Dr. Joel Schlessinger weighs in on a recent study that suggests Botox could improve your mood                                                                                                                                                               A new study out of Georgetown Medical School suggests that it might be possible to treat depression by relaxing a patient’s facial muscles with Botox. This injectable contracts the muscles, preventing patients from frowning. The research, which will be published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, followed 74 patients with major depression who were assigned either Botox or a saline placebo. Six weeks later, 52 percent of the subjects who were given Botox showed relief from depression, compared with only 15 percent of those who were given the placebo.

Similar studies have found Botox to have the same effects, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.

The results of this study are not entirely unprecedented. A study at Cardiff University found that non-depressed patients at a cosmetic dermatology clinic who received a Botox injection above the eyes frowned less and felt better than those who did not receive Botox. A similar study at the University of Basel found that Botox had a more positive effect than a placebo when given to depressed patients. Further research on the effects of Botox will be able to shed more light on this issue.

Other treatments for depression use similar facial feedback, Dr. Joel Schlessinger shares.

It’s still unclear whether Botox is an effective anti-depressant, but there are a few treatments for depression that use facial feedback in a similar way. Light therapy stimulates the retina, exciting the optic nerve and sending signals directly to the brain. This technique is used to treat seasonal depression. Another method includes direct electrical stimulation of the brain’s vagal nerve, which is thought to have anti-depressant effects.

Do you have a question for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.

Posted Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at 2:18 pm
Filed Under Category: Cosmetic Surgery, Injections and Fillers, Research and Studies, Skin Care, Skin Care Myths
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Responses to “Dr. Joel Schlessinger weighs in on a recent study that suggests Botox could improve your mood”

Jennifer at TSS

The Botox as an Anti-Depressant studies have fascinated me. I find it interesting that your facial expression can have an impact on your mood.

What else is very interesting to me is the research being done to assist with asthma and arthritis (among other things), almost like Botox is taking over when steroids don’t work or stop working. Very interesting, and I continue to follow these results.


Yes, Botox has often been referred to as the aspirin of the 21st century. I believe it. There is so much to be discovered about this important drug.

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