Sunday May 27, 2018

Online therapy: Help people with mental disorders

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London: A new study has found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a talk therapy that is based on the Internet, may help individuals affected by mental disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. If left untreated, it can lead to hospitalisation, substance dependence and suicide.

The CBT programme is significantly helpful and improves BDD’s symptom severity, depression, and the quality of life, the study said.

The CBT therapy, which helps people manage their problems by changing the way one thinks and behaves, could be particularly useful in a stepped care approach, the findings showed.

The CBT programme, “has the potential to increase access to evidence-based psychiatric care for this mental disorder”, said the researchers from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mild to moderately affected patients can be offered CBT programme by their general practitioner, or other health professionals, thus freeing resources for more severe and complex patients to be treated in specialised settings, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal BMJ.

The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a therapist guided internet-based CBT programme for body dysmorphic disorder compared with online supportive therapy.

The study involved 94 adult patients with a diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder who randomly received either CBT programme or supportive therapy for 12 weeks.

None of the participants had any face-to-face contact with a therapist during treatment and both groups were followed for 3 months after the end of treatment.

Patients who underwent CBT programme showed significant improvements in their severity of symptoms, depression level, and the quality of life compared with those who had supportive therapy. These gains were maintained for at least three months after the end of treatment.

Participants in the supportive therapy group who crossed over to CBT programme after six months also improved their symptom scores.(IANS)(image: mental.disorder.net)

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New Therapy for Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer Suggested by Researchers

A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

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The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
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A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

The study has shown that when cancer cells develop drug resistance, they also acquire a new vulnerability, the Xinhua reported.

The researchers, led by Rene Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oncode Institute in Denmark, exposed this new vulnerability in melanoma that has developed resistance to treatment with a BRAF inhibitor — a targeted therapy that blocks a signalling pathway in the cancer cell through which it gets the message to keep on dividing.

Since more than half of all melanoma patients have a mutation in this BRAF gene, the BRAF-inhibitor stops tumour growth in those patients.

But within a few months, the tumour cell adapts the original signalling pathway and becomes active again, and even hyperactive.

The researchers, however, found that the hyperactive resistant melanoma cells produced large amounts of reactive oxygen species, but cancer cells still sensitive to the drug did not do so.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
Representational image, pixabay

The study, published in the journal Cell, found that the abundance of free radicals caused the resistant melanoma cells to stop dividing, but they did not die.

When tested on mice along with an existing drug, vorinostat, which is known to stimulate the production of free oxygen radicals, the researchers saw tumours shrink under the influence of the drug, the report said.

This laid the foundation for a new therapeutic strategy: Treating patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma, as usual, with signal pathway inhibitors.

When the tumour becomes resistant, stop giving those inhibitors and immediately treat the patients with vorinostat to kill the resistant cancer cells.

Also Read: Leukemia Progression in Kids Can be Delayed Through Bone Density Treatment

“It is not a combination drug. It is very important that you first stop the signalling pathway inhibitors because they suppress the free radicals and thus eliminate the effects of vorinostat,” Bernards said. (IANS)

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