Firstly, Happy New Year to all our readers, colleagues and friends! Last year was a fantastic year for us and hopefully 2013 will be just as prosperous as we celebrate PRIME’s second birthday and the launch of PRIME North America.

When the anti-ageing and aesthetic effects of botulinum toxin were first approved for use,  it was hailed as a ‘wonder drug’ for facial rejuvenation and the erasure of those pesky frown lines. As product development and treatment techniques have continually improved over the past decade, the treatment has become one of the most popular and most sought-after by patients wishing to halt the signs of ageing.

It is no secret either that botulinum toxin —  and particularly Botox — can be used for other medical purposes, such as in the treatment of hyperhidrosis, blepharospasm and chronic migraine, making this product formulation an incredible asset in the medical arsenal.

However, it doesn’t just stop there, as recent research has shown that Botox may also show benefits for those patients suffering from clinical depression.

[pull_quote align=”right” ]Researchers studied the effects of Botox ‘therapy’ in 30 patients who had been suffering from long-term drug-resistant depression.[/pull_quote] In a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research last May, researchers studied the effects of Botox ‘therapy’ in 30 patients who had been suffering from long-term drug‑resistant depression, half of whom received placebo, and the other half receiving five injections of Botox.

After 6 weeks it was found that the Botox cohort saw a 47% decrease in depressive symptoms, while the placebo group only saw a 9% decrease.

These results were recently supported by a study presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting in December 2012.

A group of researchers from the Chevy Chase Cosmetic Center in Maryland, US, examined 84 individuals who had drug-resistant severe depression lasting for an average of 2 years. This was also a placebo-controlled study, and found that over a quarter of those who had received Botox had a ‘nearly complete remission of their depression’, compared with 7% in the placebo cohort.

This is clearly exciting news for the medical community, but clearly more in-depth research is needed before regulatory authorities will even consider adding this treatment indication.

It is postulated that Botox could affect depression in a biological way, such as through the immune system, which is often altered with the condition. Regardless, the results of both studies provide an interesting mind–body connection.