Botox for Depression 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.