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RESEARCH AND PRACTICE NEWS
Chronic stress can impair your memory
Chronic World Report
Cortisol is the hormone associated with stress that increases the brain's ability to encode and recall traumatic events. Excessive release of this hormone can cause chronic stress, which can then lead to memory impairment or mental illness.
According to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, chronic stress can initiate long-term changes in the brain through the development of white matter. Too much white matter can change the way circuits are connected in the brain and result in poor communication between neurons.
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More US service members in treatment for mental health disorders
About 3.5 percent of U.S. military personnel were in treatment for mental health conditions in 2012 — up from just 1 percent in 2000, a new military study finds.
Experts said the rise is likely due to two factors: an actual increase in mental health disorders since Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; as well as the military's efforts to get more soldiers into treatment.
Older vets commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs without diagnosis
Healio — Psychiatric Annals
Older veterans are often prescribed psychotropic medications without receiving a psychiatric diagnosis, according to recent study findings published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Ilse R. Wiechers, M.D., MPP, of Yale School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and colleagues evaluated national Veterans Health Administration data from fiscal year 2010 to determine the rates of veterans being prescribed psychotropic medications without a psychiatric diagnosis.
Study: Depression doubles odds of heart attack for younger women
Young and middle-aged women with depression are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease as their mentally healthy peers, new research suggests.
The study also found that women younger than 55 are more likely than men or older women to become depressed.
Exactly what accounts for this relationship between mood disorder and heart disease in younger women isn't clear, said study lead author Dr. Amit Shah, an assistant professor of epidemiology with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta.
Study: Anxious kids' brain have bigger 'fear centers'
A new study has revealed that altercations in the development of the amygdala during childhood may have an important influence on the development of anxiety problems.
According to the study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, children with high levels of anxiety had enlarged amygdala volume and increased connectivity with other brain regions responsible for attention, emotion perception and regulation, compared to children with low levels of anxiety.
Genetic structures underlying depression and anxiety during development
Little is known about the genetic influences on the relationship between depression and anxiety disorders across development. Two population-based prospective longitudinal twin and sibling studies were used to investigate phenotypic associations between the symptoms of these disorders, and genetic structures underlying these symptoms were tested across three developmental stages: childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.
Study ties depression in seniors to risk of Alzheimer's disease
Science World Report
Most of the aging population develops depression and this could be a major risk factor of developing Alzheimer's faster than others as researchers found that depression leads to the increase of a naturally occurring protein in the brain called beta-amyloid that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. "Our results clearly indicate that mild cognitively impaired subjects with depressive symptoms suffer from elevated amyloid-levels when compared with non-depressed individuals," said the study's principal scientist Axel Rominger, M.D., from the department of nuclear medicine at the University of Munich in Germany.
Study links placental marker of prenatal stress to brain mitochondrial dysfunction
When a woman experiences a stressful event early in pregnancy, the risk of her child developing autism spectrum disorders or schizophrenia increases. Yet how maternal stress is transmitted to the brain of the developing fetus, leading to these problems in neurodevelopment, is poorly understood.
Understanding the wrath of emotional abuse
By Jessica Taylor
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to control someone's thoughts? Unfortunately, there are some people who can do this very tactic: emotional abusers. When we hear about abusive relationships, the first type we often think of is physical. But another largely unknown type is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is like brainwashing in that it continuously wears away at the victim's self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in his/her own perceptions and self-concept. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation and refusal to ever be pleased.
Study: Americans more prone to depression due to job loss
Job loss is associated with depressive symptoms in both the U.S. and E.U., but the effects of job loss are much stronger in American workers, a new study has found.
"In the U.S., the impact of job loss is significantly stronger for those with little or no wealth than for wealthier individuals. Also, the impact of job loss due to plant closure was stronger in the U.S. than in E.U.," said lead author Carlos Riumallo-Herl, doctoral candidate at Harvard School of Public Health.
Ketamine provides 'rapid' relief for severe depression; but is the hallucinatory drug safe?
The drug ketamine continues to show promise for treating severely depressed people who do not respond to traditional therapies and medications.
Although developed originally as an anesthetic, the drug is best known by its street name, “special K,” and is used in the U.K. as a horse tranquilizer. However, some doctors have long experimented with ketamine as an off-label treatment for severely depressed patients, finding positive results in adults and children.
Study: Depression can damage the immune system
PRWeb via Digital Journal
Depression damages the immune system. "There's accumulating evidence that the illness, depression, has deleterious effects on the heart, the brain, the bones and metabolism. Now comes proof that it undermines the immune system as people age," Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D. said. "The body responds differently — even to everyday challenges — depending on whether a person is depressed or not —there are long term changes taking place in your immune system."
Sorting out depression in diabetic patients
Provocative new research suggests that some people living with diabetes may be misdiagnosed as being depressed.
Rather, the malaise they experience is the reaction to living with a stressful, complex disease that is often difficult to manage. However, a second study of patients with type I diabetes emphasizes the potential importance of treating depressive symptoms regardless of their cause.
Study: Low cortisol levels increase depression risk in bipolar disorder patients
Headlines & Global News
Depression and low quality of life is commonly found in people with bipolar disorder and this is also dependent on the levels of cortisol found in people suffering from it, a new study shows.
Researchers at the Umea University conducted the study on 145 patients with bipolar disorder. The control group had same number of participants.
The study findings revealed that more than half of bipolar disorder patients who had lower levels of cortisol also had depression.
'Thinking of ways to harm her'
The New York Times
Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought.
Scientists say new findings contradict the longstanding view that symptoms begin only within a few weeks after childbirth. In fact, depression often begins during pregnancy, researchers say, and can develop any time in the first year after a baby is born.
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