Thursday October 18, 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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Depression in Children Stay Undetected by Parents and Teachers- Study

The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves

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Studies: More Green Space, Less Crime, Depression in Poor Areas Pixabay

Parents and teachers may find it difficult to detect depression in young children, that can affect their social skills and academics, a new study shows.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 2-3 per cent of children aged between 6-12 might have a major depressive disorder.

But parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children.

The findings, appearing in the Journal of School Psychology, showed that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

However, when teachers and parents were asked to rate a child’s level of depression, there was only about 5-10 per cent overlap in their ratings.

Depression
Parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children. Pixabay

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that each of them are seeing different aspects of children’s behaviour and mental health,” said Keith Herman, professor in the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education.

For the study, the team completed profile analyses of 643 children in early elementary school to explore how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

Herman suggested that mental health professionals could work with teachers and parents to identify depressive symptoms early by including self reports from children in mental health evaluations.

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“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” noted Herman.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviours might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviours early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression,” he said. (IANS)