Could depression be treated with Botox?

April 1, 2014

In the largest randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study to date on the effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA (as known as Botox) on depression, researchers found that more than half of subjects suffering from moderate to severe depression showed a substantial improvement (greater than or equal to 50% of baseline) in their depressive symptoms as measured by the MADRS scale.

The study, conducted by Dr. Eric Finzi, MD, PhD and Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, MD and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, included 74 depressed subjects injected with a single treatment of either onabotulinumtoxinA (OBA) or a placebo to the corrugator and procerus muscles between the eyebrows. Results showed that (as assessed by the MADRS scale) in the OBA treatment group decreased 47 percent after six weeks, compared to 21 percent in the placebo group. This study is the first to show a significant difference in remission rate with OBA in depressed patients (27% OBA vs. 7% ).

Study co-author Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, commented, "This research is groundbreaking because it offers those who suffer from and their doctors an entirely new approach to treating the condition - one that doesn't conflict with any other treatments."

The study showed that Botox may help relieve depressive symptoms both as a stand-alone and an adjunctive treatment.

"This new research supports earlier facial feedback theory of Charles Darwin and William James which suggests that facial expressions influence mood," added Dr. Eric Finzi, Dermasurgeon and co-author on the paper that first reported that inhibition of frowning by facial injection of OBA could help depressed patients in a pilot study published in 2006.

Explore further: Varenicline helps smokers with depression to quit smoking

More information: This article "Treatment of depression with onabotulinumtoxinA: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial" by Eric Finzi and Norman E. Rosenthal, is published in Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 52 (May 2014). dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.11.006

Related Stories

Varenicline helps smokers with depression to quit smoking

September 16, 2013
About half of smokers seeking treatment for smoking cessation have a history of depression. Compared with smokers who are not depressed, those who suffer from a major depressive disorder (MDD) have greater difficulty quitting.

Treating laughter lines leaves patients feeling more depressed

April 12, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Injections of botulism toxin A (often referred to as Botox) to reduce crows' feet leaves people feeling more depressed, according to new research by a Cardiff University psychologist.

Major depression linked with nearly twice the risk of kidney failure in diabetics

March 27, 2014
Major depression may increase diabetes patients' risk of developing kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). Additional studies ...

Physical inactivity after cardiac surgery linked with substantially higher risk of depression

December 19, 2013
New research indicates that inactive patients following cardiac surgery have a substantially higher risk of depression and that the number of patients suffering from depression after cardiac surgery is as high as 40%. Investigators ...

Molecular imaging links systemic inflammation with depression

April 2, 2012
New research published in the April issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine reveals that systemic inflammation causes an increase in depressive symptoms and metabolic changes in the parts of the brain responsible for mood ...

Continuation phase cognitive therapy beneficial in depression

September 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—For patients with major depressive disorder, continuation phase cognitive therapy (C-CT) and fluoxetine prevent relapse; and, a cognitive behavioral prevention (CBP) program provides lasting benefits for some ...

Recommended for you

Depression changes structure of the brain, study suggests

July 21, 2017
Changes in the brain's structure that could be the result of depression have been identified in a major scanning study.

Many kinds of happiness promote better health, study finds

July 21, 2017
A new study links the capacity to feel a variety of upbeat emotions to better health.

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression

July 20, 2017
A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?

July 20, 2017
In one of Aesop's famous fables, we are introduced to the grasshopper and the ant, whose decisions about how to spend their time affect their lives and future. The jovial grasshopper has a blast all summer singing and playing, ...

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan

July 20, 2017
Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about equally active as other people your age?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.