As Botox etches out frown lines, it also lifts moods, new research shows. In a small sample—just 12 patients—researchers found Botox recipients less depressed, anxious, and irritable post-treatment, even though they didn't feel any more attractive than other cosmetic treatment patients, Time reports. That adds depression to the many ailments—enlarged prostates, migraines, sweating, writer's cramp, and cancer among them—the cosmetic drug can supposedly treat.
By forcing the face not to frown, Botox may signal the brain to lighten up, the study's author hypothesizes. He warns that Botox also impairs other facial cues and advises weighing that against this particular effect. Another cosmetic surgeon surmises that people who frown elicit frowns in others, further dampening their moods. Botox treatments may break that cycle.