Thursday June 21, 2018

Nerve Cell Cancer Survivors, At Higher Risk Of Developing Depression

The data were compared with the additional data from 872 siblings.

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Nerve Cell Cancer Survivors, At Higher Risk Of Developing Depression
Nerve Cell Cancer Survivors, At Higher Risk Of Developing Depression, Pixabay
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Researchers have found that patients who suffered from pediatric neuroblastoma — a childhood cancer of nerve cells — may have a higher risk of developing long term psychological difficulties, including depression and attention deficit disorders.

“These findings are novel because this is the first large study that could look at how neuroblastoma patients are doing in terms of psychological and educational outcomes,” said one of the researchers Nina Kadan-Lottick from Yale University School of Medicine in the US.

“Our hope is that these findings will help inform strategies for early screening and intervention to identify those survivors at highest risk for developing psychological and educational impairment later on in life,” Lottick explained.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, analysed data from 859 children who had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma at least five years earlier and were under 18 years old. The data were compared with the additional data from 872 siblings of these patients.

A nerve
A nerve, Representational image, flickr

The results showed that neuroblastoma survivors had 19 per cent increased prevalence of impairment in the domains of anxiety or depression as opposed to 14 per cent among the siblings.

The team also found that 19 per cent increased risk of headstrong behaviour among the patients as opposed to 13 per cent among the sibling group.

The patients group had 21 per cent higher prevalence of attention deficit disorders and 16 per cent higher risk of antisocial behaviour compared to 13 per cent and 12 per cent risk respectively in the sibling group.

Treatment advances in recent years have prolonged survival for many children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, but their young age at diagnosis and the specific therapies they receive can make them vulnerable to health problems as their central nervous system develops, the study said.

Mental patient
Mental patient, representational image, flickr

Also read: Finally the cause of depression among diabetes patients decoded

“The goal is not simply to get our patients to be cancer-free but also to optimise their mental, emotional, and social functioning as they move into adolescence and adulthood,” Lottick said. (IANS)

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Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression

The researchers are now working to identify specific populations of bacteria involved in these processes and the molecules that the bacteria produce

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Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression
Bacteria in The Gut May Lead to Anxiety, Depression. Pixabay

Gut bacteria plays a key role in infusing negative feelings in the brains of obese people, causing depression and anxiety, researchers say.

The findings showed that mice on a high-fat diet showed significantly more signs of anxiety, depression and obsessive behaviour than animals on standard diets.

In mice with high-fat diets, two areas of the brain, the hypothalamus, which helps to control whole body metabolism, and the nucleus accumbens, important in mood and behaviour, becomes insulin resistant.

“Your diet isn’t always necessarily just making your blood sugar higher or lower; it’s also changing a lot of signals coming from gut microbes and these signals make it all the way to the brain,” said C. Ronald Kahn, from the Joslin Diabetes Centre in the US.

“But all of these behaviours are reversed or improved when antibiotics that will change the gut microbiome were given with the high fat diet,” Kahn added.

Gut Bacteria.
Gut Bacteria. Pixabay

In the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the team identified the effect of the microbiome by transferring gut bacteria from experimental mice to germ-free mice which did not have any bacteria of their own.

The animals which received bacteria from mice on a high-fat diet began to show increased levels of activity associated with anxiety and obsessive behaviour.

However, those who got microbes from mice on a high-fat diet plus antibiotics did not, even though they did not receive the antibiotics themselves.

Also Read: Depression, Anxiety May Lead to Teeth Loss

The researchers are now working to identify specific populations of bacteria involved in these processes and the molecules that the bacteria produce.

“If we could modify those bacteria, either by putting in more beneficial bacteria or reducing the number of harmful bacteria, that might be a way to see improved behaviour,” Kahn noted. (IANS)