Tag Archives | Depression

A Wine a Day … Keeps the Psychiatrist Away? Light Drinking Linked to Lower Risk of Depression

jan_van_beers_in_vino_veritas_d5344584hVia ScienceDaily:

Drinking wine in moderation may be associated with a lower risk of developing depression, according to research published in Biomed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine. The reported findings by the PREDIMED research Network suggest that the moderate amounts of alcohol consumed may have similar protective effects on depression to those that have been observed for coronary heart disease.

Alcohol consumption around the world is increasing, and previous studies have shown that heavy alcohol intake is related to mental health problems, such as depression. Few studies have looked at the relationship between mental health and moderate alcohol intake. In a new article in BMC Medicine, researchers report on a cohort study that followed over 5,500 light-to-moderate drinkers for up to seven years. The results show an inverse relationship between alcohol intake and incidence of depression.

The study participants are from the PREDIMED study, aged between 55 and 80 years old, had never suffered from depression or had alcohol-related problems when the study started.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Fighting the Blues with Greens?

explain23Natural monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors in fruits and vegetables may help explain the improvement in mood associated with switching to a plant-based diet.

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fighting-the-blues-with-greens-mao-inhibitors-in-plants/

This is especially interesting when considering the impact of things such as ayahuasca. Not to mention the evolutionary impact plant MAOI in our ancestral diet have had on our development.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do Depressed People Simply Suffer From An Accurate View Of Reality?

Wikipedia on depressive realism, the theory that those with depression are free from the “optimism bias” that skews most people’s perception of the world:

Depressive realism is the proposition that people with depression actually have a more accurate perception of reality, specifically that they are less affected by positive illusions of illusory superiority and optimism bias.

Studies by psychologists Alloy and Abramson (1979) and Dobson and Franche (1989) suggested that depressed people appear to have a more realistic perception of their importance, reputation, locus of control, and abilities than those who are not depressed.

Depressed people may be less likely to have inflated self-images and see the world through “rose-colored glasses” thanks to cognitive dissonance elimination and a variety of other defense mechanisms that allow [individuals] to ignore or otherwise look beyond the harsh realities of life.

This does not necessarily imply that a specific happy person is delusional nor deny that some depressed individuals may be unrealistically negative.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Multiple Media Usage Linked To Depression And Anxiety

Does use of media technologies deplete our mental health? Or is it that the depressed try to numb themselves with glowing rectangles? Medical News Today writes:

Using multiple forms of media at the same time – such as playing a cellphone game while watching TV – is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression, scientists have found for the first time.

Michigan State University’s Mark Becker, lead investigator on the study, said he was surprised to find such a clear association between media multitasking and mental health problems. What’s not yet clear is the cause. “We don’t know whether the media multitasking is causing symptoms of depression and social anxiety, or if it’s that people who are depressed and anxious are turning to media multitasking as a form of distraction from their problems,” said Becker.

Participants were asked how many hours per week they used two or more of the primary forms of media, which include television, music, cell phones, text messaging, computer and video games, web surfing and others.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ketamine Is “The Most Important Discovery In 50 Years” For Treating Depression

So says a new review in the journal Science, which declares that the club drug is vastly more effective than the serotonin-boosting antidepressants typically prescribed for mood disorders. Via TIME Healthland:

It didn’t seem likely that a drug could repair brain cells within hours, but new research explored suggests just that. Ketamine rapidly spurs the growth of new synapses, the connections between brain cells, and is associated with “reversal of the atrophy caused by chronic stress,” the authors write.

Unfortunately, the hallucinogenic effects of ketamine mean that it can’t be used in the same way typical antidepressants are, and fears about its potential for misuse also hamper its development. Researchers are frantically trying to develop compounds that have the same effects as ketamine without producing a “high.”

In the meanwhile, however, ketamine is already FDA approved […] But clinical use of the drug in the community remains rare. Fears about abuse continue to run high, though ketamine has never caught on as a major street drug.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ketamine Eyed as a Potential Treatment for Tough Depression

Picture: USDOJ (PD)

NPR: Scientists with the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard may have succeeded in unlocking the mechanisms that allow some people to feel near-immediate relief from depression after taking popular club drug, ketamine. Animal studies seem to indicates that the drug encourages new synaptic growth between neurons, and the same thing may be occurring in depressed humans who take the drug.

Researchers are ecstatic – as are the big drug companies. One company, Naurex, is already testing a drug that works like ketamine, only without the hallucinations.

Ketamine isn’t the only “party drug” that has been cited as a possible depression cure. Just weeks ago an article in the Guardian reported similar research regarding MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

More at NPR.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fear is the Mind Killer: Stress and Depression Shrinks the Brain

The low-grade existential despair inflicted by your day-to-day cubicle farm existence may actually be making you dumber: A team of Yale scientists have discovered that stress and depression can actually cause your brain to atrophy.
The research team analyzed tissue of depressed and non-depressed patients donated from a brain bank and looked for different patterns of gene activation. The brains of patients who had been depressed exhibited lower levels of expression in genes that are required for the function and structure of brain synapses. Lead author and postdoctoral researcher H.J. Kang discovered that at least five of these genes could be regulated by a single transcription factor called GATA1. When the transcription factor was activated, rodents exhibited depressive-like symptoms, suggesting GATA1 plays a role not only in the loss of connections between neurons but also in symptoms of depression.
Maybe the makers of Joe vs. The Volcano were on to something:
Continue Reading

Why Some People Blame Themselves for Everything

Writes Stephanie Pappas on LiveScience:
People prone to depression may struggle to organize information about guilt and blame in the brain, new neuroimaging research suggests. Crushing guilt is a common symptom of depression, an observation that dates back to Sigmund Freud. Now, a new study finds a communication breakdown between two guilt-associated brain regions in people who have had depression. This so-called "decoupling" of the regions may be why depressed people take small faux pas as evidence that they are complete failures. "If brain areas don't communicate well, that would explain why you have the tendency to blame yourself for everything and not be able to tie that into specifics," study researcher Roland Zahn, a neruoscientist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, told LiveScience...
Continue Reading