People who received injections of Botox (botulinum toxin) for certain conditions reported less depression less often compared to patients who did not receive the injections for similar diagnoses, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
“For years, doctors have observed that Botox injected for cosmetic reasons seems to relieve depression for their patients,” Ruben Abagyan, a doctor by profession and one of the study’s lead researchers, said in a statement.
“It has been thought that decreasing severe onion lines in the forehead region disrupts a feedback loop that reinforces negative emotions. But we have found here that the mechanism can be more complex because it doesn̵7;t matter where it is injected. Botox, “the author said in a statement.
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The research team at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, combed through the Food and Drug Administration’s adverse effects reversal system database. (FDA) of the US to see the side effects reported by about 40,000 people who received. Botox injections for several reasons, according to a university statement.
The treatments were not just on the forehead but included several different places, including the neck, limbs and forehead. The statement said the researchers used an algorithm to find statistically significant differences between patients who used Botox and those who did not by the same number.
The researchers found that depression was reported between 40 and 88 percent fewer times by Botox users for six of the eight conditions and injection sites, according to the statement.
“This finding is exciting because it supports a new treatment to affect mood and combat depression, one of the most common and dangerous mental illnesses; and is based on a very large set of statistical data, rather than observations on limited scale, ”Tigran Makunts, PharmD, one of the study’s researchers, said in the statement.
More research is needed to determine how Botox may act as an antidepressant, according to the study. Researchers have some theories that need more research. For example, when Botox is systematically absorbed into the central nervous system, which is involved in mood or emotions, they raised their hypothesis or possibly that Botox indirectly affected a person’s depression because the Botox helped relieve an underlying chronic illness that may have been a contributing factor to the patient’s depression.
Health experts say that Botox is commonly used not only for cosmetic reasons, such as fighting wrinkles, but also for muscle spasms, tight muscles, migraines, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, as well as other conditions that include excessive sweating and bladder conditions.
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According to the news, it was collected that the FAERS data used in this study were not collected solely for the purpose of investigating the link between botox and depression. The data only represent a subset of Botox users who reported experiencing negative side effects. The authors note that they excluded data from patients taking antidepressants; however, in some cases, medication use may have been little reported.
The statement stated that there is a clinical trial that is directly investigating Botox treatment for people with depression, but is only testing head injection sites. The authors said additional clinical trials are needed to investigate which site is best injected specifically to treat depression.
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that more than 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.