Here is a better remedy for patients suffering from depression. Campaigners say that they should be offered exercise on prescription rather than drugs. General Physians should be offering all patients with depression, a program of exercise to help combat their symptoms. These findings are made on the lines of the growing concern about side effects and over prescribing of antidepressants in the UK. New guidelines now state that antidepressants should not be used as a first line treatment for mild depression. It is because the majority of the drugs are also now not recommended for under 18s. It is due to possible side effects including the increased risk of suicide. A poll of 200 GPs found that only five per cent used exercise as one of their three most common treatment responses to depression. The awareness thus, should begin from the GPs themselves.
A newborn’s risk of exhibiting drug withdrawal symptoms and respiratory abnormalities appears to increase with prenatal exposure to certain antidepressants, according to two new studies. Before prescribing this type of medication to pregnant women, the doctors are urged by researchers to carefully consider these findings. The risk of a respiratory disorder in pregnant women is increased by the use of SSRI antidepressants. The respiratory disorder includes persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) in the newborn by 600%. This was the finding of a new retrospective study, and it included 377 women whose infants had the disorder.
Treatments to erase memories could ease depression in humans! This is suggested by the research finding that depressed loner mice become more sociable when a memory molecule is deleted from their brain. The treatment approach works as well as giving mice antidepressants, the journal Science reported. Study author Olivier Berton of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center says, “We focused on this molecule in a region of the brain that people call the reward pathway, which people have studied a lot in relation to drugs that are abused.” Deleting the molecule from this part of the brain meant that the mice were never depressed and fearful, even though conditions were set up that normally would make them run and hide, Berton added.
Repeated defeat by dominant animals leaves a mouse with an enduring ‘molecular scar’ in its brain, University of Texas scientists found. Thus the researchers might explain now why depression is so difficult to cure! The research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Silencer molecules turned off a gene for a key protein in the brain’s hippocampus, the scientists discovered. Though failed to remove the silencers that are thought to remain as a latent source of vulnerability to future depression-like responses to stress, antidepressants compensated for the resulting social avoidance syndrome.
The clouds of dispute are hovering over antidepressants as a new study has come out tying them to higher bone fracture risk. Researchers reached this idea after studying about 5,008 people who were in their 50s or over that age. Vindicating the findings researchers claim that they have found strong evidences to prove this notion. However, we can also not spurn away the facts according to which Antidepressants have been linked to lower blood pressure and dizziness, which adds to falling chances, thus increases bone fracture risk. Moreover, depression has also been linked to low bone density. All such points impel to rethink that is increased bone fracture risk due to antidepressants or because of depression. However, such claims seem to be failing while trying to refute this study because previous studies have also linked antidepressants to low bone density. Moving ahead with alike view Goltzman and colleagues said, ‘Research in animals suggests that the pill might have a direct effect on bone cells, decreasing bone strength and size.’ Really, this serious matter begs for further investigation since millions of people round the world use such antidepressants and if we see the whole issue in the light of these new findings then we can’t deny that such people are vulnerable to bone fractures.
In the recent years, suicide rate among kids has rocketed startlingly, as per the report transpired by CDC. This is definitely a matter of serious concern. In this regard Dr. David Fassler, a University of Vermont psychiatry professor, observers, ‘This is very disturbing news.’ Before we go ahead with this issue, here is a wrap up of the main points that came to the fore through this investigation:- 1. The suicide rate climbed 18% from 2003 to 2004 for Americans under age 20. 2. Most suicides occurred in older teens. 3. The suicide rate among 15- to 19-year-olds fell in previous years from 11 per 100,000 in 1990 to 7.3 per 100,000 in 2003. 4. Suicides were the main cause of death that increased for children through age 19 from 2003-04. 5. During this period, use of antidepressant among children came down. The above fact raises a question that – Can this much of rise in suicide cases among kids be attributed to the decreased use of antidepressants? But while mulling over this issue, we can also not keep a blind eye to previous studies, focusing on the same issue, which have expounded the view that taking antidepressants to fight depression may worsen the situation. At the same time, some studies have gone to the extent associating antidepressants with suicidal behaviors. Here is a look:- 1. Children and teens at increased risk for suicide with antidepressants, says FDA. 2. Antidepressants may worsen the condition. 3. Antidepressants a Suicide Risk for Young Adults. 4. Antidepressants and suicide. 5. Adults’ antidepressant bone risk. 6. Antidepressants Increase Suicide Risks? Interestingly, there is no privation of such claims too that have dubbed antidepressants as a potent weapon against mental disorder, especially depression. Here is a brief look:- 1. Study: Benefits of Antidepressants Outweigh Risks 2. Who benefits from antidepressants? 3. Efficacy and safety of antidepressants for children and adolescents 4. Antidepressants: advantages in the management of depression. The main purpose behind pulling out these paradoxical studies is to bring before the readers the point that studies conducted on the association of antidepressants and suicide have just nourished the Gordian knot further. Perhaps that is the reason why CDC’s Dr. Alexander Crosby avers: It’s something that we want to look a little bit closer into… It’s probably too early to say” if declining use of antidepressants had anything to do with it. Still, it would not be wrong to say that the main issue, which has come to the surface through this study i.e. ‘suicide rate among kids is on the rise’, is definitely obfuscating that cries for deeper study.
Researchers now claim that dosing children with antidepressants are in fact, not dangerous. These studies had in fact resulted in the FDA ordered ‘black box’ warnings put on the antidepressants. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh say the risk they found is lower than the one the FDA identified earlier. The agency warned the public about the drugs’ risks in young patients. Researchers mentioned in their report that having analyzed data on 5,310 children and teenagers from 27 studies, they have found that for every 100 kids treated with antidepressants, only about one additional child tends to suffer from suicidal tendencies. It has also been seen that in the study of antidepressants including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone and Remeron, there were no suicides reported. Dr. David Brent of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says- The medications are safe and effective and should be considered as an important part of treatment. The benefits seem favorable compared to the small risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Experts highly recommend the use of antidepressants to treat anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and depression. The authors of the study say the medications are safe and effective and should be considered an important part of treatment. Still, it is advised that doctors must keep an eye on their patients who are on antidepressants. The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Via : Washingtonpost.com
Believe it or not, if you are having symptoms of depression then it could be an indication of health-wreakening disease Parkinson’s in your life. A new study, conducted by a team of researchers, including Miguel Hernan at the American Academy of Neurology, came out unveiling this stark fact after they examined a database of over three million people in the United Kingdom. During the course of study, researchers identified about 1,052 people with Parkinson’s disease and matched them with 6,634 people without the disease. In addition, researchers also tried to find out whether people, taking antidepressants medications are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people who are not taking the medications. Finally, they concluded that people, taking antidepressants were having two times chances of developing Parkinson’s disease than those who were without antidepressants. However, they made it clear that it didn’t mean that antidepressants cause Parkinson’s disease. In the words of Hernan: This should not be interpreted as evidence that antidepressants cause Parkinson’s disease. This finding is quite informative, as it has tried to bring out the link between depression and Parkinson’s disease quite differently. Still, it is worth mentioning this is not for the first time when any study has come out associating depression with Parkinson’s disease because studies conducted earlier have also done the same. Here are some of those studies: • Depression May Be Early Sign of Parkinson’s Disease • Pessimism and Anxiety Linked to Parkinson’s Image Via: Sawf
Use of antidepressants is fast becoming a common thing, especially for the Australians with more and more people turning prone to mental health problems. A report from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) come out exposing this darker facet the Australians’ health. According to this report: • The number of antidepressants prescriptions increased 2.2 per cent per year between 2000-01 and 2005-06. • The use of antipsychotics increased just in a year about 6.8 per cent while this increase was 4.6 per cent for antidepressants. • Where in 2000-01 doctors prescribed about 9.8 million antidepressants while this figure reached 12.3 million in 2005-06. • Just in a single year use of antipsychotic increased from 1.3 million scripts to 1.8 million. • More people in Tasmania and South Australia were seeking for mental health medication while the use of mental health medication was comparatively lower in the Northern Territory and the Australia Capital Territory. • One in two Australians seeking help each year. • About 190,000 people were treated in a hospital emergency department for a mental illness during 2004-05. Facts, looming out of this report paint quite a gloomy picture of Australians’ mental health. However, it is worth mentioning that this is not for the first time when upsetting picture of Australians’ mental health has come to the fore, because earlier too experts have pointed that Australia’s mental health system is in distress. And if we look at this problem in wider term then we can say that the issue of worsening mental health is worrying not only the Australians but the entire globe. Following points bring out this picture very clearly: • The mental health of New Zealanders is getting worse • Mental health fears in China • Mental health care system in New Orleans is growing worse These facts indirectly show that people’s dependence on antidepressants is skyrocketing not only in Australia but also around the world. This is a harsh reality that hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by mental, behavioral, neurological and substance use disorders. Proving this stark fact further an estimate in 2002 by the World Health Organization shows that 154 million people globally suffer from depression and 25 million people from schizophrenia; 91 million people are affected by alcohol use disorders and 15 million by drug use disorders. And due to this very reason a majority of such people stoop for using these antidepressants, which is quite a bad thing because there are many side effects that antidepressants have been linked to. Following is the list of those side effects: • Dry mouth • Urinary retention • Blurred vision • Constipation • Sedation (can interfere with driving or operating machinery) • Sleep disruption • Weight gain • Headache • Nausea • Gastrointestinal disturbance/diarrhea • Abdominal pain • Inability to achieve an erection • Inability to achieve an orgasm (men and women) • Loss of libido • Agitation • Anxiety This shows that too much dependence on antidepressants may no doubt, help curing bad mental health but several side effects as mentioned above may also flock with it. Image Via: News
An environmentalist or an eco-tourist would agree that there is no better alternative to depression treatment, then “ecotherapy.” But in a shocking figure, GPs have been found to have prescribed antidepressants to over 31 million people in the UK in 2006 alone, making it an all-time high. To combat the growing trend of the depressed people’s relying solely on drugs, Mind — a leading mental health charity – advices depressed people to go for ‘Green therapy’ to tackle the growing problem effectively and easily. But, you must be pondering on what this ‘green treatment’ might involve. It prescribes no drugs, but walking, kite-flying and gardening as a treatment for people suffering from depression. The charity argues these drugless therapies need to be recognized as a ‘clinically-valid frontline treatment’ for problems relating to mental health. But, it does not mean that a depressed patient should stop taking drugs. What the charity wants is the need to broaden the treatment therapies by including eco-therapy in the treatment procedure. Mind’s chief executive Paul Farmer said, Mind sees ecotherapy as an important part of the future for mental health. It’s a credible, clinically-valid treatment option and needs to be prescribed by GPs, especially when for many people access to treatments other than antidepressants is extremely limited. Hundreds of people have benefited from the green projects run by our local Mind associations but if prescribing ecotherapy was part of mainstream practice it could potentially help the millions of people across the country who are affected by mental distress. So, if you are suffering from depression, go for an eco-therapy along with taking the drugs prescribed by your physician. Image