The psychological condition social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) is a recognized medical condition affecting around 1 in 10 of of adults (at least in the U.S. where the National Comorbidity Survey Replication identified around 20 million U.S. citizens with the disorder).

Social anxiety disorder often begins in the teenage years. It is characterized by a high level of fear in social situations, which leads to emotional distress and isolation. Physical symptoms often include excessive blushing, excess sweating, trembling, palpitations, and nausea. Adding to these, stammering may be present, along with rapid speech. Furthermore, panic attacks can also occur under intense fear and discomfort. This can affect work, community and romantic relationships.

To study the condition further and to explore novel ways to treat it, The George Washington University is set to recruit volunteers for a new study. The study will test the ability of botulinum toxin A, commercially known as Botox, to address symptoms of social anxiety.