New Study Seeking Participants With Bipolar Depression

The George Washington University Medical Faculty Association Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is taking part in the study of an experimental treatment for bipolar depression, onabotulinumtoxinA, better known as Botox. Botox is a medication that is commonly used in cosmetic procedures to reduce wrinkles. Botox is also used to treat people with migraine headaches and other medical illnesses. Dr. Eric Finzi and Dr. Norman Rosenthal's study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research (May, 2014) is one of three published studies to date that has found Botox to be effective in treating depression. The reason Botox works for depression may be because nerves in the muscles between the eyebrows that cause frown lines can stimulate parts of the brain that are overactive in depression. By using Botox to relax these muscles, the negative brain stimulation may be reduced. Current treatments for depression don't work for everyone and sometimes have intolerable side effects, so developing new treatments is important.

To Participate In the Study

If you have bipolar disorder and are currently experiencing a depressive episode, you may be eligible to participate in the study. Please contact Dr. Lori Kels at 202-741-2869 for more information.

Face of Emotion

botox for depression, dr. eric finzi, dr. norman rosenthal
In The Face of Emotion, How Botox Affects Our Mood and Relationships, Dr. Eric Finzi explains his research in narrative form, weaving personal stories and rich historical accounts to showcase how his theory came to light. Finzi's thinking, which dates back to Charles Darwin and William James's facial feedback theory, marshals together evidence from psychology, neuroscience, art, evolutionary biology, family and patients, to prove his idea that facial expressions are a central driving force of our emotions, and that there is an unlikely ally available in taming them: Botox. PURCHASE THE BOOK


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Botox for Depression, Dr. Eric Finzi, Dr. Norman Rosentha

Could Depression be Treated with Botox?

In the largest study to date on the effect of OnabotulinumtoxinA (known as Botox) on depression, researchers Eric Finzi, MD, PhD, and Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, found that 52% of subjects suffering from moderate to severe depression showed relief from depression after injection of Botox to the glabellar area between the eyes, compared with only 15% of those who received the saline placebo. The study, “Treatment of depression with onabotulinumtoxinA: A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial” is published in Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 52 (May 2014). These findings help to confirm a novel concept for mental health - using facial expressions to influence thoughts and feelings. READ MORE