Thursday, August 17, 2006

Botox Cures Depression In Patients? - By Ricardo Silva

Every once in a while, the medical profession comes up with something truly surprising. In this case, it is the new finding that Botox may cure depression.

Botox Cures Depression in Patients?

In the world of elective medical treatment, Botox has proven to be one of the more popular treatment courses. Given as an injection, this otherwise nasty stuff has proven to reduce or eliminate wrinkles in the facial area. Given the fact Botox injections are a fraction of the cost of a facelift, the procedure has met with massive popularity. Now, it may really explode on to the scene.

Over the years, medical professionals have noticed that patients getting Botox injections report being happier. Perhaps due to ego, most doctors simply thought they had done a good job and the patient’s happiness was a psychological result of feeling better about their appearance. A recent study, however, suggests there is more to the sensation of happiness than just the perception of one’s appearance.

Recently, a pilot study was undertaken to analyze the relationship of Botox injections and depression. The study involved 10 patients that were diagnosed with depression. They were then given a course of Botox injections per usual custom and standards of the medical treatment. 90 percent of the patients reported that their depression lifted after the treatments, a rather stunning result.

Medical professionals are drawing a number of general conclusions from the study. First, it appears facial expressions may have a direct correlation to mood. In the study, the injections were used to eliminate frown lines. Second, a discussion of the subject resulted in the surprising realization for doctors that many patients undergoing Botox injections have admitted they are doing so to feel better, not improve their appearance.

So, should you rush out and get Botox injections if you are depressed? Well, such injections carry little risk, so it probably will not hurt to do so. What you must realize, however, is a study of 10 people is not of sufficient size to draw any solid conclusions. Botox injections may help depression, then again they may not. The only way to really know is to conduct a study of a much larger number of people.

Could Botox be the cure to systematic depression in patients? The first impressions are good, but much more clinical analysis is needed.

Ricardo de Silva is with Plastic Surgeon Practices - a directory of plastic surgeons. Visit us to read more plastic surgery articles.

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