Botox Tricks Brain

Into Happiness, Alleviating Depression

Botox, Healthy Living Magazine

Botox, Healthy Living Magazine

By treating the facial muscles involved in expressing specific emotions with botox, the brain can be tricked into being happier, says new research from the Hannover Medical School in Germany. The potential treatment was discussed in depth by investigator Prof. Tillmann Kruger, at the American Psychiatric Association's 2014 Annual Meeting. "Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions," said Kruger at the press conference, "Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin interrupts this cycle."

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The study was inspired by positive mental effects in patients who had recieved aesthetic botox treatments on their "frown lines", wrinkles above the nose. 30 participants with ranging severities of depression were studied. Half were randomly chosen to be injected with Botox, and the other half were injected with a saline placebo. In as little as six weeks after the treatment, the placebo group showed a 9.2% improvement in depression symptoms, while those who had recieved the botox reported a 47% reduction. The researchers noted that the effects were even more pronounced at the end of the study.

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Kruger concluded by saying that Botox may offer a "novel, effective, well-accepted, and economic therapeutic tool for the treatment of major depression."

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