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Exposure to violence, social conflict, and other stressors increase risk for psychiatric conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. A new paper suggests that the behavior of oligodendrocytes -- the glial cells that produce the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers -- plays a critical role in determining whether we succumb to or tolerate stress. [...]
Tue, Aug 13, 2019
Source PTSD & Trauma
New research finds that using focus boosting drugs without a prescription has few benefits and may affect memory and sleep quality in the long run. [...]
Mon, Aug 12, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Can stress and anxiety ever be beneficial? In a new study, researchers say “yes;” mild to moderate anxiety is normal, unavoidable and can help teach us resilience. People tend to think of stress and anxiety as negative emotions. Both feel uncomfortable, and if left unacknowledged, these emotions can certainly reach unhealthy levels. But psychologists have long known that anxiety and stress are inevitable in this world — and that they often play a helpful, not harmful, role in our daily lives, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. “Many Americans now feel stressed about being stressed and anxious about being anxious,” said Lisa Damour, Ph.D., a private-practice psychologist who presented at the meeting. “Unfortunately, by the time someone reaches out to a professional for help, stress and anxiety have already built to unhealthy levels.” Stress tends to surface when people operate at the edge of their abilities, when they push themselves or are forced by circumstances to stretch beyond their familiar limits, according to Damour. It's also important to understand that stress can result from both bad and good events. For example, being fired is stressful but so is bringing home a newborn baby or starting a new job. “It's important for psychologists to share our knowledge about stress with broad audiences: that stress is a given in daily life, that working at the edge of our abilities often builds those capacities and that moderate levels of stress can have an inoculating function, which leads to higher than average resilience when we are faced with new difficulties,” she said. Anxiety, too, gets an unnecessarily bad rap, according to Damour. “As all psychologists know, anxiety is an internal alarm system, likely handed down by evolution, that alerts us to threats both external — such as a driver swerving in a nearby lane — and internal — such as when we've procrastinated too long and it's time to get started on our work,” said Damour. Perceiving anxiety as a helpful and protective mechanism allows people to make good use of it. For example, Damour said she often tells the teenagers she works with in her practice to pay attention if they start to feel anxious at a party because their nerves may be alerting them to a problem. “Similarly, if a client shares that she's worried about an upcoming test for which she has yet to study, I am quick to reassure her that she is [...]
Mon, Aug 12, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Although exercise can improve mental health, little is known about whether physical fitness can reduce the risk of developing mental health conditions. [...]
Sun, Aug 11, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Depression
Do researchers use spin to enhance their findings? A recent investigation into psychology and psychiatry journals concludes that they do. [...]
Sat, Aug 10, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
People have long believed that the moon could influence their sleep, their mood, even their fertility. Are any of these beliefs true? We investigate. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Emerging research suggests that for some individuals, online symptom self-management plus clinician telecare is the best strategy for treating anxiety, depression and pain. As a background, it is well documented that pain is the most common physical symptom for which adults seek medical attention in the United States. Moreover, anxiety and depression are the most common mental health issues for which adults visit a doctor. We also now understand that medications, especially opioids for pain, may not be the only or best therapy. In the new study, Regenstrief Institute research scientist Kurt Kroenke, M.D., a pioneer in the treatment of patient symptoms, discovered online symptom self-management or online symptom self-management plus clinician telecare can be effective solutions for individuals with anxiety, depression and pain. “Pain, anxiety and depression can produce a vicious cycle in which the presence of one symptom, if untreated, may negatively affect the response to treatment of the other two symptoms,” said Dr. Kroenke. “So treating not just pain, but pain and mood symptoms simultaneously is quite important, as is doing it how, when and where the patient is most receptive.” In the study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Kroenke and colleagues discovered that online symptom self-management works to decrease pain, anxiety and depression symptoms. They also found that online symptom self-management works even better when coupled with clinician telecare. Prior studies have found a benefit to adding telecare to usual care in the doctor's office. The researchers have now shown that the intermediate (and less costly) mechanism of online pain and mood self-management is effective and, for some, even more effective when coupled with live phone follow-up with a nurse. “The magnitude of effect on pain, anxiety and depression we report is comparable to the effect of online and telecare interventions for chronic disorders like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. Kroenke. “The moderate improvement in symptoms we saw at a group level indicates that some individuals had great symptom improvement while others had little improvement. Our results strongly suggest that web-based self-management might be enough for some patients while others may require a combination of online self-management and phone consultations with a nurse manager in order to experience symptom reduction.” To test whether pain, anxiety and depression symptoms could be simultaneously addressed by patients in their homes or other location of their choice, Dr. Kroenke and colleagues conducted the CAMMPS (Comprehensive vs. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
A new study has found that hearing loss in older people is associated with anxiety, memory loss and a restriction of outdoor activities. According to researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, hearing loss may worsen an array of mental, physical and social complications. As more than 90 percent of hearing loss is age-related, its burden is most felt by aging populations. Hearing ability is integrally linked with communication, and hearing loss leads to communication barriers. This, in turn, increases stress and restricts the ability to venture outdoors. It may also be tied with cognitive decline and dementia, the researchers noted. For the new study, researchers used data from the 2016 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions of Japan, a nationwide, population-based cross-sectional questionnaire of more than 220,000 households. From this, they targeted 137,723 survey respondents aged 65 or older without dementia. “Japan is the world's most rapidly aging country, and this is a large and compelling data set of its citizens,” said lead author Masao Iwagami. “It was a solid foundation for examining correlations between hearing loss and three key problems: Outdoor activity limitations, psychological distress, and memory loss.” About 9 percent of the 137,723 survey respondents examined reported hearing loss. Their responses also showed the condition increased with age, researchers said. Of those reporting limitations in outdoor activities, such as shopping or travel, 28.9 percent of those with hearing loss were affected versus just 9.5 percent of those without, while 39.7 percent of those with hearing loss reported psychological distress versus 19.3 percent of those without hearing loss. For memory loss, the gap was the most profound: 37.7 percent of those with hearing impairment reported memory loss versus 5.2 percent of those without hearing impairment, the study discovered. These patterns were similar irrespective of age or sex, researchers added. “Hearing loss takes an enormous toll on older people in so many ways, physically and mentally, while limiting activities of daily living,” study co-author Yoko Kobayashi says. “Greater awareness of the burden of hearing loss will help improve their quality of life. Measures such as hearing aids and social support by volunteers in the community can also provide them with assistance.” The study was published in the journal, Geriatrics & Gerontology International. Source:University of Tsukuba [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
New research finds an association between self-reported optimism and the likelihood of having better sleep quality and longer sleep duration. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A person's diet may affect their risk of developing cancer in several ways. Some diets may also help prevent cancer, or help a person recover. Learn more here. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
The use of steroids can lead to steroid acne. Treatment options include topical creams and ointments. Prevention usually focuses on avoiding steroids or taking preventive measures. Learn more here. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
Paxil is an antidepressant medication. This article provides an overview of Paxil, including its uses, side effects, and warnings. [...]
Fri, Aug 09, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A new study in Frontiers in Neuroscience suggests that a closed-loop brain stimulator, based on sweat response, can be developed not only for PTSD patients, but also for those who suffer an array of neuropsychiatric disorders. believes the new or additional approach presents great value. The study is published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. “Sweat primarily helps maintain body temperature; however, tiny bursts of sweat are also released in response to psychologically arousing stimuli,” said researcher Dr. Rose T. Faghih, University of Houston assistant professor of electrical engineering. “Tracking the associated changes in the conductivity of the skin, which can be seamlessly measured using wearables in real-world settings, thus provides a window into a person's emotions,” she said. The research builds on the success of prior ES interventions for people with movement disorders. Currently, people with Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, who have not responded to medication, often received significant benefit from the application of high-frequency electric current to the brain, or deep brain stimulation. Electrodes are placed in certain areas of the brain to regulate abnormal functions and a pacemaker-like device, placed in the upper chest, controls the amount of stimulation the brain receives. Open-loop stimulators, the most widely-used, deliver continuous stimulation until manually re-adjusted by a physician. The new intervention takes the concept a step farther with closed-loop stimulators. These devices provide stimulation in response to biomarkers of pathologic brain activity. The technique was developed for movement disorders, but have yet to be explored for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Faghih explains that prior to the onset of a PTSD episode, the skin develops the tiniest sheen of perspiration. That symptom of the body's fight or flight response signals a change in the skin's electrical conductivity and provides a window into the brain's state of emotional arousal. This warning sign can then activate the brain stimulator and mitigate the distress an individual may experience. The concept of using skin conductance to create the framework for a deep brain stimulator seemed logical to Faghih after reviewing group studies of Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD. Among the findings, PTSD subjects had the largest skin conductance responses when confronted with combat-related words. In a similar study comparing Vietnam combat veterans with and without PTSD and non-combat controls, PTSD veterans had the highest baseline skin conductance levels. “Skin conductance additionally has the advantage of being easily measured with wearable devices that afford convenience, seamless integration into clothing and do not involve risk of surgically [...]
Thu, Aug 08, 2019
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Many things can cause tingling sensations in the head, from respiratory infections to multiple sclerosis. Read about these and more causes in this article. [...]
Wed, Aug 07, 2019
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
A new study demonstrates that the fear predators inspire can leave long-lasting traces in the neural circuitry of wild animals and induce enduringly fearful behavior, comparable to effects seen in PTSD research. [...]
Wed, Aug 07, 2019
Source PTSD & Trauma
Electrical engineers report that the tiny beads of sweat, which appear in patients experiencing PTSD or other neuropsychiatric disorders can be measured and used to design and more responsive brain stimulator for therapy. [...]
Wed, Aug 07, 2019
Source PTSD & Trauma

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Nigel Magowan
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