Study supports botulinum toxin for treating depression

07 Aug 2020

Research published in Scientific Reports journal has suggested that botulinum toxin (BoNT-A) could be used as an effective treatment for patients with depression.

Researchers from the University of California in San Diego analysed more than 45,000 clinical reports of adverse events resulting from BoNT-A treatments for a variety of conditions.

It was observed that those who received treatment for cosmetic use in facial muscles, migraine (facial and head muscles), spasms and spasticity (upper and lower limbs excluding facial muscles), torticollis and neck pain (neck muscles), blepharospasm (eyelid muscles) and hyperhidrosis (axilla and palm), had a significantly lower incidence of depression and depression-related AE reports, compared to the control groups.

The authors stated, “Our findings show that the antidepressant effect of BoNT-A administered for various indications goes beyond the control of the intended disease states and does not depend on the location of the injection. Upcoming phase III clinical studies will decide if glabellar BoNT injections may be approved as a treatment for depression. Until then, our findings support the application of BoNT for this indication and, at the same time, point out the potential for further optimisation of the treatment based on a better understanding of the mechanism of action.”

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