Botox Pilot Study 2006

Dr. Eric Finzi has been studying the affect of Botox to treat depression for over ten years. In 2005 he and Erika Wasserman, PhD conducted a pilot study, Treatment of  Depression with Botulinum Toxin A: A Case Series, was published in the May 2006 journal for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Background: Major depression is a common and serious disease that may be resistant to routine pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment approaches.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of botulinum toxin A treatment of glabellar frown lines in treating patients with depression, using a small open pilot trial.

Methods: Patients who met DSM-IV criteria for ongoing major depression in spite of pharmacologic or psychotherapeutic treatment were evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) before receiving botulinum toxin A to their glabellar frown lines.  Two months later, all patients were re-evaluated clinically and with the BDI-II.

Results: Ten depressed patients were treated with botulinum toxin A, and 9 of 10 patients were no longer depressed 2 months after treatment. The tenth patient had an improvement in mood.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, these are the first reported cases of depression treated with botulinum toxin A.