Botox helps headaches, makes you happier

Botox is now approved for chronic migraine headaches. However, it may help you feel happier not only because your headaches improved. Several studies suggest that the inability to frown caused by Botox makes people happier too. Psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales showed that healthy people (not headache sufferers) who had cosmetic Botox injections were happier and less anxious than those who hadn’t. Another study published in the Journal of Pain showed that people who grimaced during a painful procedure felt more pain than people who did not. In an experiment by German researchers, healthy people were asked to make an angry face while their brains were being scanned by a functional MRI. Those who received Botox injections had much less activation in areas of the brain that process emotions than those who had no injections. My patients who receive Botox for headaches also report that because they cannot make an angry face they feel less angry. We need a large study of the effect of Botox injections on the mood, so that if this finding is confirmed, Botox can be recommend for the treatment of mood disorders.

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