In DepthPsychiatry

Botox depression treatment raises eyebrows

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Science  25 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6549, pp. 1378
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6549.1378

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Summary

By using a bacterial neurotoxin to paralyze facial muscles, Botox treatments get rid of wrinkle lines. They can also make it hard to frown. That has led some clinicians to the unusual idea that, by eliminating the negative emotional feedback that frowns feed the brain, Botox can also be used to treat depression. In March, a group of researchers endorsed the concept with a meta-analysis combining data from five trials that they say provides top-quality evidence that should "pave the way" for Botox's use in psychiatry. But many researchers remain skeptical, and the authors of a different meta-analysis say there is reason to think the evidence for the treatment is still weak.

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