Can Botox Cure Depression?

By blocking facial expressions the cosmetic procedure may prevent signals being sent to the brain that cause low mood.

Depression can be crippling, with symptoms ranging from lasting feelings of hopelessness to even physical aches and pains.

The little-understood mental health condition may affect up to one in four people at some point in their lives.

With varied evidence of available treatments’ effectiveness, army veteran Vivian Cooke relies on botox to help combat her debilitating depression.

Ms Cooke had tried numerous alternative therapies and medications without success before giving the unlikely cosmetic treatment a try three years ago.

Although botox is typically associated with giving users youthful looks, it may help to ease mental health conditions by blocking the facial expressions that send signals to the brain and are linked to low mood.

Ms Cooke said: ‘I found overall my mood was better on a day-to-day basis. I had less problems with depression,’ CBS News reported.

She was participating in a clinical trial assessing botox in depression.

The study has since completed, but Ms Cooke will continue to receive the injections.

Dr. Eric Finzi, Chevy Chase Cosmetic Center, Maryland, said: ‘Botox basically inhibits the muscle and calms it down, so it becomes more difficult to feel those negative emotions.’

On 5 April 2017, pharmaceutical giant Allergan announced the results of its clinical trial assessing botox in depression were sufficiently encouraging to move the treatment on to the next stage of development.

Dr Finzi said: ‘Our hope is eventually it will form a place as one of the tools to treat depression.’

Botox is a prescription drug that is injected into muscles to block their nerve signals.

It is used cosmetically to temporarily improve frown lines between the eyes and crow’s feet around the sides of the eyes.

Its medical uses include treating bladder incontinence, severe sweating, headache and muscle stiffness.

Researchers are also investigating botox’s potential at treating social anxiety and bipolar disorder.

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