Botox - Going Beyond the Cosmetic
When it was first discovered in 1870, botulinum toxin was known as 'sausage poison' because it was often found in undercooked meats.
Today, 'sausage poison' now has the more appealing moniker of 'Botox' and it is synonymous with a wrinkle-free complexion and age-less beauty.
Beyond cosmetic purposes, Botox has been used to treat everything from migraine headaches to excessive sweating. It has also helped those who suffer from overactive bladder syndrome and Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain disorders.
And now it seems that Botox might be able to add another feature to its growing list of uses.
Botox for Depression
In an article first published in the May 2006 issue of Journal of Dermatologic Surgery, Dr Eric Finzi, a Maryland-based dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, presented evidence from a clinical study in which Botox injections were used to treat clinically depressed patients.
Finzi, who went on Good Morning America to discuss his findings, revealed that of the 10 patients he treated, nine recovered from their depressive states.
Testing a Theory
Testing a theory that correlated scowling with brain feedback, Dr. Finzi injected his subjects with Botox between their eyebrows. He hypothesized that there is direct feedback between the facial frown muscles and the depression center of the brain. By removing the ability to frown, he reasoned that the brain would no longer receive the concept of 'depression'.
After the publication of his findings, Finzi continued his research and updated his study to 15 patients.
If clinical depression studies weren't enough,
By injecting Botox into the tumors of lab mice, scientists manipulated blood vessels that feed cancer to open up and allow for a more effective delivery of chemotherapy treatment.
Although the investigations have the world talking, medical experts still warn that not enough research has been done with Botox-related therapy to form a conclusive opinion.