Wednesday September 19, 2018

Young Men More Vulnerable to Mental Illness Than Women

The researchers found that the incidence of first-episode psychosis is high among ethnic minorities and in areas with less owner-occupied housing

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For the study, the researchers estimated the incidence of first-episode psychosis in six countries -- England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Brazil. Pixabay
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Young men are more likely to experience first-episode psychosis, defined as the first manifestation of one or more severe mental disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, and depression, compared to women of the same age group, says a new study.

The findings published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry also showed that ethnic minorities and people living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas are also vulnerable to severe mental illness.

The study showed that the incidence of first-episode psychosis was higher among men aged 18 to 24 than among women in the same age group. Pixabay

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“The study confirmed that the incidence of first-episode psychosis varies considerably between major cities and rural areas. It also showed that environmental factors probably play a crucial role in this significant variation,” said one of the researchers Paulo Rossi Menezes, Professor at University of Sao Paulo Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil.

“Until the end of the twentieth century, the etiology of psychotic disorders was believed to be mainly genetic, but the results of this study show that environmental factors are extremely important,” Menezes said.

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Menezes said this finding confirms fairly consistent data in the literature. Pixabay

He noted that the incidence of first-episode psychosis among young adult males is higher than among young adult females according to previous research, which also shows that as men approach 35, it tends to converge with the incidence among women.

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In women aged 45-54, it is slightly higher than among men in the same age group.

“We don’t know exactly why there are these differences in incidence between sexes and age groups, but they may be linked to the process of cerebral maturation: the brain matures between the ages of 20 and 25, and during this period, men seem to be more vulnerable to mental disorders than women,” Menezes said.

The researchers also found that the incidence of first-episode psychosis is high among ethnic minorities and in areas with less owner-occupied housing. (IANS)

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Extract From Cannabis Can Help Treat Psychosis, says Study

All participants were studied in an MRI scanner while performing a memory task which engages three regions of the brain known to be involved in psychosis

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Cannabis extract may offer treatment for psychosis: Study. Pixabay

A single dose of the non-intoxicating compound of cannabis — cannabidiol — can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psychosis, results of a clinical trial, led by an Indian-origin doctor, has revealed.

Psychosis is a mental disorder characterised by a disconnection from reality.

Brain activity in the people at risk of psychosis remains abnormal compared to the healthy ones.

But in people who had cannabidiol, the abnormal brain activity was less severe than for those who received a placebo, suggesting cannabidiol can help re-adjust brain activity to normal levels.

The results suggest that cannabidiol may normalise dysfunction in striatum, parahippocampal cortex, and midbrain — brain regions which are critically implicated in psychosis — and this may underlie its therapeutic effects in psychosis, the researchers explained.

Cannabis
Cannabis leaf. Pixabay

“Our results have started unravelling the brain mechanisms of a new drug that works in a completely different way to traditional anti-psychotics,” said Sagnik Bhattacharyya from Britain’s King’s College, London.

For the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the team studied a small group of young people who had not yet been diagnosed with psychosis but who were experiencing distressing psychotic symptoms, along with healthy controls.

All participants were studied in an MRI scanner while performing a memory task which engages three regions of the brain known to be involved in psychosis.

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“One of the main advantages of cannabidiol is that it is safe and seems to be very well tolerated, making it, in some ways, an ideal treatment,” Bhattacharyya said.

“If successful, this trial will provide definitive proof of cannabidiol’s role as an antipsychotic treatment and pave the way for use in clinic,” he noted. (IANS)