Health & Lifestyle

Botox in the neck may help to reduce anxiety in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, new study finds

Botox in the neck may help to reduce anxiety in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, new study finds

  • A study claims Botox jabs in the next can ease Parkinson’s Disease symptoms 
  • Injections are used to smooth out frown lines and wrinkles by relaxing muscles 

Botox injections in neck muscles can ease anxiety in Parkinson’s patients, a study has found.

The jabs, more commonly known as a cosmetic treatment to smooth out frown lines and wrinkles by relaxing facial muscles, are already a medical treatment for the involuntary neck spasms caused as the disease attacks the brain and nervous system.

Experts have long noticed that some mental health symptoms improve in Parkinson’s patients following the injections, but the effect was thought to be due to a reduction in worrying about the physical problem.

But research by US experts now suggests that the treatment may impact anxiety directly.

Scientists from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago studied 60 patients who had undergone Botox injections to treat neck spasms, called cervical dystonia. Six weeks after the jabs, the frequency and intensity of their spasms were rated and compared to results collected beforehand. 

Botox injections in neck muscles can ease anxiety in Parkinson¿s patients, a study has found

Botox injections in neck muscles can ease anxiety in Parkinson’s patients, a study has found

Another beauty trend known as 'traptox' involves women getting Botox injections in their trapezius muscles

Another beauty trend known as ‘traptox’ involves women getting Botox injections in their trapezius muscles 

They also used an internationally recognised measure of anxiety – a questionnaire called The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

While the results showed both physical and mental symptoms had improved significantly, there was no link between the two factors – patients who saw no improvement in their physical symptoms still reported substantial relief from anxiety.

The authors say their research indicates that the injections have a direct effect on mental health.

Previous studies have also revealed links between reduced anxiety – and even depression – and Botox jabs.

A 2021 analysis of more than 15 million patients who’d had Botox for medical or cosmetic use found at least a 20 per cent reduction in anxiety compared with patients having different treatments for the same condition.

Experts have suggested several possible explanations.

The first is what’s known as the facial feedback hypothesis – that certain positions of the face and neck trigger specific emotions. For example, feelings of sadness can be triggered by frowning, even if the expression is forced.

But other studies suggested the drug may have a direct effect on the brain as it can reach regions of the central nervous systems involved in mood and emotions.

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