Monday, December 12, 2011

Mediators involved in anxiety disorder

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. There are different types of this disease, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are several reasons for anxiety disorders. Mostly, this is due to abnormal levels of certain chemicals that are known as neurotransmitters in the brain.
The brain continuously produces neurotransmitters that balance mood levels and keep them stable. When the mood levels are not stable, one is confronted with mood problems such as anxiety, stress and depression. Anxiety is also often seen as a sign of depression. Most of these mood disorders can be treated with various drugs. Nevertheless, it is important to consult a physician before taking any medication.
Serotonin is one of the chemicals that play an important role in maintaining the level of stress. Reduced levels of serotonin, as well as reducing the activity of this neurotransmitter can lead to anxiety, according to the American surgeon. If an anxiety disorder is associated with low levels of serotonin, it can be treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In fact, these drugs is better than cure for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
Gamma amino butyric, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter, which has a calming effect on people. As serotonin deficiency in the neurotransmitter can cause anxiety. For the treatment of low levels of GABA, benzodiazepines are often prescribed. These drugs bind to GABA receptors and to increase the inhibitory neurotransmitter response. As a result, people get quick relief from anxiety. However, these drugs are not designed for prolonged use because they can be addictive.
Norepinephrine another neurotransmitter that can cause anxiety, if not found the right levels. This neurotransmitter is also known as nonadrenaline. This man excites and prepares him / her on the flight or fight response. When the body perceives stress, a neurotransmitter released adrenaline gland. However, if a person is in a state of chronic stress, norepinephrine always produced in the adrenal glands and the body is constantly in a state of flight or fight response. As a result, people are always stressed and nervous. This type of anxiety disorder can be treated with SNRIs, or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These drugs are approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of depression, but they can also be used for anxiety disorders, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some of the side effects of these drugs include dry mouth, tremor, nausea and insomnia.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays a very important role in the management of stress disorders, according to the Surgeon General of the United States. CRH released in increased quantities in the case of anxiety disorder. An article published in 2008 in the European Journal of Pharmacology claims that drugs designed CRH receptors in the cells may be crucial for effective treatment of depression and other anxiety disorders.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Antidepressants From Blood Thinners May Pose a Risk for Patients With Heart Disease

Heart attack patients who take both choosy serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin or Plavix cause a higher risk for bleeding than those who annihilate anti-clotting drugs not, a new study finds. Commonly prescribed SSRIs cover Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro and the buy Valium online.
Antiplatelet drugs arrest blood cells from sticking together and forming a blood clot. Sincerity attack patients are commonly prescribed antiplatelet group therapy to reduce their risk of another core attack. But there's an increased chance of bleeding, which increases coequal further when certain other drugs are bewitched at the same time.
 It so happens that uncountable heart attack patients be undergoing depression symptoms and are prescribed antidepressants, celebrated the researchers at McGill University in Montreal. "We're in any case concerned about how other medicine clout interact with the medicines we be aware are essential to heart health and betterment after heart attack," said Dr. Kirk Garratt, clinical pilot of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Polyclinic in New York City.
"Although SSRIs are in use accustomed to in only a few cardiac patients, culture that SSRIs can increase jeopardy of bleeding complications could be suffering with important implications for how we care for patients after stents and other heartlessness procedures."
In the Canadian analysis, the researchers looked at more than 27,000 core attack patients, aged 50 and older, and create that patients taking aspirin or Plavix solitarily had a similar risk of bleeding. But alluring an SSRI antidepressant and aspirin increased the risk of bleeding by 42 percent, and fetching an SSRI with both aspirin and clopidogrel (dual antiplatelet treatment) increased the risk by 57 percent. Bleeding included gastrointestinal bleeding, hemorrhagic thrombosis or other bleeding that required hospitalization or occurred in the sanatorium during treatment.
The researchers also initiate that the risk of bleeding was deign in women and in patients who had angioplasty after their sensibility attack. The study appears Sept. 26 in the Canadian Medical Relationship Journal. "Ultimately, clinicians requirement weigh the benefits of SSRI treatment against the risk of bleeding in patients with outstanding depression following acute myocardial infarction," the researchers wrote in a weekly news release. They urged doctors to be vigilant when buy generic valium to nerve attack patients on antiplatelet psychoanalysis.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Black Heart Patients Undertreated For Depression

Blacks and whites with heart disease are both likely to experience symptoms of depression, but blacks are only half as likely to receive treatment for the disorder, according to a new study from Duke University Medical Center.
"This is an important finding because we know that depression is associated with a 2- to 4-fold increase in the risk of complications and death from heart disease," says James Blumenthal, PhD, a psychologist at Duke and a co-author of the study appearing early online in the American Heart Journal. "Undertreatment of depression is a serious clinical issue."
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and previous studies show that it takes a disproportionate toll among blacks
Through support from a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Duke researchers studied 864 patients (727 whites and 137 blacks) who received care at the Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the Duke Heart Center between April 1999 and June 2002. Researchers reviewed the patients' records, noting use of medications and any cardiovascular risk factors. They also asked participants to complete the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess symptoms of depression.
The scientists found that depression was common in this group: Thirty-five percent of the black patients and 27 percent of the white patients had elevated measures of symptoms of depression. But while 21 percent of the whites were taking antidepressants to treat the disorder, only 11.7 percent of the blacks were receiving treatment.
There also appeared to be important gender differences. Among those with the most severe symptoms of depression, 43 percent of white men, but only 22 percent of black men were on antidepressants. In comparison, 64 percent of white women and 67 percent of black women were taking such medications.
"These findings suggest that depression in heart disease is undertreated, and it appears that black men are suffering the most," says Silvina Waldman, MD, a cardiologist at the Duke Heart Center and lead author of the study. "It is sobering to realize that large numbers of patients are missing out on important and readily available therapeutic options."
Blumenthal says available data do not provide a clear explanation for the disparity in treatment rates, but he believes it is probably due to several factors. Studies show that depression in conjunction with medical illness tends to be under diagnosed. Blumenthal says that some physicians may not be adept at recognizing depression in minority patients and that some patients may feel that a diagnosis of depression is stigmatizing and may not feel comfortable talking about their symptoms with their doctor. Blumenthal says insurance coverage and patients' ability to pay out-of-pocket expenses may also play a role. Some patients may indeed have been prescribed antidepressants, but can't afford to have prescriptions filled - a dilemma that could affect treatment rates.
"We clearly need to do a better job of recognizing and treating depression, especially in heart patients," Blumenthal said. "We need treatments that work, treatments that are acceptable to patients, and treatments that are actually incorporated into medical practice."
Blumenthal believes that medications may not be the only way, however, to treat depression in heart disease. He is currently conducting a clinical trial (called UPBEAT) comparing aerobic exercise to antidepressants as a means of relieving symptoms of depression.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Every 12 Adolescents Experienced Major Depression

About 2.1 million teens aged 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, according to a new nationwide report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. For almost half of the teens, depression drastically reduced their abilities to deal with aspects of their daily lives, the report said.
Overall, 8.5 percent of adolescents, the equivalent of one in every 12, experienced a major depressive episode, but there were striking differences by gender, with 12.7 percent of females and 4.6 percent of males reporting the conditions.
“Fortunately, depression responds very well to early intervention and treatment,” said SAMHSA Administrator Terry Cline, Ph.D. “Parents concerned about their child’s mental health should seek help with the same urgency as with any other medical condition. Appropriate mental health care can help their child recover and thrive.”
The report defines a major depressive episode as a period of two weeks or longer of depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms reflecting a change in functioning (for example, problems with sleep, energy, concentration and self-image). This is the definition established by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.
Major Depressive Episode among Youths Aged 12 to 17 in the United States of America: 2006 also reveals the often devastating effect these major depressive episodes can have on adolescents. Nearly half of adolescents experiencing major depression (48.3 percent) report that it severely impaired their ability to function in at least one of four major areas of their everyday lives (home life, school/work, family relationships, and social life). Adolescents reporting the most severe impairment reported that they were unable to carry out normal activities on an average of 58.4 days in the past year.
The report is based on combined data from the 2004 to 2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) involving responses from 67,706 people aged 12 to 17 throughout the United States. The survey is based on a scientific random sample of households throughout the United States, and professional field representatives personally visit each household to conduct the survey.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Depression symptoms may come from modern living

According to one researcher, experiencing depression symptoms might simply be the result of modern living. Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas believes living in an industrialized society may be a root cause of why we experience symptoms of depression, especially given the increased incidence of depressive disorders, despite pharmaceutical therapies.
"A century ago, according to the best epidemiological evidence we have, the lifetime rate of depressive illness in the U.S. was about 1 percent," said Ilardi. "The rate now stands at 23 percent. So we've had roughly a 20-fold increase over the course of a century. Since World War II there's been roughly a 10-fold increase. And a recent study found the rate of depression has more than doubled in just the past decade." Experiencing symptoms of depression takes a toll on overall health and has been associated with a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease.
Ilardi contends that reclaiming a more primitive type of lifestyle could be the answer to treating depression. His book The Depression Cure (Da Capo Lifelong Books), published June 1, is based on research from the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change project, lead by Kansas University Researchers.
"As a species, humans were never designed for the pace of modern life," said Ilardi. "We're designed for a different time — a time when people were physically active, when they were outside in the sun for most of the day, when they had extensive social connections and enjoyed continual face time with their friends and loved ones, when they experienced very little social isolation, when they had a much different diet, when they got considerably more sleep and when they had much less in the way of a relentless, demanding, stress-filled existence." The result of living more simply was fewer symptoms of depression.
To prove that assuming a less modern role might cure symptoms of depression, study participants were asked to adopt six habits from the past that are basic to good health - consuming more omega-3 fatty acids; remaining actively engaged to combat eating; getting regular sunlight exposure; increasing physical exercise; connecting more with others socially; and getting increased , quality sleep.
Ilardi’s own studies, in addition to the ongoing Therapeutic Lifestyle Change project, show that modern day existence fosters unhappiness, leading to symptoms of depression. He says individuals whose lifestyles are more closely related to our ancestors experience less depression.
Ilardi cites the Amish culture whose rates of depression are low, as well as observations from anthropologist Edward Schieffelin who observed that the Kaluli people of the New Guinea highlands do not experience depression. They spend their days foraging and gardening, just as our ancestors did.
Modern life may indeed contribute to symptoms of depression, which has been increasing steadily since World War II. Less time spent in the sun, lack of sleep, fast food diets, social isolation, and physical inactivity are the direct result of the way we live. Of depression, Ilardi says, “Virtually everyone knows someone with this affliction.”
Ilardi is convinced that modern living is at the root of why people experience symptoms of depression, which include lack of sleep, difficulty enjoying activities, fatigue, irritability, increased pain, feelings of hopelessness, crying, lack of sexual desire, and even thoughts of suicide. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.” If you suffer from symptoms of depression, speak with your health care provider. You may also want to consider a more simple existence.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bill Would Encourage Postpartum Depression Research

The House on Monday voted 382-3 to pass a bill (HR 20)that would authorize $3 million in grants in fiscal year 2008 to studythe causes and treatments of postpartum depression and postpartumpsychosis, CQ Today reports (Armstrong, CQ Today, 10/15).
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), also would provide grants through HHSfor the %26quot;establishment, operation and coordination of effective andcost-efficient systems for the delivery of essential services%26quot; forwomen with the conditions and their families. The measure initiallywould have directed NIHto conduct research on postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis,but a House subcommittee in July approved an amendment that changed thelanguage from %26quot;directed%26quot; to %26quot;encouraged.%26quot; The bill would authorize%26quot;such sums as necessary%26quot; to continue the research for FY 2009 and FY2010 (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report, 9/28). According to the Congressional Budget Office, the measure could cost $15 million over five years if grants and other programs in the bill are funded (CQ Today, 10/15).
The bill also encourages the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH and the HHS secretary to carry out a national campaign to increaseawareness and knowledge of postpartum depression and postpartumpsychosis, the AP/Google.comreports. The measure also includes language that calls for a study intomental health issues related to abortion and miscarriages. Rep. JosephPitts (R-Pa.), who opposes abortion rights, said that althoughpostpartum depression is a serious disease, it is "just as important toknow the effects of adoption, miscarriage and abortion in order toproperly help women" (Abrams, AP/, 10/15).
According to a CDC study, about 18% of women experience depression after giving birth. The Senate has introduced a companion bill (S 1375)that does not contain abortion-related language. According to a Rushaide, Rush’s staff will speak with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.),sponsor of the Senate legislation, about making his measure moresimilar to the House bill. Rush said, "No longer will postpartumdepression be dismissed as mere ‘baby blues’" (CQ Today, 10/15).
Reprinted with permission from You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen’s Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at The Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report is published for, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory BoardCompany and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Depression Without Anxiety Can Be as Deadly as Smoking

A Norwegian study using a unique link between a survey of over 60,000 people and a comprehensive mortality database has found that the risk of dying from depression is equivalent to the risk from smoking. It is interesting to note that if an individual displays anxiety along with depression, then the risk of dying is less than that of depression alone.
Dr. Robert Stewart, who led the research team at the study states, “Unlike smoking, we don’t know how causal the association with depression is but it does suggest that more attention should be paid to this link because the association persisted after adjusting for many other factors.”
The study showed something that researchers might not have expected, and that was if patients had a combination of depression and anxiety that it actually lowered mortality compared with depression alone. Dr. Stewart explains, “One of the main messages from this research is that a little anxiety may be good for you.”
Stewart said,”It appears that we’re talking about two risk groups here. People with very high levels of anxiety symptoms may be naturally more vulnerable due to stress, for example through the effects stress has on cardiovascular outcomes. On the other hand, people who score very low on anxiety measures, i.e. those who deny any symptoms at all, may be people who also tend not to seek help for physical conditions, or they may be people who tend to take risks. This would explain the higher mortality.”
Dr. Stewart further states, “It would certainly not surprise me at all to find that doctors are less likely to investigate physical symptoms in people with depression because they think that depression is the explanation, but may be more likely to investigate if someone is anxious because they think it will reassure them. These are conjectures but they would fit with the data.”
He and his researchers explain that when looking at the results, it is important to consider a variety of adverse physical health outcomes and poor health associated with mental disorders such as depression and psychotic disorders.
Dr. Stewart believes that there should be a focus of future developments in the treatment of depression and anxiety: “The physical health of people with current or previous mental disorder needs a lot more attention than it gets at the moment. “
Stewart says, “This applies to primary care, secondary mental health care and general hospital care in the sense that there should be more active screening for physical disorders and risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, adverse diet, smoking, lack of exercise, in people with mental disorders. This should be done in addition to more active treatment of disorders when present, and more effective general health promotion.” What Stewarts study did confirm that depression alone can be as deadly as smoking.