Saturday April 20, 2019

A Healthy Diet Can Help The Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: Study

The team measured body mass index (BMI) at the beginning of the study.

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-friendly diets are also healthier: Study. Flickr

Consuming a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can benefit those undergoing treatment for bipolar disorders, a new study suggests.

Bipolar disorder — previously known as ‘manic depression’ — is characterised by episodes of depression and of abnormally elevated mood with periods in between the two extremes.

“We found that people who had a better-quality diet, a diet with anti-inflammatory properties, or a lower BMI, showed better response to add-on nutraceutical treatment than those who reported a low-quality diet, or a diet including foods that promote inflammation, or who were overweight,” said lead researcher Melanie Ashton of Deakin University in Australia.

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Foods rich in fibre was found to reduce this adverse effects of stress in mice. Pixabay

The fact that there are two opposite sets of symptoms means that finding an effective treatment is difficult, suggests the study presented at the ECNP Conference in Barcelona.

While current medications are useful, they are better at targeting mania symptoms (the ‘up’ phase), leaving a lack of effective treatment for people experiencing depressive episodes, it added.

For the study, the team involved 133 participants who either took a combination of nutraceuticals (compounds derived from foods such as vitamins or minerals that treat or prevent a disease or disorder) including the anti-inflammatory amino acid n-acetylcysteine (NAC), or NAC alone, or a placebo (a dummy pill) for 16 weeks.

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Eat good food. Pixabay

The team measured body mass index (BMI) at the beginning of the study, and then measured depression and how a person is able to function in their day to day life.

The participants filled in a questionnaire about what they usually eat over the year and researchers calculated a diet quality score where good diets included a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, whereas poorer-quality diets had more saturated fat, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.

Also Read: A Diet rich in Nutrients Helps in Living Longer: Study

“If we can confirm these results, then it is good news for people with bipolar disorder, as there is a great need for better treatments for the depressive phase of bipolar disorder,” Ashton noted. (IANS)

Next Story

New York City’s Mandatory Measles Vaccination Order Stands Still

The health department's lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County, a New York City suburb, banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces. VOA

Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns — debunked by medical science — that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019.
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019. VOA

Secret identities

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine. Pixabay

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak.

Also Read: Short-Circuit Likely The Cause of Notre Dame Fire, Claims Police Investigators

The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week. (VOA)