Links for Keyword: Depression

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Johann Hari In the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression – one that was quickly swept aside, because its implications were too inconvenient, and too explosive. American psychiatrists had produced a book that would lay out, in detail, all the symptoms of different mental illnesses, so they could be identified and treated in the same way across the United States. It was called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In the latest edition, they laid out nine symptoms that a patient has to show to be diagnosed with depression – like, for example, decreased interest in pleasure or persistent low mood. For a doctor to conclude you were depressed, you had to show five of these symptoms over several weeks. The manual was sent out to doctors across the US and they began to use it to diagnose people. However, after a while they came back to the authors and pointed out something that was bothering them. If they followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment. If you lose someone, it turns out that these symptoms will come to you automatically. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America? The authors conferred, and they decided that there would be a special clause added to the list of symptoms of depression. None of this applies, they said, if you have lost somebody you love in the past year. In that situation, all these symptoms are natural, and not a disorder. It was called “the grief exception”, and it seemed to resolve the problem. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24508 - Posted: 01.09.2018

Dean Burnett I do not know Johann Hari. We’ve never crossed paths, he’s done me no wrong that I’m aware of, I have no axe to grind with him or his work. And, in fairness, writing about mental health and how it’s treated or perceived is always a risk. It’s a major and often-debilitating issue facing a huge swathe of the population, and with many unpleasant and unhelpful stigmas attached. In recent years there have been signs that the tide is perhaps turning the right way, but a lot of work remains to be done. However, if you’re going to allow an extract from your book to be published as a standalone article for mainstream media with a title as provocative as “Is everything you know about depression wrong?”, you’d best make sure you have impeccable credentials and standards to back it up. Let’s address the elephant in the room: Johann Hari does not have a flawless reputation. He has been absent from the spotlight for many years following a plagiarism scandal, compounded by less-than-dignified behaviour towards his critics. Admittedly, he has since shown remorse and contrition over the whole affair, but even a cursory glance online reveals he’s a long way from universal forgiveness. Logically, someone with a reputation for making false claims should be the last person making high-profile, controversial, sweeping statements about something as sensitive as mental health. And yet, here we are. It’s 2018 after all. But let’s take the whole thing at face value and assume Hari has written this article with 100% good intentions and practices. Do his arguments and claims hold water? © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24507 - Posted: 01.09.2018

Singing could help mothers recover from post-natal depression more quickly, a study suggests. Researchers found that women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced a much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. Previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression. The women were placed into three groups: one took part in group singing another took part in in creative play sessions a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks the singing group had already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. "Post-natal depression is debilitating for mothers and their families, yet our research indicates that for some women something as accessible as singing with their baby could help to speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives," she said. Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt, from University College London, said singing was another useful therapy to offer women. © 2018 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24506 - Posted: 01.09.2018

Amy Maxmen Name a remedy, and chances are that Elizabeth Allen has tried it: acupuncture, antibiotics, antivirals, Chinese herbs, cognitive behavioural therapy and at least two dozen more. She hates dabbling in so many treatments, but does so because she longs for the healthy days of her past. The 34-year-old lawyer was a competitive swimmer at an Ivy-league university when she first fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome, 14 years ago. Her meticulous records demonstrate that this elusive malady is much worse than ordinary exhaustion. “Last year, I went to 117 doctor appointments and I paid $18,000 in out-of-pocket expenses,” she says. Dumbfounded that physicians knew so little about chronic fatigue syndrome — also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS — Allen resolved several years ago to take part in any study that would have her. In 2017, she got her chance: she entered a study assessing how women with ME/CFS respond to synthetic hormones. After decades of pleading, people with the condition have finally caught the attention of mainstream science — and dozens of exploratory studies are now under way. Scientists entering the field are using the powerful tools of modern molecular biology to search for any genes, proteins, cells and possible infectious agents involved. They hope the work will yield a laboratory test to diagnose ME/CFS — which might have several different causes and manifestations — and they want to identify molecular pathways to target with drugs. © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 24487 - Posted: 01.04.2018

Samantha Raphelson Jennifer Brea was a PhD candidate at Harvard University when flu-like symptoms and a high fever brought her down for more than five years. After her condition stumped several doctors, the 28-year-old filmed herself on her iPhone, including an episode when she was unable to move or speak. She showed the footage to her doctor, and in 2012 – a year and a half after her initial fever – she was diagnosed with a condition called myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Even though an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS, the disease is largely misunderstood and many sufferers have not been diagnosed. The annual federal research budget for the disease is $4 million to $6 million, which is slim compared to, for example, the nearly $109 million allocated annually to multiple sclerosis research. That's part of the problem, Brea says. "It's a disease that is twice as common as multiple sclerosis and on average can be even more debilitating, and yet we get almost no research funding and no access to medical care," she says. Brea tells Here & Now's Robin Young that her new documentary, Unrest, seeks to lift the veil on this invisible illness. The Sundance-award-winning film, which began with that initial iPhone footage, premieres on PBS next Monday. ME/CFS follows an infection that leaves 75 percent of those affected unable to work and 25 percent homebound or bedridden. The disease is characterized by severe physical and mental fatigue, sleep problems and cognitive dysfunction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 24481 - Posted: 01.03.2018

/ By Drew Smith For decades, no industry has been a more reliable moneymaker than pharmaceuticals. Immune to recession, drug companies regularly score 15 percent profit margins year after year. There is no danger of market saturation and, in the U.S., little prospect of government restraint of prices. Nearly all regulatory submissions win approval, and turnaround times are steadily decreasing. If you are an investor, what’s not to like? But all dominant and expanding industries are fueled by resources of one type or another. Some of these are tangible and obvious, like gold deposits. Their exploitation follows a familiar arc. There is an initial rush to simply pick nuggets up off the ground. When the nuggets have been picked, miners must search for pebbles, then sand, then dust. There are still fortunes to be made, but more and more capital investment is needed to separate the gold from the dross. If you are a drug company, drug targets are your resource. Our conception of disease has progressed through many understandings — as demonic possession, humoral imbalance, blockage of chi, disordering of machinery — and has now landed on the notion that it is either an invasion by microscopic creatures or bad behavior by large protein molecules. Health is restored by poisoning the invaders or correcting the proteins. Drugs are the agents that accomplish these goals. To a first approximation, drugs are small molecules that bind to specific large molecules. This is the one-disease, one-protein, one-drug paradigm, and it is the essential value proposition of the pharmaceutical industry. Companies identify protein targets and make drugs that alter target behavior. They are very, very good at this. So good that the supply of new drugs largely depends on the supply of new drug targets. Copyright 2018 Undark

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 24480 - Posted: 01.03.2018

Girls who go through puberty early could be more likely to experience depression and behaviour problems that last into their 20s compared to peers who start menstruation later, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers studied data on nearly 7,800 women who had their first menstrual cycle at an average age of 12. The women were interviewed four times, starting around age 16 and continuing until about age 28. Girls who went through puberty earlier than most were more likely to become depressed, and their symptoms were also more severe in adolescence, the study found. The younger the age at the first period, the stronger the association between early puberty and mental health problems; It was stronger for girls who started menstruation at age 8 than at age 10, for example. With earlier puberty, girls were also more likely to have behaviour issues that led to things like stealing, lying, breaking into buildings and selling drugs. The link lasted into young adulthood. Interestingly, the magnitude of the association between puberty and these psychological difficulties remains stable, meaning that puberty is as strongly associated with depressive symptoms and antisocial behaviour during adulthood as it is during adolescence, said lead study author Jane Mendle, a researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. ©2017 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 24463 - Posted: 12.28.2017

Haroon Siddique Researchers are developing an internet-based tool they hope will predict the effectiveness of antidepressants for individual patients, ending the current prescription lottery. Patients with depression often try many different drugs before settling on one that works, but a study aims to help clinicians make an informed choice as to which is likely to work best for a particular person. Dr Claire Gillan, at Trinity College Dublin, likened deciding which antidepressant to prescribe to a “flip of a coin” at present. But she hopes to create an algorithm that will take away the need for trial and error, potentially transforming treatment for millions of people. Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you Read more “There’s an awful lot of time and money wasted in people going through a 12-week treatment that doesn’t work, then another 12-week treatment that doesn’t work ad nauseam,” she said. “There will never be a point where algorithms are making these decisions in isolation; side effects have to be taken into account, for example. But this is a process of identifying treatment the clinician can use when debating a bunch of drugs – when they have no idea which will work through no fault of their own – for a particular patient.” © 2017 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24458 - Posted: 12.26.2017

By Kasra Zarei Depression and antidepressant use are at all-time highs in the year 2017, but for about a third of those affected, depression still doesn’t get better with medication—and for these patients, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which uses powerful magnets to stimulate brain cells noninvasively, can be a viable option. To be clear, TMS isn’t new; it was first approved by the FDA in 2008. What’s new is that the evidence for its safety and effectiveness has only gotten stronger. TMS is now generally covered by insurance companies for treatment-resistant depression, and new studies have shown that combining it with traditional treatments like psychotherapy can lead to significantly higher response rates. Some scientists also now believe TMS can be a dominant therapy compared to antidepressants, based on its lower cost, higher net monetary benefit and better quality of life outcomes produced. Although there are still many questions about TMS left unanswered, it is a treatment with a strong presence in fighting depression and much promise as personalized TMS grows closer to becoming a reality. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability worldwide. As many as 30 percent of people with depression are resistant to medication, and show suicide thoughts and attempts, and an overall poor quality of life. With traditional treatment options ineffective, these patients need a solution. © 2017 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 3: Neurophysiology: The Generation, Transmission, and Integration of Neural Signals
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 3: Neurophysiology: The Generation, Transmission, and Integration of Neural Signals
Link ID: 24447 - Posted: 12.21.2017

By R. Douglas Fields While examining brain tissue through a microscope of hospital patients in the 1930’s, Hungarian neuropathologist Ladislaus Meduna made an intriguing observation: Brain cells, called glia, increased greatly in tissue taken from people with epilepsy. But samples from patients with schizophrenia and depression had far fewer glia in the cerebral cortex than normal. Unlike neurons, glia cannot fire electrical impulses, so they were (and still are) largely ignored by most neuroscientists. But Meduna speculated that schizophrenia and depression might result from a deficiency of glial cells, so he reasoned that by inducing a seizure, he could increase their numbers and cure his patients. On January 23, 1934, he induced a violent seizure in a man who was hopelessly catatonic from schizophrenia by injecting a chemical, camphor, into the man’s bloodstream. The injection induced an explosive seizure that wracked the man’s body for a full minute. Meduna’s legs gave out in shock after he saw what he had done. The scientist collapsed and two nurses had to help him back to his apartment to recover. Undeterred, Meduna four days later induced another seizure in the same man—who for four years had never spoken or moved and who had been fed continuously through a tube. By the fifth seizure he induced on February 10, 1934, the man awoke, dressed himself, requested breakfast and greeted Meduna cheerfully by name. “I hear them talking that you were going to make some crazy experiment? Did you do it?” he asked This success inspired others: Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini in Italy used electricity to induce a seizure by applying electrodes they had obtained from a pig slaughterhouse to the head of one of their mental patients on April 11, 1938. Did the patient get better? In some cases, patients who underwent these primitive procedures experienced improved mental states noticeably. But they could also induce violent, whole-body contractions that sometimes dislocated joints and broke bones. © 2017 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24373 - Posted: 11.28.2017

By EFFY REDMAN It’s late morning on a balmy September day. I try to summon the will to run from the bench where I’m sitting on Broadway and dive under the massive wheels of one of the trucks roaring past. Which section of my body, I wonder, should I hurl beneath the tires. Where would hurt the least, and soonest erase my suffering. I clutch my cellphone, hating its potential for rescue signals. After nine or 10 trucks pass me by, an unkempt man in his mid-50s sits on the bench beside me, plastic cup of lager in one hand, half-smoked self-rolled cigarette in the other. He looks me up and down and grins. Go away, jerk, I think to myself, shooting him an icy glance. Leave me be. “Are you waiting for a date?” he persists. “What are you doing?” I want to kill him, but my resolve switches. I stand abruptly and head for my apartment, where, I calculate, I have enough medications stored to off myself. I ponder what to say in my suicide note. My phone rings: my mother, responding to the please call me asap message I had texted her. “What’s going on?” she says. It is my mother who insists I call my therapist and my mother who, upon my therapist’s urging, drives me to the emergency room. “Can’t you think about how it’s a beautiful sunny day?” she says once I’ve checked in and changed into a hospital gown and scrubs pants. I tug at the neck of my cotton gown, which chokes no matter how much I loosen the ties. ‘“I just feel utterly hopeless,” I say. The depression is a silent, slow motion tsunami of dark breaking over me. I can’t swim away from it and don’t believe I can survive its natural withdrawal. That’s why I am here. © 2017 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24367 - Posted: 11.27.2017

By JANE E. BRODY Having recently endured more than a month of post-concussion fatigue, I can’t imagine how people with so-called chronic fatigue syndrome navigate through life with disabling fatigue that seemingly knows no end. Especially those who are erroneously told things like “It’s all in your head,” “Maybe you should see a psychiatrist,” or “You’d have a lot more energy if only you’d get more exercise.” After years of treating the syndrome as a psychological disorder, leading health organizations now recognize that it is a serious, long-term illness possibly caused by a disruption in how the immune system responds to infection or stress. It shares many characteristics with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis but without apparent signs of tissue damage. Accordingly, doctors now typically refer to it as myalgic encephalomyelitis, meaning brain and spinal cord inflammation with muscle pain, and in scientific papers it is often written as ME/CFS. At the same time, a major shift is underway as far as how the medical profession is being advised to approach treatment. The longstanding advice to “exercise your way out of it” is now recognized as not only ineffective but counterproductive. It usually only makes matters worse, as even the mildest activity, like brushing your teeth, can lead to a debilitating fatigue, the core symptom of the disease. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in Britain are formulating revised guidelines for managing an ailment characterized by six or more months — and sometimes years — of incapacitating fatigue, joint pain and cognitive problems. This new thinking is long overdue. It is understandably difficult for doctors to appreciate that a disorder lacking obvious physical abnormalities could have a physical basis, especially when patients debilitated by a chronic disease that no one understands are likely to be depressed and anxious. © 2017 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24364 - Posted: 11.27.2017

By Nathaniel Morris Depression afflicts an estimated 16 million Americans every year, many of whom go to their doctors in despair, embarking on an often stressful process about what to do next. These visits may entail filling out forms with screening questions about symptoms such as mood changes and difficulty sleeping. Doctors may ask patients to share intimate details about such issues as marital conflicts and suicidal urges. Some patients may be referred to mental-health specialists for further examination. Once diagnosed with depression, patients frequently face the question: “Are you interested in therapy, medications or both?” As a resident physician in psychiatry, I’ve seen many patients grapple with this question; the most frequent answer I’ve heard from patients is “I’m not sure.” Deciding between different types of medical treatment can be challenging, especially amid the fog of depression. Moreover, patients rely on doctors to help guide them, and we’re often not sure ourselves which is the best approach for a specific patient. People commonly associate psychotherapy with Freud and couches, but newer, evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy have become prominent in the field. CBT helps patients develop strategies to address harmful thoughts, emotions and behaviors that may contribute to depression. There are many proposed explanations for how specific psychotherapies treat depression. These possibilities include giving patients social support and teaching coping skills, and researchers are using neuroimaging to study how these treatments affect depressed patients’ brains. © 1996-2017 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 24362 - Posted: 11.26.2017

By Erin Blakemore Jennifer Brea wasn’t supposed to break down. But in 2011, her body did just that. The 28-year-old was on the verge of a Harvard PhD and a wedding, but a series of viral infections transformed her from an energetic young woman to a bedridden patient with a mystery illness. Desperate to escape the pain, exhaustion and loss of muscle control that bound her to her bed, Brea visited a long list of medical specialists — many of whom questioned whether she was sick at all. In reality, Brea has myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME. Also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, the condition can mystify health-care providers and disable patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 2.5 million Americans suffer from the illness, 90 percent of them undiagnosed. “Unrest,” Brea’s intensely personal documentary about her journey through ME, asks why physicians still know so little about the disease. The film delves into Brea’s ordeal, her marriage and the lives of others whose health was stolen by a condition that can strip a person of dignity, mobility and hope for the future. More women have ME than men, and Brea’s experience fighting for recognition from her doctors is central to the film’s narrative. Her documentary is a testimony not just to the terrors of ME but also to the struggles that women often face when relaying information about their own bodies to medical providers. ME can keep patients painfully separate from their everyday lives and loved ones. “Unrest” breaks through a bit of that isolation and offers a sometimes heartbreaking look at what it takes to survive a poorly understood disease. © 1996-2017 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24360 - Posted: 11.26.2017

Sara Reardon Brain implants that deliver electrical pulses tuned to a person’s feelings and behaviour are being tested in people for the first time. Two teams funded by the US military’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have begun preliminary trials of ‘closed-loop’ brain implants that use algorithms to detect patterns associated with mood disorders. These devices can shock the brain back to a healthy state without input from a physician. The work, presented last week at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in Washington DC, could eventually provide a way to treat severe mental illnesses that resist current therapies. It also raises thorny ethical concerns, not least because the technique could give researchers a degree of access to a person’s inner feelings in real time. The general approach — using a brain implant to deliver electric pulses that alter neural activity — is known as deep-brain stimulation. It is used to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, but has been less successful when tested against mood disorders. Early evidence suggested that constant stimulation of certain brain regions could ease chronic depression, but a major study involving 90 people with depression found no improvement after a year of treatment.1 The scientists behind the DARPA-funded projects say that their work might succeed where earlier attempts failed, because they have designed their brain implants specifically to treat mental illness — and to switch on only when needed. “We’ve learned a lot about the limitations of our current technology,” says Edward Chang, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who is leading one of the projects. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24354 - Posted: 11.24.2017

Patricia Neighmond A study published Tuesday in the journal Clinical Psychological Science finds that increased time spent with popular electronic devices — whether a computer, cell phone or tablet — might have contributed to an uptick in symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts over the last several years among teens, especially among girls. Though San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, who led the study, agrees this sort of research can only establish a correlation between long hours of daily screen time and symptoms of alienation — it can't prove one causes the other — she thinks the findings should be a warning to parents. "One hour, maybe two hours [a day], doesn't increase risk all that much," Twenge says. "But once you get to three hours — and especially four and then, really, five hours and beyond — that's where there's much more significant risk of suicide attempts, thinking about suicide and major depression." Twenge and her colleagues took a hard look at national surveys that asked more than a half million young people, ages 13 to 18, questions that get at symptoms of depression. Twenge says the surveys asked students to respond to statements such as "Life often feels meaningless," or "I feel I can't do anything right," or "I feel my life is not very useful. Between 2010 and 2015 Twenge found the number of teens who answered "yes" to three or more of these questions increased significantly, from 16 percent in 2010 to 22 percent in 2015. © 2017 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24327 - Posted: 11.15.2017

By Emily Underwood In 2003, neurologist Helen Mayberg of Emory University in Atlanta began to test a bold, experimental treatment for people with severe depression, which involved implanting metal electrodes deep in the brain in a region called area 25. The initial data were promising; eventually, they convinced a device company, St. Jude Medical in Saint Paul, to sponsor a 200-person clinical trial dubbed BROADEN. This month, however, Lancet Psychiatry reported the first published data on the trial’s failure. The study stopped recruiting participants in 2012, after a 6-month study in 90 people failed to show statistically significant improvements between those receiving active stimulation and a control group, in which the device was implanted but switched off. Although that decision was “game over” for BROADEN, the story wasn’t finished for some 44 patients who asked to keep the implants in their brains, and the clinicians responsible for their long-term care, Mayberg explained last week to colleagues at a meeting on the ethical dilemmas of brain stimulation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. The episode highlights a tricky dilemma for companies and research teams involved in deep brain stimulation (DBS) research: If trial participants want to keep their implants, who will take responsibility—and pay—for their ongoing care? And participants in last week’s meeting said it underscores the need for the growing corps of DBS researchers to think long-term about their planned studies. © 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 24276 - Posted: 11.01.2017

Jon Hamilton People who are thinking about killing themselves appear to have distinctive brain activity that can now be measured by a computer. In these people, words like "death" and "trouble" produce a distinctive "neural signature" not found in others, scientists report in the journal Nature Human Behavior. More than 44,000 people commit suicide in the U.S. each year. "There really is a difference in the way [suicidal] people think about certain concepts," says Marcel Just, an author of the paper and the D. O. Hebb professor of cognitive neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University. That difference allowed a computer program to distinguish people who thought about suicide from people who did not more than 90 percent of the time. It also allowed the computer program to distinguish people who had attempted suicide from people who had only thought about it. The results come from a study of just 34 young adults and will need to be replicated, says Barry Horwitz, chief of brain imaging and modeling at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. But he says they hint at a future in which brain scans and computers can help assess a person's mental health. Horwitz was not involved in the study. "Just looking at behavior is probably inadequate for a lot of purposes," he says. "It's much better to be able to see what the brain is doing." © 2017 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 24269 - Posted: 10.31.2017

By Alice Klein Zapping the brain to relieve depression can spark fits of fury in a small number of people, psychiatrists warn. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is increasingly being used to treat a range of conditions, from depression and addiction to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In it, electrodes attached to the scalp emit weak currents that help strengthen electrical brain circuits. To treat depression, the current is usually applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – a brain area involved in regulating the emotions. There is now good evidence that this lifts mood in some people. However, it also appears to trigger anger in rare cases, say Galen Chin-Lun Hung and Ming-Chyi Huang at Taipei City Hospital in Taiwan. They recently reported two people at their psychiatric facility who had uncharacteristic outbursts of fury after receiving tDCS. The first was a 39-year-old woman with severe depression, low energy and suicidal thoughts who hadn’t responded to antidepressants. Straight after tDCS treatment, she became agitated, began yelling angrily and felt the urge to “tear everything apart”. © Copyright New Scientist Ltd.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 24247 - Posted: 10.27.2017

By DOUGLAS QUENQUA In the days after his son was born, Rob Sandler found the thrill of becoming a new father replaced with dark feelings of dread and hopelessness. Those feelings, coupled with sleep deprivation and stress, culminated in a panic attack during his son’s bris. As a group of old friends was saying goodbye after the ceremony, “I had this feeling that they were leaving and I was stuck in this situation that would never get any better,” said Mr. Sandler, a marketing executive in Dallas. “I just felt trapped.” What followed was months of sadness, anxiety and — perhaps most worrisome of all — a feeling of acute disappointment in his own ability to be a good parent. In recent years, a growing body of research, and the increasing visibility of dads like Mr. Sandler, has given rise to the idea that you don’t have to give birth to develop postpartum depression, the so-called “baby blues.” Studies suggest that the phenomenon may occur in from 7 percent to 10 percent of new fathers, compared to about 12 percent of new mothers, and that depressed dads were more likely to spank their children and less likely to read to them. Now, a University of Southern California study has found a link between depression and sagging testosterone levels in new dads, adding physiological weight to the argument that postpartum depression isn’t just for women anymore. The study also found that while high testosterone levels in new dads helped protect against depression in fathers, it correlated with an increased risk of depression in new moms. “We know men get postpartum depression, and we know testosterone drops in new dads, but we don’t know why,” said Darby Saxbe, a professor of psychology at U.S.C. and an author of the new report. “It’s often been suggested hormones underlie some of the postpartum depression in moms, but there’s been so much less attention paid to fathers. We were trying to put together the pieces to solve this puzzle.” © 2017 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 24203 - Posted: 10.17.2017