 90% of those injected with Botox experienced at least a partial response, while only about 27% of the control group did.

The most common unfavorable reaction experienced by patients in the study was headache. Approximately six participants experienced mild to severe headaches, which lasted only a few days, and the difference between headache rates experienced by the placebo group was not statistically important.

In fact, your Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon suggested that the injection may well have cured – rather than caused – the headaches, since Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic migraines.

If these findings hold up, treating depression and migraines would not be the only significant medical usages for Botox – it has also been approved by the FDA for the eye conditions and the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe crow’s feet, as well as severe underarm perspiration.

If you are suffering from depression, contact the office of Los Angeles cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Abergel today to see if Botox might provide the relief you need.

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