Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dementia caused by Depression?

New evidence is pointing to depression as one cause of dementia. Not only depressed people in general, but also people who may just have episodes of depression here and there. Depression in certain people can be situational, which can easily be overlooked, and not treated. According to a study done by the University of Pittsburgh, just one depressive episode, untreated, during late middle-age, can double the risk of having dementia as a senior.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Depression Higher Among Back Pain Sufferers?

Clinical evidence in the past has shown that depression among people with chronic pain was around 20 to 30%. The general population has an average incidence of major depression that is around 5%. A recent study done in June of 2007 shows that 61% of chronic back pain sufferers now suffer from depression. This is a giant increase in a not so large amount of time. Treating depression is done in many ways, involving lifestyle changes, professional counseling, and support groups. Then there's the medication route, including anti-depressants like , Lexapro, Effexor XR, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin. The fact that people with chronic pain and/or back pain have depression, is no surprise really. Having continuous pain will likely drain anyone physically, emotionally, and mentally, making everyday normalcy's nearly impossible to maintain. Most impressive, is that most of these people are reporting their own depression, indicating that depression among the back pain population is under-diagnosed, and that more medical professionals treating patients with back pain should be looking out for symptoms of depression in those patients.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Risperdal- Doing More Bad Than Good?

Risperdal is a prescription only anti psychotic medication, used ideally for aggression, anxiety, disruptive behavior, and general behavioral difficulties. Recently though,a study has proven that one side effect of Risperdal is actually causing depression in children. Being a new adverse reaction for risperidone, the consequences of this could potentially be severe, meaning physicians need to be aware of this risk.The IMMP study is a nationwide cohort study that observes the usage and safety of atypical anti psychotics in kids.Symptoms of depression developing in kids that had no prior mood disorders were found in the study. About 1 in 3 kids reported adverse affects, being weight gain, fatigue, and dental caries. Maybe some of these people should try natural or homeopathic remedies, eliminating these negative side effects and adverse effects altogether.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Do your neurons do their job?

Do you now anything about your neurons? Apparently the neurons inside your body will aid you in finding certain things you are looking for. New research indicates that someone looking for a ripe tomato at the store may be more likely to notice apples, strawberries or other red fruits, based on a study measuring blood flow in the brain. Also, extra neurons may be used to help our eyes find another object we may be looking for.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Men with Postpartum Depression- It Happens

Research was performed on more than 5,000 two-parent families, revealing that 14% of mothers and 10% of fathers had symptoms of moderate to severe postpartum depression. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire, and were interviewed to prove whether they did or did not have depression. Observing parent-child interactions, such as reading, story-telling, and singing songs is important, because lack of interaction is a sign of depression in either parent.

Health care providers often blame postpartum depression on the hormonal changes that occur in women after childbirth. Hormone upheaval can contribute to postpartum depression. Life upheavals that occur with having a baby can also contribute to depression. Fatigue, marital discord, strained finances and a lack of social support are other factors suspected to play a role in this type of depression.

According to Mental Health America, postpartum depression can begin any time after childbirth and can last up to a year. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue and hopelessness. The person experiencing postpartum depression might have drastic changes in mood and appetite, be excessively preoccupied with their baby's health or have thoughts of harming the baby

Friday, July 13, 2007

Asthma and ADD

University of Virginia Children's Hospital researchers believe that until these other conditions are addressed, asthma programs will not be completely affective for young patients. The April 12, 2007 issue of "The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics" states that asthmatic children report higher incidences of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities. The study also revealed that the more severe a child's asthma, the higher the incidence of these other health conditions. Researchers believe that physicians can better help asthma sufferers by managing these co-morbidities, and that children with asthma need tailored and precise treatments that address physical, mental, and developmental health.

Running Rats are Happier AND Grow New Brain Cells

With a headline like that, you could easily expect this article to fall under the "News of the Weird" category. However, this article isn't off-beat in the least. It shows, once again, that exercise is a viable cure for depression. Okay, so the test subjects were rats who ran on wheels. We humans hit the treadmill. Not much of a difference, is there?

I digress. Let's move on to the study...

A group of Swedish researchers genetically altered rats to exhibit depressive behaviors and matched them up against their non-depressed rat counterparts. A portion of rats from each group had free access to running wheels for 30 days and others did not. After 30 days, researchers found that the running rats were a cheery bunch of rats. In fact, running had a similar effect as common SSRI (selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors) antidepressants.

This is not new news. Study upon study upon study shows that running and other forms of aerobic exercise provide powerful antidepressant effects. The amazing part of this research was that exercise actually prompted new brain cells growth.

When researchers examined the hippocampus region of the rats' brains, they found that neurons increased dramatically in the depressed rats after wheel-running. Past studies found the human brain's hippocampus (area involved in learning and memory) shrinks in depressed individuals.

If you feel like you are on the treadmill of life, my suggestion is to lace up your running shoes and hit the treadmill, hit the streets running or sign up for a daily aerobics class. Your brain and your mood will thank you.

Having Trouble? Take Drugs

The advice doctors often dole out is that if something's wrong, pop a little pill to make it all better. Last year, 2006, doctors wrote more than 30 million prescriptions for ADHD alone. Doctors doled out another 118 million scripts for antidepressants, the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. That's a whole lot of Americans hopped up on drugs.

Couple this with another scary stat; In 2006 over 120,000 people died as a direct result of taking prescription drugs. Only 11,000 people died from illegal drug use. It seems that our government's "War on Drugs" should be focused on the drugs that kill the most people. That's just me though.

At what point do we recognize that we are an over-medicated, pill-popping society that takes drugs to make problems disappear?

Depression and Insomnia Linked?

Most of us are aware that with depression, often comes insomnia. What you may not have known is that chronic insomnia could be a sign all in it's own of depression or anxiety. More than 25,000 Norwegian adults were surveyed, researchers discovered that the people with chronic insomnia were more likely to have depression and/or anxiety disorders. Even people who had insomnia 10 years ago are at a higher risk for axiety disorder now. This could mean insomnia may raise the risk of future axiety issues, or maybe that person is particularly at risk to having anxiety problems anyway. This information can be found in the medical journal Sleep.

While sleep problems are common among people with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Whether or not insomnia leads to these disorders is not clear.

On the Horizan: Nicotine Prescriptions to Balance Mood

I felt like Woody Allen in the 70's movie "Sleeper" when I came across a news article from "Wired" that touts the potential health benefits of nicotine. Who could imagine that a substance with such a bad rap could actually possess therapeutic qualities?

It appears researchers are now developing nicotine-based drugs that may prove beneficial for brains, bowels, blood vessels and immune systems. Nicotine stimulates a number of brain chemicals including seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine - the same nuerotransmitters antidepressants work to stimulate. Clinical trials are currently underway for depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Attention Deficit Disorder anxiety and anger management.

"About half the cigarettes in this country are bought by people with psychiatric problems -- high percentages of people with depression and schizophrenia smoke, for example," said Ed Levin, a nicotine researcher at Duke University. "When we can give people their medicine in a form that doesn't kill them, it will be real progress."

Anti-psychotics Among Children Are on the Rise!

In recent studies , we can see that 83,039 kids under 18 found their use of atypical anti-psychotics jumped 138.4% and for the atypical antidepressants the leap was 42.8% between 1997 and 2000. Not only are the doctors prescribing more psychotic medicine than ever, the prices of medication are also increasing. 62.3% of minors under 18 were prescribed psychoactive meds for their issues. Also, the price of meds was rising 17.6%, up to $7.90 per order.

From 2000 to 2003, in just 3 years, the amount of children on meds treating behavioral conditions relating to autism and conduct disorders, rose by more than 60%. The spending on these drugs increased 142% in the pediatric group. Even among children as young as 5 through 9, use was up 85%, and spending up 174%. These numbers are simply outrageous. Why are children this young even on this medication? Of 5.8 million doctor visits by children, at which they were prescribed an anti-psychotic, pediatricians, family-medicine and emergency-department practitioners, anyone besides a mental health professional, wrote about a third of those prescriptions!

Between 1996 and 2001 the percentage of youngsters receiving an anti-psychotic for a new use soared from 6.8 percent to 95.9 percent. If more people tried natural solutions to these problems, we may all save ourselves money, troubles, and some nasty side effects. These numbers speak for themselves. All I can say is- What is going on? You be the judge.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Southern States More Likely to Numb Childhood Behavior With Psychotropic Drugs.

Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee respectively have the highest percentage of children ages 4 to 17 who have been diagnosed and are taking medication to treat ADHD, according to a 2005 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just why children in these states are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and take medication to treat it is unclear.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ADHD and Driving

University of Virginia Health System researchers found that driving is especially challenging for young ADHD drivers. Compared to their non-ADHD peers, ADHD drivers are nearly four times more likely to have a car accident. The ADHD teen behind the wheel racks up three times as many speeding tickets.

The author of AD/HD & Driving offers these tips for parents of ADHD teens;- Give your teen ample practice time behind the wheel.- Allow a learner's permit only when you are satisfied that your teen can handle the responsibility of driving. Also, not treating the ADHD could be very dangerous in these situations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Dangerous Side Effects of ADD Drugs

Most ADHD drugs now carry "black box" warning labels about the risks of possible heart problems and manic or agressive behavior. Tourette's syndrome, suicidal thoughts, early onset of Parkinson's disease, stunted growth, and loss of appetite are other dangerous side effects associated with ADHD medications. Still, ADHD prescriptions continue to increase at an alarming rate.

There are safe options. A few key items include, eating healthy, sticking to a schedule or routine, lowering the stress level in the house, and natural ADHD supplementslike Attend and Extress.

Friday, July 06, 2007

More Stress, Less Brain

Researchers reports that long-term stress can actually shrink the part of the brain involved in certain types of learning and memory. A Stanford University study found that stress hormones, called glucocorticoids, damage brain cells. Neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain, responsible for memory, are full of glucocorticoid receptors. Prolonged exposure to stress can kill these neurons.
If you have excessive stress and happen to appreciate your brain cells, use Extress and the Stress Relief self-hypnosis CD. Your brain and your memory will thank you.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Omega-3s Good From Start to Finish

Research shows that the Omega-3 fatty acid benefits begin in the womb and continue throughout life, preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the elderly.

Omega-3 fatty acids are so critical to the development of a intelligence, brain function and emotional well being that the U.S. National Institutes of Health now recommends that pregnant and lactating women supplement their diet with 1200 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids daily. Recent studies show that the average pregnant and nursing mother receives just 18 percent of the recommendation, and only 3 percent of women surveyed were getting the omega 3 they needed in their diet. Some scientists believe that mothers can suffer from post-partum depression due to the baby's depleting it's mother's DHA and EPA.

The lack of Omega-3s can result in childhood behavior problems, temper tantrums and learning difficulties such as ADD, ADHD and dyslexia.

Omega-3s can help adults who suffer from migraine headaches, depression and bipolar disorder. Studies also show that adults who regularly fatty, cold-water fish have 47 percent less dementia and 39 percent less Alzheimer's.

A 12-year Harvard Medical study of over 43,000 men showed that Omega-3s help prevent stroke. Those who ate fish just once a month had a 44 percent less risk of stroke than those who ate fish less than once a month. Research has shows that eating fish two to three times a week lowers blood pressure, triglycerides, prevents irregular heart beats, and reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stress Is Hard On The Heart

A study published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" links emotional trauma to subsequent cardiac conditions. Researchers believe the chance of sudden death brought on by caridac arrest increases with stress, and the areas of the brain responsible for regulating heart function can become unbalanced due to stress.

The University College London and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School studied 10 people with heart conditons. As patients underwent moderate stressful tasks, electrical changes on the surface of the skull were measured. Researchers found the brain's cortex produced a stress response that increased a physical stress response. British researchers also found a close relationship between heart performance of the heart and cortex activity. The cortex is responsible for understanding, awareness and perceptions. The cortex also sends and receives signals from the heart

Monday, July 02, 2007

Daytime Stress=Sleepless Nights

Travelodge wanted to know what keeps people awake at night, so the hotel chain polled 1,700. In this survey, a mere 3 percent received the recommended amount of sleep. Stress was cited as the main cause of restless nights for the rest.

This poll suggests that people worry more now than they did five years ago. Social anxieties and long working hours were the reasons cited by more than half polled. Health problems, terrorism, financial issues and identity theft worries also contributed to the tossing and turning at night.

If daytime stress is keeping you up at night, we have a few suggestions guaranteed to have you sleeping like a baby; Extress, the Deep Sleep subliminal CD, Stress Relief CD and Nite-Rest.