According to a study published Thursday in the Scientific Reports, people who received injections of Botox (botulinum toxin) under certain conditions showed less depression compared with patients who did not receive injections for similar diagnoses.
“Clinicians have been observing for years that injecting Botox for cosmetic reasons alleviates depression in patients,” said Ruben Abagyan, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacy and one of the study’s lead researchers, in a statement.
“It was assumed that the release of strong cloudy lines in the forehead disrupts the feedback loop, which strengthens negative emotions. However, we found that this mechanism can be more complex, because it does not matter where Botox is injected, “the author said in a press release.
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Skaggs̵7; pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical science research team at the University of California, San Diego, has downloaded the US Advance Reporting System (FADA) database of adverse reactions reported by nearly 40,000 people who have received Botox injections for various reasons, according to a university report.
The treatment was not only on the forehead, but included several different sites, including the neck, limbs and forehead. The report states that the researchers used an algorithm to find significant statistical differences between patients who used Botox and those who did not agree with the same problem.
The researchers found that depression was reported 40 to 88 percent less frequently by Botox users for six of the eight conditions and injection sites, depending on the release.
“This finding is exciting because it supports new treatments affecting mood and the fight against depression, one of the common and dangerous mental illnesses – and is based on a very large amount of statistics and not limited observations,” Tigran Makunts, PharmD, one of the scientists in the study, said in an issue.
According to the study, further research is needed to find out how Botox potentially acts as an antidepressant. Scientists have several theories that require further investigation. For example, when Botox is absorbed systemically into the central nervous system, which is involved in mood or emotion, Botox is thought to or likely to indirectly affect a person’s depression because Botox helped alleviate the underlying chronic disease that may have been a contributing factor to the patient’s depression.
Health experts argue that Botox is commonly used not only for cosmetic reasons, such as to fight wrinkles, but also for muscle cramps, tense muscles, migraines, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, as well as other conditions, including excessive sweating and bladder conditions.
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The FAERS data used in this study were not collected solely for the purpose of investigating the association between Botox and depression. The data represent only a subset of Botox users who reported negative side effects. The authors note that they excluded data from patients taking antidepressants; however, in some cases, the use of medicines may have been insufficiently reported.
This issue states that a clinical trial is underway that directly investigates botox treatment in depressed people, but only tests for injection sites on the forehead. The authors stated that further clinical trials were needed to determine which site was best applied specifically for the treatment of depression.
An estimated 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization.