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Botox may help treat depression, says study

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Patients who receive Botox anti-wrinkle treatment could be helping to fight depression because it prevents them from frowning, according to a study

Botox injections paralyse the muscles in the forehead, stopping people from being able to frown. The findings suggested that by blocking frowning, Botox prevented expressions of negative emotion, which in turn put people in a happier mood.

The scientists, led by Dr Michael Lewis, from Cardiff University, studied 25 people. Of the group, 12 had botulism toxin A injections to the forehead while the others had cosmetic treatments, fillers or peals.

Two weeks after the treatments the participants completed a mood questionnaire, which found that those using Botox were significantly less irritable, depressed and anxious than those using the other treatments.

Dr Lewis said: ‘Both groups had had some form of cosmetic treatment, and there was no difference in how effective they thought their treatment had been, so this result is most likely due to the effects of Botox specifically.’

He said the research may help the development of a new treatment for depressive illnesses.

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