Botox- A Treatment For Depression

You may know that there is a wide range of unpleasant side effects which can be caused by antidepressant medication such as; nausea, weight gain or loss of sexual desire. But what you may not be aware of is that Botox, a popular treatment for facial lines and wrinkles or excessive sweating, may also alleviate depression without these negative side effects.

Botox treatment in Toronto is able to do much more than keep you looking young and beautiful – according to the latest medical research. In the June 2016 Journal of Psychiatric Research, prominent psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, and Maryland dermatologic surgeon Eric Finzi, MD, Ph.D., explain how something called, “emotional proprioception” works to help us feel better.

They explain that, “afferent nerve fibers appear to relay emotional information to the brain on a moment to moment basis, signaling our emotional state.” This is known as an emotional feedback hypothesis or emotional proprioception.

Botox is a type of medication known as a neuromodulator. It affects how our nerves conduct messages and when injected into specific muscles, will temporarily weaken the nerve communication which causes that muscle to flex and create deep lines. Common locations for facial injection include the corrugator muscles in between the brows and various expressive muscles. Recent scientific studies have suggested that facial muscle movement, including frown muscles, have an important effect on our on mood.

Various studies were conducted to test the effect of facial expression on mood. Functional MRI imaging of the brain reflected that patients who had brows treated with Botox were less chemically responsive to negative stimuli. Drs. Rosenthal and Finzi hypothesized that by injecting Botox into the brow, they could temporarily paralyze the corrugator muscle, which influences a signal sent along the optic branch of the trigeminal nerve. “At a neuroanatomical level (Botox) is literally relieving the pain and stress carried by the corrugator muscles of the brow.”


It is the brain’s trigeminal nerve which allows us to frown and communicates to the brain how we are feeling. Neuromodulators such as Xeomin, Dysport or Botox can block the messages that our frowning muscles would have sent – so the brain does not receive the sad feelings associated with that muscle movement. Dr’s Eric Finzi and Norman E. Rosenthal wrote, “We suggest that Botulinum toxin type A may be considered a potential Rx for depression.” Botox treatment for depression is a relatively new area of focus for the medication which has been used to treat wrinkles in Toronto for so long.

Further testing and application will tell just how much benefit this cosmetic multitasker can offer in the area of depression treatment. One of the valuable characteristics of Botox treatment, however, is that it causes very few side effects and has no described interactions with other drug therapies so it can be used as a stand-alone therapy or adjunctive to antidepressant medications.

We have known for a long time that often, feeling better about your appearance will help you to feel better in general, but you may also get the added bonus of a mood boost from your Botox therapy, regardless of existing depression treatment.




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