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Sapolsky on Depression

serenesam

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Professor Sapolsky says depression is as real as diabetes. So is it really a person's fault if they have depression?

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAgplgTxfc]Stanford's Sapolsky On Depression in U.S. (Full Lecture) - YouTube[/ame]
 
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serenesam

serenesam

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Professor Sapolsky says depression is as real as diabetes. So is it really a person's fault if they have depression?

Stanford's Sapolsky On Depression in U.S. (Full Lecture) - YouTube

You can get diabetes by eating too many Big Macs and sitting in front of the telly.
If that's the comparison, maybe depression can be the fault of the sufferer.

What if you still get diabetes if you don't eat too many Big Macs?

Do you actually know the causes of diabetes?

What Causes Diabetes?
Diabetes Myths - American Diabetes Association
 

uscitizen

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Obverweight is a risk factor for diabetes.
Just as smoking is a risk factor for cancer.
And obesity is overtaking smoking as the number 1 preventable cause of death in the USA.
 

waltky

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Bright lights at night may lead to depression...
:eusa_eh:
Night Time Light Exposure Linked to Depression
November 15, 2012 - A new study suggests that exposure to bright lights in the evening hours may increase the risk of depression and learning difficulties.
According to researchers at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, steady exposure to bright lights at night produced signs of depression and learning disabilities in a group of laboratory mice. It is well known that day and night rhythms can affect human metabolism, including psychological functions. Biologist Samer Hattar says this is a condition known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, where some people become depressed during the winter season when days grow shorter. SAD is often treated successfully by having patients spend time in front of special lamps called light boxes, whose full spectrum bulbs simulate natural daylight. Hattar’s team also believes depression and learning deficits can set in for so-called "night owls" -- people who stay up very late and -- because they tend to sleep in late -- do not see much morning light.

That is a reaction the researchers saw in their study of mice exposed to a cycle of three-and-a-half hours of light followed by three-and-a-half hours of darkness. Hattar says the cycle did not deprive the mice of sleep, just altered their wake-sleep cycle. “So, we think that light at the wrong time of the day is very similar to what patients with seasonal affective disorder experience when they have shorter day length. Although the two cycles look completely different, we think they ..converge somehow at the same function of depression and learning deficit,” Hattar said. The nighttime light phenomenon seems to occur in people, or in the mouse study, rodents that were not exposed to much light during the day. In humans, the researchers hypothesize it switches the light-dark cycle, causing changes in mood and learning. For example, in the study, mice exposed to too much light at night had trouble learning and remembering tasks compared to normal mice.

The phenomenon might occur when people who are not exposed to much light at work during the day get home and switch on bright, mood-altering light sources such as iPads, data phones, large screen televisions or lamps with high wattage light bulbs. Hattar says it appears that special cells in the eye, called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, become activated by this bright nighttime light, during what should be a period of downtime, stimulating the brain’s center for mood, memory and learning. Investigators saw the mood changes in mice that were exposed to the unusual day-night cycle. Mice on a normal cycle were more energetic.

Hattar says the depressed mice did not have as much energy and drank little sugar water prepared for the rodents, behavior that investigators improved with a well-known antidepressant. “By showing that they could reverse them with antidepressant drugs that work in humans, like we did in the paper by giving the animals Prozac,” Hattar said. Hattar recommends that people who work in an office all day take a walk while it is still light out when they get home and dim the lights in their homes as much as possible - while still being able to see or read - to avoid depression caused by too much nighttime light exposure. A paper on the effects of nighttime light on mood is published in the journal Nature.

Night Time Light Exposure Linked to Depression
 

waltky

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The safety of sweeteners has been tested by regulators...
:eusa_eh:
Diet drinks' 'link to depression' questioned
8 January 2013 - Experts are questioning whether diet drinks could raise depression risk, after a large study has found a link.
The US research in more than 250,000 people found depression was more common among frequent consumers of artificially sweetened beverages. The work, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, did not look at the cause for this link. Drinking coffee was linked with a lower risk of depression. People who drank four cups a day were 10% less likely to be diagnosed with depression during the 10-year study period than those who drank no coffee.

But those who drank four cans or glasses of diet fizzy drinks or artificially sweetened juice a day increased their risk of depression by about a third. Lead researcher Dr Honglei Chen, of the National Institutes of Health in North Carolina, said: "Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing them with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk." But he said more studies were needed to explore this.

No proof

There are many other factors that may be involved. And the findings - in people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and living in the US - might not apply to other populations. The safety of sweeteners, like aspartame, has been extensively tested by scientists and is assured by regulators. Gaynor Bussell, of the British Dietetic Association, said: "Sweeteners used to be called 'artificial' sweeteners and unfortunately the term 'artificial' has evoked suspicion. As a result, sweeteners have been very widely tested and reviewed for safety and the ones on the market have an excellent safety track record. "However, the studies on them continue and this one has thrown up a possibly link - not a cause and effect - with depression."

She said the study was a "one-off" and did not mean that sweeteners caused depression. "For a start, people who suffer from depression may latch on to the idea that it is their sweetened beverages that caused it and so add a bias to their reporting of past intake, especially as 'soda' in the US is demonised even more than in the UK. Also, it may be that drinking 'diet' drinks is a marker for obesity or diabetes which in themselves can cause depression. "Non-calorific sweeteners can play a useful role in the diets of those trying to lose weight and diabetics and it is certainly not advocated that people should replace their diet sodas with more coffee." Beth Murphy, at the mental health charity Mind, said: "We would urge anyone who is affected by depression to follow the advice of their GP or other medical professional in regards to their treatment."

BBC News - Diet drinks' 'link to depression' questioned
 

waltky

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Granny really enjoys her mushroom garden...

'Magic Mushrooms' Help Cancer Patients with Depression, Anxiety
December 01, 2016 - Psychedelic, “magic” mushrooms appear to significantly ease anxiety and depression among cancer patients, according to two small studies.
The double-blind studies were done at Johns Hopkins and New York Universities and found large doses of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushroom species, can provide relief for up to six months. "The most interesting and remarkable finding is that a single dose of psilocybin, which lasts four to six hours, produced enduring decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms, and this may represent a fascinating new model for treating some psychiatric conditions," says Roland Griffiths, professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Despite the apparent benefits of magic mushrooms, researchers caution that the study was done in “tightly controlled” conditions in a research setting and in the presence of medically trained monitors.

The Hopkins study, which was done concurrently with scientists from New York University, looked at only 51 patients, while NYU tested 29. According to the Hopkins study, “psilocybin decreased clinician - and patient-rated depressed mood, anxiety and death anxiety, and increased quality of life, life meaning and optimism,” according to a news release. And the benefits appeared to last at least six months, with 80 percent of participants reporting decreases in depression and anxiety and 60 percent reporting normal levels of “symptom remission.” Even more, 83 percent, reported “increases in well-being or life satisfaction.”

D2F4283B-0CB4-499D-BD6C-AC12FD438A8A_w250_r1_s.jpg

A hallucinogenic substance found in certain mushrooms appears to help with depression and anxiety among cancer patients.​

About two-thirds of the participants reported the experience “as one of the top five meaningful experiences in their lives, and about 70 percent reported the experience as one of the top five spiritually significant lifetime events.” Dr. Griffiths added that traditional means of helping cancer patients with mental illness “can take weeks or even months, isn't always effective, and in the case of some drugs, such as benzodiazepines, may have addictive and other troubling side effects.” "A life-threatening cancer diagnosis can be psychologically challenging, with anxiety and depression as very common symptoms," says Griffiths. "People with this kind of existential anxiety often feel hopeless and are worried about the meaning of life and what happens upon death."

There were some negative effects, according to Griffiths, who said 15 percent of study participants experienced nausea or vomiting. Some, about one in three, experienced “psychological discomfort” after taking the high dose. The same number saw a temporary increase in blood pressure. Others reported headaches. "Before beginning the study, it wasn't clear to me that this treatment would be helpful, since cancer patients may experience profound hopelessness in response to their diagnosis, which is often followed by multiple surgeries and prolonged chemotherapy," says Griffiths. "I could imagine that cancer patients would receive psilocybin, look into the existential void and come out even more fearful. However, the positive changes in attitudes, moods and behavior that we documented in healthy volunteers were replicated in cancer patients." Both studies were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

'Magic Mushrooms' Help Cancer Patients with Depression, Anxiety

See also:

Aerobic Exercise Improves Mild Cognitive Impairment
December 02, 2016 | WASHINGTON — Adults with the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease might be able to ward off or slow down its progression through aerobic exercise.
Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. It begins with mild cognitive impairment – forgetting names and telephone numbers, for example. Of course, many older people who won’t get Alzheimer’s also forget things. But a new study showed that people with diminishing cognitive skills characteristic of mild cognitive impairment might be able to arrest the process through aerobic exercise – and that could be good news for people who would otherwise go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina found that adults with mild cognitive impairment who engaged in both aerobic activity and mild stretching exercises were able to preserve their brain volume or mass.

But Christopher Whitlow, a senior co-author of the research, said seniors in the aerobics group preserved more total brain volume than those in the stretching group. “Exercise is known to have effects on improving blood flow, improving metabolism, and doing this in areas of the brain that are important to preserve in people transitioning mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease,” he said. Shrinkage in brain volume occurs in people with dementia, and the process can begin years before among people with mild cognitive impairment. Whitlow and colleagues conducted a study involving 35 adults with mild cognitive impairment. Half of them engaged in aerobic exercise – in which they got their hearts really pumping using a treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical trainer – and the other half did stretching exercises four days a week for six months. The aerobic group comprised 16 adults, average age 63, and the stretching group 19 adults around the age of 67.

70F153E6-5EC7-4143-8F16-A956360701FD_w250_r1_s.jpg

Patients with Alzheimer's and dementia are seen during a therapy session.​

Brain imaging was performed on all of the participants at the beginning of the study and after it concluded. In both groups, brain volume increased slightly in most gray matter regions, which are important for short-term memory. But compared to the stretching group, researchers found the aerobic group had a greater preservation of total gray matter. The researchers also noted a slight increase in the size of some key areas of the brain in the aerobics exercisers. Cognitive tests were also performed and they showed improvement in the more active group, which did statistically better than the adults who engaged in a less vigorous workout. The findings were presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Whitlow says another factor that may have contributed to the improvements researchers saw was exercising around others, noting "There’s a social component that getting involved in group activity probably is good for the brain.” In other words, working out with other people may stimulate the brain in a beneficial way. Whitlow and colleagues say they don’t know whether aerobic exercise keeps Alzheimer’s disease at bay, but they say it might help. Whitlow says more research is needed to find that out.

Aerobic Exercise Improves Mild Cognitive Impairment
 

Gagafritz

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What does the " fault" matter ? What matters is what are you going to do about it.
 

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