Will Botox be the new Prozac?

(Lucky Business/shutterstock.com)

(Lucky Business/shutterstock.com)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

Feeling blue? Try Botox -- at least that's the premise of early research that suggests that Botox could treat depression as well as wrinkles.

Dr. Eric Finzi and his team from Chevy Chase Cosmetic Center in Maryland, US, report that the facial freezer may work because it physically prevents a person from frowning, which can trigger negative emotions and depressions.

The research involved 84 subjects with severe depression that lasted on average for two years and did not respond well to antidepressants. Subjects were divided into randomized groups, with the research group receiving a Botox jab to smooth frown lines, and the control group receiving a placebo injection. Both groups were assessed three and six weeks later.

According to Time in the US on Thursday, about 27 percent of the Botox group reported an absence of depression, compared to only seven percent of those who received a placebo.

While the results are intriguing, more research needs to be done to better understand how Botox works in the body. For example, the researchers aren't sure if Botox triggers a biological affect, such as on the immune system, which can be altered with depression, or whether it is more psychological. 

A 2011 study found that Botox may impair not just the expression of emotions, but also the actual perception of them. People who used Botox in the study were less able to read others' emotions, said researchers from the University of Southern California and Duke University.

Source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/27/how-treating-wrinkles-may-also-relieve-depression


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