Published: Jun 28, 2010
Columbia University 'Botox Emotions' Study
by Staff

Columbia University 'Botox Emotions' Study - U.S. psychology professors say they've discovered people who have undergone Botox treatments might experience weaker emotions.

Barnard College at Columbia University NY Professors Joshua Davis and Ann Senghas, who led the research, noted Botox users are often ridiculed for having stiff faces that appear unable to express emotions.

But Davis and Senghas said their findings suggest facial expressions themselves might influence emotional experiences. In other words, they said Botox not only changes one's appearance, it also affects real emotions.

"With the advent of Botox, it is now possible to work with people who have a temporary, reversible paralysis in muscles that are involved in facial expressions," Davis said. "The muscle paralysis allows us to isolate the effects of facial expression and the subsequent sensory feedback to the brain that would follow from other factors, such as intentions relating to one's expressions and motor commands to make an expression.

"With Botox, a person can respond otherwise normally to an emotional event, e.g. a sad movie scene, but will have less movement in the facial muscles that have been injected, and therefore less feedback to the brain about such facial expressivity," he added. "It thus allows for a test of whether facial expressions and the sensory feedback from them to the brain can influence our emotions."

The research is reported in the journal Emotions.

Nonetheless, Botox, a popular wrinkle-smoother, may ease nerve pain in certain patients, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore suggest Botox - a toxin known to weaken or paralyze certain nerves and muscles - may help ease a painful and debilitating disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome, in which compression of nerves in the lower neck causes pain in the neck or head shooting down the arm with numbness and/or weakness in the limb and extremities.

The study, published in Pain Medicine, found thoracic outlet syndrome patients reported a significant reduction in pain for two months after a single injection of low-dose Botox was guided -- using medical imaging -- into a neck muscle.

At three months, patients still reported a decrease in their pain as measured on a scientific pain scale.

"There haven't been many alternatives to the use of surgery to treat this syndrome," study lead author Dr. Paul Christo, says in a statement. "Botox seems to be an effective treatment that avoids surgery's obvious drawbacks, such as its invasive nature and long recovery time." (c) UPI

Go here to read the study released about the botox/emotion connection. Below is a news video report about botox and emotions.

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