Expertly administered Botox injections have proven to provide a myriad of benefits, most notably a smoother, tighter, younger look but also alleviation of headaches and excessive perspiration. Now, research shows that this immensely popular cosmetic treatment may also offer a happiness boost.
Authored by prominent psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, and Maryland dermatologic surgeon Eric Finzi, MD, PhD, the study shows Botox injections may help alleviate symptoms of depression. The notion is a particularly promising one Botox lacks many of the side effects commonly associated with conventional antidepressant medications, such as weight gain, insomnia and loss of libido.
The concept is dubbed “emotional proprioception” and is based on Botox’s classification as a neuromodulator. In neuromodulation, “the muscles of facial expression play a central role in encoding and transmitting information to the brain’s emotional circuitry, and describe its underlying neuroanatomy,” Rosenthal and Finzi write.
When Botox is injected into the frown lines (those that form an “11″ between the eyebrows), it blocks the brain’s trigeminal nerve. It’s that particular nerve that gives us the ability to frown and tells the brain that we’re sad. Essentially, it tricks the brain into a positive mood boost by assuring that the message of sadness never gets delivered.
“We suggest that Botulinum toxin type A may be considered a potential Rx for depression,” Rosenthal and Finzi write. “As more data accumulate, we will learn when and how best to deploy this new tool.”
Though use of Botox for alleviation of depression is in early investigative stages and currently off-label, researchers say results of the study show significant improvement in depressive symptoms. That said, we here at Jacksonville’s Parkway Plastic Surgery frequently see anecdotal signs of Botox-induced mood boosts in our patients – and with good reason. Botox’s ability to diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines, affording patients a smoother, healthier and more youthful look, is a proven confidence builder. And when you’re confident that you look better, you inevitably feel better, too.
Learn more about how Botox can benefit you by calling 904-396-1186 to schedule a consultation.