For years, we’ve heard from our patients across New Jersey that they feel “better” after receiving a Botox treatment. Of course, this makes sense – we’ve often said confidence is a mood-enhancer. If you look better, you’re going to feel better.
But it turns out there may be more to Botox treatments than meets the eye (or forehead).
In a recent research study at the Hanover Medical School in Germany, 30 patients with chronic, high levels of treatment-resistant depression were split into two groups. One group was given a single Botox treatment in their glabeller muscles (the “concern” muscles that give you a furrowed brow), while the other group received a placebo treatment in the form of saline injections.
Amazingly, of the group that received the Botox treatment, almost 50% were rated as being less depressed according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Of those that got saline, only 9.2% were less depressed.
Botox treatments work by slowing down the muscles in the brow that convey emotions like fear, stress and unhappiness. How does this reduce depression? One theory is that, when you furrow your brow, the muscles send feedback signals to the brain. The Botox treatment interrupts that cycle. After awhile, the brain figures, “if she isn’t scowling, why should I be depressed?”
Two more studies have revealed similar results. While larger studies still need to be performed, there is good evidence that Botox injections may turn out to be an effective, long-term treatment for major depression that, until now, has resisted all other forms of treatment.
While Botox treatments are famous for removing lines from the face, it is also used to treat a whole host of serious maladies. It can be used treat migraines, to manage over active bladders, and help with focal dystonia, an illness that causes rapid eye blinking.
All told, Botox is an amazing and very powerful medicine, one that’s being used to make people happy in many different ways around the globe. If it also makes you look great, that’s just icing on the cake!