Thursday November 14, 2019

Brain Scans may help identify whether Talk Therapy or Antidepressant Medication more likely to help a Patient recover from Depression

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Brain Scans may help identify whether Talk Therapy or Antidepressant Medication more likely to help a Patient recover from Depression
A depressed woman (representational Image), VOA

New York, March 26, 2017: Researchers have found that specific patterns of activity on brain scans may help clinicians identify whether talk therapy or antidepressant medication is more likely to help a patient recover from depression.

“All depressions are not equal and like different types of cancer, different types of depression will require specific treatments,” said lead researcher Helen Mayberg, Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, US.

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The study, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, randomly assigned patients to 12 weeks of treatment with one of two antidepressant medications or with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a talking therapy aimed at helping people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.

At the start of the study, patients underwent a functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scan, which was then analysed to see whether the outcome from CBT or medication depended on the state of the brain prior to starting treatment.

The MRI scans identified that the degree of functional connectivity between an important emotion processing centre (the subcallosal cingulate cortex) and three other areas of the brain was associated with the treatment outcomes.

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Specifically, patients with positive connectivity between the brain regions were significantly more likely to achieve remission with talk therapy, whereas patients with negative or absent connectivity were more likely to remit with antidepressant medication.

“Using these scans, we may be able to match a patient to the treatment that is most likely to help them, while avoiding treatments unlikely to provide benefit,” Mayberg added.

These results suggest that achieving personalised treatment for depressed patients will depend more on identifying specific biological characteristics in patients rather than relying on their symptoms or treatment preferences. (IANS)

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Study Says, Youth with Abnormal Heart Rythms are More Likely to Have Mental Health Issues

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019 -- November 16-18 in Philadelphia, US

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Heart Rythms
Researchers reviewed data on more than 7,300 children with abnormal Heart Rhthms and compared them to children with congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and children with none of these chronic conditions (controls). Pixabay

Children and teenagers with abnormal Heart Rythms (cardiac arrhythmias) are more likely to have depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as compared to those of similar ages without chronic medical conditions, researchers have warned.

“This may be the first study of this size looking at children and teenagers with various cardiac arrhythmias that have been diagnosed with or are taking medication for anxiety and depression,” said study’s lead author Keila N. Lopez from Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

Higher rates of depression, anxiety and ADHD have previously been described in young adults born with structural heart defects (congenital heart disease).

For the study, the researchers analysed the records of more than a quarter of a million children admitted to or seen in the emergency room of Texas Children’s Hospital between 2011 and 2016.

They reviewed data on more than 7,300 children with abnormal heart rhythms and compared them to children with congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and children with none of these chronic conditions (controls).

“We chose cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease because they are chronic diseases that are managed with medications and usually involve multiple hospitalisations,” Lopez said.

They found more than 20 per cent of kids with abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease and cystic fibrosis had been diagnosed with or prescribed medication for depression and/or anxiety, compared with five per cent of children with sickle cell disease and three per cent of the control group.

Heart Rythms
Children and teenagers with abnormal Heart Rythms (cardiac arrhythmias) are more likely to have depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as compared to those of similar ages without chronic medical condition. Pixabay

Kids with abnormal heart rhythms were nine times more likely to be diagnosed or treated for anxiety and depression and almost five times more likely to be diagnosed or treated for ADHD, compared to kids without any of the identified chronic diseases in the study.

Kids with abnormal heart rhythms were one and a half times as likely to be diagnosed or treated for anxiety and depression than those with cystic fibrosis, and more than five times as likely to be diagnosed or treated for anxiety and depression than those with sickle cell disease, the study said.

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The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 — November 16-18 in Philadelphia, US. (IANS)