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Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

ImageAccording to a study in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry “A cohort study of 84 adults from Sweden showed that those who had been infected with T gondii were seven times more likely to participate in nonfatal, self-directed violence compared with their counterparts who had not been infected.”  T gondii has always been known to be dangerous espically in pregnant women.  It is the causative agent in Toxoplamosis.  It is frequently contracted through eating undercooked meat or comin into contact with cat feces.

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In a [rominent story, the New York Times (http://tinyurl.com/psychosurgery 11/27, A1, Carey) reported that “in the last decade or so, more than 500 people have undergone brain surgery for problems like depression, anxiety, Tourette’s syndrome,” and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, “for all the progress that has been made, some psychiatrists and medical ethicists say, doctors still do not know much about the circuits they are tampering with, and the results are unpredictable: some people improve, others feel little or nothing, and an unlucky few actually get worse.” Psychiatrist Darin D. Dougherty, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, said that “given the history of failed techniques, like frontal lobotomy,” should current psychosurgery experiments go wrong, “it’ll shut down this approach for another hundred years.”

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Bloomberg News (http://tinyurl.com/global-warming-and-depression 11/20, Efstathiou) reports that “kidney stones, malaria, Lyme disease, depression and respiratory illness all may increase with global warming, researchers at Harvard Medical School said.” Bloomberg adds, “Climate change from the burning of fossil fuels will add to risks to public health, said Paul Epstein, associate director of Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment in Boston.” Today, “the center and groups led by the American Medical Association are presenting data at a briefing…in Washington as a call for action to curb emissions.”

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Time (3/31, Harrell) reported that, according to a study published the March issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Botox [botulinum toxin type A] may lift patients’ “spirits” by “literally wiping the frowns” off their faces. For the study, researchers from the UK’s University of Cardiff “followed 25 cosmetic-surgery patients, 12 of whom received injections of botulinum toxin A or similar neurotoxins, the others receiving fillers, peels, or other cosmetic treatments for wrinkles.” Two weeks after their treatments, “the patients filled out a Hospital Anxiety and Depression test — a self-screening questionnaire for depression and anxiety,” and “rated the success of their treatments.” The investigators found that “Botox patients scored much lower on measures of depression, anxiety, and irritability.” Notably, “there was no significant difference in how much their treatment made them feel attractive from those who had other treatments, suggesting that [the mood boost] wasn’t just” due “to a boost in self-confidence,” the authors said. They theorized that “facial muscles influence brain activity directly.”

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Following an AP story and recommendations published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, the CBS Evening News (3/30, story 7, 1:40, Couric) reported, “There’s an epidemic of depression in this country among teenagers, and” the US Preventive Services Task Force is now “asking doctors to screen all teenagers for it every year. At any given time, nearly six percent of American teens are clinically depressed, that’s about two million a year. Left untreated, it could lead to suicide.”  NBC Nightly News (3/30, story 10, 0:30, Williams) reported that the “new recommendation” is aimed at “kids between the ages of 12 and 18. Experts now say that every child in that age group should be routinely screened for depression, which now strikes one in 20 teenagers and, of course, can lead to lower grades, frequent illness, and alcohol and drug abuse eventually. The recommendation…said therapy and, in some cases, careful use of antidepressant” medications “can help.” The USA Today (3/30, Elias) A Better Life blog covered the story, as did CBS News (3/30) on its website.

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Research suggests treatment-resistant depression may be associated with reduced global cortical folding surface.  MedWire (3/20, Davenport) reported that, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, “in unipolar and bipolar patients, treatment-resistant depression is associated with reduced global cortical folding surface.” For the study, researchers from France’s Hôpital Cochin in Paris “studied 16 bipolar disorder patients currently in a treatment-resistant major depressive episode, 25 euthymic bipolar disorder patients, 35 patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression, and 70 healthy controls.” Using “T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),” the team found that patients with bipolar disorder “with treatment-resistant depression had significantly smaller” hemispheric global sulcal indices (g-SIs) “in the right hemisphere than controls.” Among patients with “treatment-resistant unipolar depression…s-GIs were three to four percent lower in both hemispheres than the corresponding values in controls.” The authors concluded that “reduced cortical folding surface appeared to be a feature of both unipolar depression and bipolar disorder with treatment-resistant depression.”

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A Los Angeles Times (3/23, Kaplan) piece discusses how “anxiety, depression, and stress” can “contribute to increased incidence of heart disease.” The piece then cites findings from several studies, most of which were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). In one of these studies, “risk of cardiovascular disease and death rose by more than 50 percent among people with depression and anxiety.” In another study published in JACC, nearly “double the risk of heart attack or death was found in coronary artery disease patients with the highest level of anxiety.” And “among those patients, a 10 percent increased risk of heart attack or death was found in those whose anxiety rose over time.”

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