Botox for Depression


botox for depression

Botox for depression-

Exciting, affordable, science-backed treatment for depression, bipolar and borderline patients.

At Ketamine Milwaukee we consider ourselves  an “interventional mental health” clinic.

In keeping with that, we are excited to announce a new service – “botox for depression,” or as we call it, a Mindlift.  

Botululinum toxin A, commonly known as Botox or Dysport are neuromodulators that  cause muscles to relax in the areas they are injected.  

And while Botox is best know for reducing wrinkles, doctors use neuromodulators for many conditions  – including urinary incontinence, muscle spasms, and chronic migraines. 

Now, studies show that neuromodulator treatment to relax the frown muscles can safely and effectively treat depression as well. 

How does it work?

The leading theory is the facial feedback hypothesis.  It basically states that our emotional experience is influenced by our facial expression.  The brain takes in data from muscles involved in both smiling and in frowning to determine mood.  When we relax the frown muscles in specific areas of the forehead with a neuromodulator, we prevent the negative input, and the balance is shifted towards a more positive mood.

Evidence is emerging to support this hypothesis. 

A study where botulinum toxin A was injected into the face of mice resulted in increased serotonin levels in the hippocampus and hypothalamus, increased expression of NMDA receptors in the hippocampus, and significant increases in the nerve growth factor BDNF in several areas in the brain.

In addition, functional MRI studies show decreased activity in the amygdala after Botox injection.  We know that this emotional center is hyperactive in depression, so it may be that neuromodulators help to normalize the overactive amygdala, and thus lessen the abnormally strong emotional response. 

How well does it work?

An analysis of 5 studies of Botulinum toxin for depression showed that all 5 studies showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.  Depression scores improved by an average of almost 50%! 

Response and remission rates were similar to the antidepressant Citalopram as seen in the famous Star*D trial. 






Cost of a botox Mindlift is based on the number of units needed.  In general, it is $250.25 for women and $327.25 for men.  (Men have thicker forehead muscles so the need more botulinum for full effect.)

To schedule an appointment call 414-206-1606 or contact us below:


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3. Botulinum toxin-induced facial muscle paralysis affects amygdala responses. to the perception of emotional expressions… Kim et al. Biology of Mood a&Anxiety Disorders 2014, 4:11

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9. Magid M, Finzi E, Kruger THC, et al. Treating depression with botulinum toxin: a pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2015;48(6): 205-210.

10. Chugh S, Chhabria A, Jung S, et al. Botulinum toxin as a treatment for depression in a realworld setting. J Psychiatr Pract. 2018;24(1):15-20.

11. Kruger TH, Magid M, Wollmer MA. Can botulinum toxin help patients with borderline personality disorder? Am J Psychiatry. 2016;173(9):940-941.

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13. Wollmer, MA, et al. Agitation predicts response of depression to botulinum toxin treatment in a randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Mar 2014

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