Friday December 15, 2017

Anxiety and depression genetic, says research

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depression

New York: Anxious parents are more likely to have anxious children, a study on rhesus monkeys has revealed. It added that the risk of developing anxiety and depression is passed from parents to children.

An over-active brain circuit involving three brain areas inherited from generation to generation may set the stage for developing anxiety and depressive disorders, said the researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Over-activity of these three brain regions are inherited brain alterations that are directly linked to the later life risk to develop anxiety and depression,” said senior study author Ned Kalin.

The findings showed that elevated activity in the brain areas is likely involved in mediating the in-born risk for extreme anxiety and anxious temperament that can be observed in early childhood.

Monkeys, like humans, can be temperamentally anxious and pass their anxiety-related genes on to the next generation.

By studying nearly 600 young rhesus monkeys, the team found that about 35 percent of variation in anxiety-like tendencies is explained by family history.

To a certain extent, anxiety can provide an evolutionary advantage because it helps an individual recognise and avoid danger.

“But when the circuits are over-active, it becomes a problem and can result in anxiety and depressive disorders,” Kalin explained.

Surprisingly, the study found that it was the function of brain structures – and not their size – that was responsible for the genetic transfer of an anxious temperament.

“Now that we know where to look, we can develop a better understanding of the molecular alterations that give rise to anxiety-related brain function,” Kalin noted.

The findings are a big step in understanding the neural underpinnings of inherited anxiety and begins to give scientists more selective targets for treatment.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

(IANS)

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Depression related to brain mechanism, identified by a new research

Brain mechanism is identified as the reason behind depression which has been found by a new research

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Depression related to brain mechanism.
Depression related to brain mechanism. IANS
  • A new research finds out the relation between brain mechanism and depression
  • Brain and memory related areas involved in depression

London, Dec 13, 2017: People suffer from major depressive disorders because of alterations in the activity and connectivity of brain systems underlying reward and memory, suggests new research.

The findings, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, provide clues as to which regions of the brain could be at the root of symptoms, such as reduced happiness and pleasure, or negative memories, in depression.

For the study, the researchers used a new approach to measure the influence of one brain region on another, referred to as effective connectivity, in depression.

The approach goes beyond the limitations of previous brain imaging studies, which show if — but not how — activity of different brain regions is related.

“The new method allows the effect of one brain region on another to be measured in depression, in order to discover more about which brain systems make causal contributions to depression,” said one of the researchers Edmund Rolls, Professor at University of Warwick in England.

The researchers compared 336 people with major depressive disorder to 350 healthy controls.

Brain regions involved in reward and subjective pleasure received less drive (or reduced effective connectivity) in patients, which may contribute to the decreased feeling of happiness in depression, the study showed.

In addition, brain regions involved in punishment and responses when a reward is not received had increased activity, providing evidence for the source of sadness that occurs in the disorder.

Memory-related areas of the brain had increased activity and connectivity in people with depression, which the authors suggest may be related to heightened memory processing, possibly of unpleasant memories, in depression.

“These findings are part of a concerted approach to better understand the brain mechanisms related to depression, and thereby to lead to new ways of understanding and treating depression,” Rolls said. (IANS)

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‘At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things’, says Bollywood Actress Ileana D’Cruz

Actress Ileana D'Cruz was once suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Watch out what she has to say.

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Actress Ileana D'Cruz
Actress Ileana D'Cruz . wikimedia commons
  • Actress Ileana D’Cruz, who suffered depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, says at one point in her life she felt suicidal.
  • But once she accepted herself, she started feeling better.

Actress Ileana D’Cruz suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder

At the 21st World Congress of Mental Health here on Sunday, Ileana had a tete-a-tete with Organising Chairman Sunil Mittal on her struggle with depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Ileana was also awarded the Woman of Substance Award for her efforts towards raising awareness about mental health, read a statement.

She said: “I was always a very self-conscious person and was picked on for my body type. I used to feel low and sad all the time but didn’t know I was suffering from depression and Body Dysmorphic Disorder till I got help. All I wanted to do was to be accepted by everyone.

“At one point, I even had suicidal thoughts and wanted to end things. However, all of it changed when I accepted myself and what I was going through. I think that is the first step towards fighting depression.”

The “Barfi!” and “Rustom” actress said depression is “real” and people shouldn’t shy away from seeking help.

“It is a chemical imbalance in your brain and needs to be treated. Don’t sit back and think it will get okay but go get help. Like you have a sprain and go get yourself checked if you have depression, seek help,” she said, urging people to be like Winnie the Pooh. “He wore a crop top, ate his favorite food all day and loved himself, you can too.”

Ileana D’Cruz, whose mother was her biggest pillar of strength throughout, also said imperfections are a part of life.

“I am not saying that I had this miraculous recovery, every day is a process, every day is a step towards healing yourself and getting better. You are a human being and are allowed to be imperfect, and you are allowed to be flawed. There is a lot of beauty in your imperfections, in your uniqueness.

“You may look at us actors and think that ‘Oh my God, they are so pretty, so perfect’. But that’s not how it is. It takes two hours to get ready and look like this. Love yourself for who you are and trust me if you are happy from within, you are the most beautiful person and your smile is your best asset.”

Ileana D’Cruz said she decided to open up about her struggle because “as someone people look up to, even if I can help a handful of people cope, it is worth talking about it”.

The World Congress was organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), a global alliance of mental health professionals, national health associations, NGOs, policy experts and other institutions.( IANS)

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Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)