People who received Botox (botulinum toxin) injections for certain conditions were less likely to report depression than patients who did not receive injections for such diagnoses, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
“For many years, clinicians have observed that Botox, which is given for cosmetic reasons, seems to relieve depression for their patients,” said Ruben Abagyan, a professor of pharmacy and one of the study’s leading researchers.
“It was believed that the relief of strong gloomy lines in the forehead breaks the feedback loop, which intensifies negative emotions. But here we found that the mechanism can be more complicated, because it does not really matter where Botox is injected,”; – said the author in the issue. news.
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The Skaggs Pharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Group at the University of California, San Diego, undressed through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) database to see the side effects reported by nearly 40,000 people who received injections. Botox for various reasons – said in a university news release.
The treatment was performed not only in the forehead, but included several different areas, including the neck, limbs and forehead. The report states that the researchers used the algorithm to find significant statistical differences between patients who used Botox and those who did not.
The study found that depression was reported 40 to 88 percent less often by Botox users during six of the eight conditions and injection sites, the report said.
“This finding is exciting because it supports new treatments that affect mood and combat depression, one of the most common and dangerous mental illnesses – and is based on a very large array of statistics rather than limited observations,” Tigran Makunts, PharmD, one of the researchers of the study, stated in the issue.
More research is needed to determine how Botox potentially acts as an antidepressant, according to the study. Researchers have several theories that need further research. For example, Botox is systematically absorbed by the central nervous system, which is involved in moods or emotions, they hypothesized, or perhaps Botox indirectly affects a person’s depression because Botox helped alleviate an underlying chronic condition that may have been a contributing factor to depression. patient.
Medical experts say that Botox is commonly used not only for cosmetic reasons, such as anti-wrinkle, but also for muscle spasms, muscle tension, migraines, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and other conditions, including excessive sweating and condition of the bladder.
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The FAERS data used in this study were not collected solely to investigate the link between Botox and depression, the news release said. The data represent only a subset of Botox users who reported adverse side effects. The authors note that they excluded data from patients taking antidepressants; however, in some cases the use of drugs may not be reported.
The release states that a clinical trial is underway that directly investigates Botox treatment for people with depression, but it is only testing the injection sites of the forehead. The authors stated that additional clinical trials were needed to investigate which area was best introduced specifically for the treatment of depression.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 264 million people worldwide experience depression.