Millions of Americans suffer from depression, migraine headaches and wrinkles; however, until recently, they all had to seek different remedies for their ailments. These days, however, more and more people are getting relief from all three of these common afflictions, thanks to one particular neurotoxin which is proving especially versatile.
In 2010, the FDA approved botulinum toxin type A serum as a treatment for chronic migraines. A condition which can greatly impact work, family and social life, migraines affect millions of Americans, who struggle to find relief from oral medications that offer varying results. By giving multiple injections around the neck and head every three months, doctors are able to eliminate or dull future headache symptoms in many patients who have found little to no relief from other migraine remedies.
In 2002, the FDA approved botulinum toxin type A serum as a treatment for facial wrinkles. Marketed under the brand name BOTOX, this cosmetic treatment has the power to drastically reduce the appearance of deep-set wrinkles by disabling specific muscles which cause minor facial contractions. According to Dr. Ken Collins, who provides BOTOX treatments at his Spokane office, most patients are astounded by the difference a few BOTOX injections can make.
“All of us age, but aging doesn’t affect everyone in the same way,” he said. “While some people age gracefully, others develop unattractive wrinkles around the forehead and eyes. These wrinkles can make a person’s face appear angry or stressed. By relaxing a few targeted muscles with Botox injections, we can significantly reduce the depth, shape and size of these wrinkles for as long as four months. The vast majority of patients are amazed at how much younger they look.”
Right now, medical insurers refuse to cover BOTOX treatments, because they only provide cosmetic benefits; however, many in the medical field believe this may eventually change due to the treatment’s impact on depression. According to Dr. Eric Finzi, who owns the U.S. patent for using botulinum toxin to treat depression, his patients have experienced profound improvements with their depression after receiving BOTOX injections. It may sound like a ploy; however, USAToday recently published a feature which detailed numerous endorsements from clinical psychologists who believe BOTOX can aid depression by altering the way other people react to patients who’ve had the treatment.
The Tip of the Iceberg
While known primarily as a cosmetic anti-aging treatment, botulinum toxin type A serum is also proving useful in a variety of other ways. In fact, medical professionals are so confident in this little toxin’s versatility, they predict it may soon be used to correct gummy smiles, treat excessive sweating and as a temporary solution to breast enhancement.
- USAToday: Botox may help depression, doctor suggests in new book
- FDA: FDA approves Botox to treat chronic migraine