New York: Researchers have identified promising drug compounds that could successfully treat depression in less than 24 hours while minimizing side effects.
Although they have not yet been tested on people, the compounds could offer significant advantages over current antidepressant medications, the study said.
“Our results open up a whole new class of potential antidepressant medications,” said lead researcher Scott Thompson, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US.
“These compounds can relieve the devastating symptoms of depression in less than one day and can do so in a way that limits some of the key disadvantages of current approaches,” Thompson said in the study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
These compounds, called GABA-NAMs, minimise unwanted side effects because they are precise: they work only in the parts of the brain that are essential for mood, the study said.
The compounds were tested in rats that were subjected to chronic mild stress and caused the animals to act in ways that resemble human depression.
Giving stressed rats GABA-NAMs successfully reversed experimental signs of a key symptom of depression, anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure.
Remarkably, the beneficial effects of the compounds appeared within 24 hours – much faster than the multiple weeks needed for most of the currently available antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs to produce the same effects.
“These compounds produced the most dramatic effects in animal studies that we could have hoped for.”
“It will be exciting to find out whether they produce similar effects in depressed patients. If these compounds can quickly provide relief of the symptoms of human depression, such as suicidal thinking, it could revolutionise the way patients are treated,” Thompson said.
No effects of the compound were detected in unstressed animals, raising hopes that they will not produce side effects in human patients.
Toronto, October 23, 2017 : Due to the pressure caused by changing societal roles and multiple responsibilities, depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women, a study has found.
The findings showed that the risk of death associated with depression appeared strongest in the years following a depressive episode.
“During the recent years in which women’s risk of death increased significantly, roles have changed dramatically both at home and in the workplace, and many women shoulder multiple responsibilities and expectations,” said Ian Colman from the University of Ottawa.
In the study, the lifespan for young adults with depression at age 25 was markedly shorter over the 60-year period — the lifespan shortened ranging from 10 to 12 fewer years of life, then four to seven years and later seven to 18 fewer years of life.
“At first the association was limited to men, but in later years it was seen for women as well,” said Stephen Gilman from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, US.
For the study, published in CMAJ, the team looked at 60 years of mental health data on 3410 adults from a region in Atlantic Canada and linked the data to deaths in the Canadian Mortality Database.
Though depression has also been linked with poorer diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption — all factors that can result in chronic health conditions — did not explain the increased risk of death associated with depression in this study, the researchers noted.
Family physicians should monitor the patients for mood disturbances, especially recurrent episodes of depression, so that they may offer treatment and support, the researchers suggested. (IANS)
San Francisco, October 17, 2017 : Facebook has acquired ‘tbh’, an anonymous polling app for teenagers which has over 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the US.
The app lets teenagers anonymously answer kind-hearted, multiple-choice questions about friends, who then receive the poll results as compliments, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday.
“When we set out to build tbh, we wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves. We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences,” ‘tbh’ said in a statement.
“Over the last few weeks, over 5 million people have downloaded tbh and sent over a billion messages. More importantly, we’ve been inspired by the countless stories where tbh helped people recover from depression and form better relationships with friends,” it read.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but according to TechCrunch, it is likely to be somewhere around less than $100 million and will not require regulatory approval.
“As part of the deal, tbh’s four co-creators — Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app,” the report added.
“When we met with Facebook, we realised that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people,” ‘tbh’ said.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook said: “tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together”. (IANS)
New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Being unhappy is not synonymous with depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a constant state of low mood and an aversion to activity that can alter a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and a sense of general well being. People suffering from depression may feel anxious, empty, helpless, worthless, hopeless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless – and sometimes all of this at the same time. These can largely be viewed as both outcome and signs of depression.
Feeling moody or low from time to time is normal; these are natural emotions which when experienced in regular intervals are healthy. However, some people experience these feelings deeply. And contrary to popular belief, they may not be able to ‘snap out of it’ for long periods that might last up to weeks, months or even years. What is further a cause of concern is that sometimes, these behaviors and mood swings are without any apparent reason. While signs of depression may be hard to point, they are not entirely invisible.
Depression is more than just ‘low mood’- it is a serious situation that can affect an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health.
But how can we know that an individual may be suffering from depression, are there any warning signs of depression?
Feeling sad is a part of depression, but the illness can present itself in a variety of other ways. If observed closely, one can figure out signs of depression in people.
The following can be broadly understood as signs of depression that can motivate an individual to seek professional help,
1. BODY : You have unexplained pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, unexplained pain, for example, back aches or migraines can be one of the first or only signs of depression. In fact, pain and depression often comprise a complimentary relationship. If your depression is causing you pain, this can influence you to feel additionally depressed which may further the pain. In addition, this ‘unexplained’ pain can give rise to a host of other problems like stress, low confidence, restlessness and you may even face difficulties falling asleep.
2. SLEEP : You sleep excessively – or too little
According to experts and numerous researches published in health-related journals, sleeping for extended hours is interpreted as escapism behavior.
You may wind up in bed and feel like staying there for hours, take naps whenever you can during the day. Depression can force you to feel immobile. Or it can cause you to remain awake till late in the night-tossing and turning and worrying.
Sleeping too much or too less comes with its own set of drawbacks. You may feel worn out and drowsy from a lot of rest which can make you feel even more terrible. Unrest due to long sleep hours will make you likely to sleep more and thereafter face even more trouble falling asleep at night.
Depression can alter your life in more ways than one. While some symptoms will be easier to notice, you might not be able to point out others until a while. Depression can influence major parts of your life, like your dietary patterns.
You may encounter a loss of appetite and a diminished enthusiasm for all activities that involve food. It can also have the inverse impact, making you more likely to attempt to mitigate yourself by greedily consuming food. Furthermore, if you suddenly find yourself binge eating or indulging in junk food, you might need to speak with your specialist about depression.
4. COGNITIVE : You may feel confused
If you are experiencing trouble concentrating, or settling on choices on a practically regular routine, it could be a sign of depression. You may experience unfocused thinking, or wavering attention. This can in turn take a toll on your memory and the ability to make sound judgment.
Have you been looking for excuses to delay work? A confused mind may influence you to overlook work deadlines and also motivate you to forego errands. Worst case scenario, it may even lead you to engage in unhealthy and risky behavior.
Although it is a common viewpoint to associate depression with sadness, it can also manifest into a host of other experiences. Depression may make you feel disturbed or angry over things you would have ordinarily ignored. Or you might experience sudden emotional outburst – incessantly crying for no particular reason. You may feel distant and not be able to relate to activities and people who were previously a part of your routine.
If you find yourself indulging in extreme emotional behavior, you might actually be depressed.
– Prepeared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : SohaKala