Botox for Depression?

Plus: Doctors have more car crashes; asthma reduced in Boston public housing; first Boston baby of the year; and more health headlines.

Treating wrinkles may also help depression, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in December.  The research says that treating frown lines and erasing the outward signs of aging may actually lift spirits among people with depression. The study’s participants had severe depression two years and failed to respond to antidepressants. The patients received either Botox or a placebo injection on frown lines and were assessed after three and six weeks. At the end of the study, about 27 percent of the Botox recipients reported nearly complete remission of their depression. Only 7 percent of placebo recipients reported relieved depression. Insert a beauty is skin deep joke here. [Time]

Car crashes are common for sleepy doctors according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Due to fatigue and stress caused by working long hours in the hospital, of the 300 doctors surveyed, 11 percent were involved in a car accident during their residency and 43 percent say they nearly got into a crash. The traffic incidents were also caused by feelings of burnout or depression, according to the study. Medical residents typically work long, intense shifts as they train to become doctors. [National Institutes of Health]

Being single and living alone may increase risk of dementia according to a Dutch study that looked at mental disorders of the elderly. By the end of the three-year study, 13.4 percent of participants who reported feeling lonely had developed dementia. Before you start browsing the Craigslist roommate ads, the new study, which was published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, found that feeling alone, was worse than actually being alone. [Prevention]

Asthma numbers were reduced in Boston public housing, and officials believe it is due to the effort to wipe out rodents and roaches. Boston city officials say that asthma symptoms have dropped in half since 2005, when the housing authority teamed up with the Boston Public Health Commission to reduce the number of roaches and rodents. The effort also reduced the use of pesticides, which have been shown to aggregate symptoms of asthma. [Globe]

Mass. General Hospital welcomed Boston’s first baby of 2013 born at 12:09 a.m. New Years Day. [NECN]