Sunday April 5, 2020

Seasonal Affective Disorder Affects More Women Than Men: Study

Why some women have seasonal affective disorder and depression

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seasonal affective disorder
Individuals who have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder tend to experience depression which comes and goes with the seasons. Pixabay

Individuals who have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder tend to experience depression which comes and goes with the seasons. This is the latest news.

Kamna Chhibber, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram shares the reasons why. The winter months, with their gloomy dreariness can lead to significant fluctuations in moods leading a segment of the population to experience low moods, sadness, crying spells, lack of motivation, fatigue, loss of concentration, changes in their sleep cycles and appetite along with feelings of helplessness or/and hopelessness. Less commonly it is also seen that there are those who have the opposite pattern, where their symptoms tend to emerge in the spring-summer months.

Like with depression, seasonal affective disorder, too, affects more women than men. It is known that depression as an illness affects 1 in 4 women which contrasts with 1 in 10 men that it is known to impact. These variations are seen in the case of seasonal affective disorder as well.

seasonal affective disorder
Like with depression, seasonal affective disorder, too, affects more women than men. Pixabay

The exact causes for these differences are not known. However, scientists have hypothesized about the role that may be played by certain hormones and neurotransmitters more in the case of women than in men. Depression is known to be linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin, the reduction of which leads to the development of the illness.

It has also been suggested that the reduction in the exposure to sunlight during the winter months is an additional factor which is responsible for the prevalence of seasonal affective disorder. This leads to changes in the body’s internal clock which can lead to the development of depressive symptomatology. The change in season is also believed to disrupt the levels of melatonin in the body which too plays a role in an individual’s sleep cycles as well as their mood states.

seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is a treatable condition. Pixabay

It is important to keep in mind that if the symptoms of depression are leading to fluctuations in continuing with day-to-day life, affecting maintenance of relationships and interfering in the ability to do things, then seeking help at the earliest is indicated.

There are other measures which can also be beneficial such an increasing exposure to sunlight, being more outdoors, staying away from poorly lit rooms. Additionally, it is helpful to work on thoughts and feelings through the medium of an approach like cognitive behavioural therapy and pushing the self to engage more in activities which is termed behavioural activation.

Also Read- Every Women Should Know About These Self-Defense Techniques

Seasonal affective disorder is a treatable condition and seeking help to manage the impact of the symptoms at the earliest is helpful in ensuring that the individual experiences relief from their debilitating effects. Relying on support systems as represented by friends and family members can be of immense help in such a scenario. So, don’t hesitate to talk and reach out to those around you for support in such a situation. (IANS)

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Marijuana Intake Can Impair Fertility in Females, Says Study

This implies lower quality and lower fertilisation capability, therefore lower fertility in the end

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Marijuana
Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly used recreational drug by people of reproductive age. Pixabay

Female eggs exposed a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, claims a study.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly used recreational drug by people of reproductive age The rise in marijuana use has occurred at the same time that the percentage of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) ingredient in the drug has increased.

Currently, patients seeking infertility treatments are advised against cannabis use, but the scientific evidence backing this statement is weak.

“This makes it difficult for physicians to properly advise patients undergoing in vitro fertilization,” said study researcher Megan Misner from University of Guelph in Canada.

In the study, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, researchers treated cow oocytes, or female eggs, with concentrations of THC equivalent to therapeutic and recreational doses.

The oocytes were collected and matured into five groups: untreated, control, low THC, mid THC and high THC. For the findings, the eggs’ developmental rates and gene expression were measured.

The researchers evaluated the ability of embryos to reach critical stages of development at specific time points. With higher concentrations of THC, they found a significant decrease and delay in the ability of the treated oocytes to reach these checkpoints.

“This is a key indicator in determining the quality and developmental potential of the egg,” Misner said. THC exposure led to a significant decrease in the expression of genes called connexins, which are present at increased levels in higher quality oocytes.

Marijuana, Cannabis, Weed, Bud, Green, Pot, Medical
Female eggs exposed a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana have an impaired ability to produce viable embryos and are significantly less likely to result in a viable pregnancy, claims a study. Pixabay

Poorer quality oocytes, with lower connexin expression levels, have been shown to lead to a poorer embryo development. ”

This embryo would be less likely to proceed past the first week of development, and thus lead to infertility,” Misner said. According to the researchers, preliminary data also showed THC affected the activity of a total of 62 genes in the treatment groups compared with the non-treated groups.

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“This implies lower quality and lower fertilisation capability, therefore lower fertility in the end,” she said. (IANS)