(CNN)Botox injections may do more than erase the signs of age, or prevent you from feeling painful migraines — they may alleviate depression as well, a new study confirms.
Doctors inject Botox to smooth facial wrinkles and treat health problems such as severe sweating, uncontrollable blinking, chronic migraines, overactive bladders and neurological disorders that cause muscle contractions and pain in the neck and shoulders.
Botox, a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, works by weakening or paralyzing specific muscles or by blocking certain nerves.
More than 264 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. But common treatments for depression aren't effective for nearly one third of these people, even when they stick to their treatment plans and tolerate the medications, according to the study, which published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
This shortcoming has led doctors to explore alternative treatments, such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms) doses, ketamine infusions and, more recently, Botox injections. Prior studies of the last 15 years have found that the drug might have antidepressant effects.
How, and for how long, the treat