July 21, 2015 - Perceived social isolation (PSI) is linked to premature death among seniors. National Institutes of Health funded study.
Myeloid differentiation architecture of leukocyte transcriptome dynamics in perceived social isolation. Study by Steven W. Cole, S., Capitanio, J., Chun, K., Arevalo, J., Ma, J., Cacioppo, J.
Perceived social isolation, which we might commonly refer to as loneliness, increases the rate of premature death among older adults by 14% according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is linked to both an increased risk of chronic disease as well as mortality. PSI in both humans and rhesus monkeys affects neuroendocrine-related alterations in myeloid immune cells, contributing to related risk of specific diseases.
Some possible solutions are independent or assisted living communities that help make potential friendships more easily accessible, more attention from immediate and extended family, arranging for regular social activities, participation in or belonging to a local senior citizens center, along with many other similar ways to help seniors feel less loneliness.
Antidote To Loneliness: The Power Of Aging Parents' Friendships
Myeloid differentiation architecture of leukocyte transcriptome dynamics in perceived social isolation http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15142.abstract
October 25, 2013 - Physical Activity and the Prevention of Depression: A Systematic Review of Prospective Studies
Moderate exercise not only treats, but prevents depression.
George Mammen, MSccorrespondenceemail, Guy Faulkner, PhD
A meta-analysis of 25 studies on exercise and depression concluded that not only does moderate exercise treat depression, but it is also preventive against recurring depression. "The majority of these studies were of high methodologic quality," stated the researches. This provides "consistent evidence" that moderate exercise may "prevent future depression."
The type of exercise that the researches point to is, for example, walking less than 150 minutes per week, a little over 20 minutes seven days a week, or 30 minutes five days a week. The researches refer to exercise as "a valuable mental health promotion strategy in reducing the risk of developing depression."
October 10, 2011 - Smoking cannabis (marijuana) increases the risk of depression in the case of genetic vulnerability
By Roy Otten, Rutger Engels. Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands). Addiction Biology.
Two-thirds of the population is genetically vulnerable to depression, and susceptible to an increased risk of depression from smoking marijuana. The authors conclude that smoking marijuana and hashish contributes to:
worse performances at school
increased risk of developing schizophrenia
increased risk of psychosis
increased risk of depression for the two-thirds of the population genetically vulnerable
The authors of the study note that while the immediate effect of cannabis is usually pleasant, giving a feeling of euphoria, in the long-term its use contributes to an increase of depressive symptoms for the genetically vulnerable, especially in young people.
Testing Bidirectional Effects between Cannabis Use and Depressive Symptoms: Moderation by the Serotonin Transporter Gene
November 2010 - Women's Health Issues - Depression in Women linked to Obesity
and Binge Eating
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder that women suffer with. Researchers, Renee Grenon, BA, Giorgio A. Tasca, PhDabc, Eli Cwinn, BAc, Doug Coyle, PhDd, Amanda Sumner, MAe, Mary Gick, PhDa, Hany Bissada, MD, examined the relationships between between depression, HRQOL (Health Related Quality of Life), and health care utilization among treatment seeking women with BED.
Severe obesity in women was found to be linked with a history of depression. Higher health care costs and a lower HRQOL than normal for the same age and gender. Depressive symptoms were found to be "significantly related" to greater medication use (excluding antidepressants), and lower HRQOL.
We can conclude that there is a correlational relationship with depression, binge eating, and obesity, as well as with a lower HRQOL. Also, medication use in general (not considering antidepressants), has a correlational relationship with depression among obese women.
Women's Health Issues
October 27, 2009 - Washington State -
Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Depression, and Psychiatric Medication Use in Relation to Risk of Preterm Delivery
Women's Health Issues
Amelia R. Gavin, PhD, MSWa, Claudia Holzman, DVM, MPH, PhDb, Kristine Siefert, PhD, MPHc, Yan Tian, MSb
A recent study conducted at the University of Washington and Michigan State University indicated that drug treated depression may contribute to premature delivery for pregnant women who take antidepressants. The Data were collected from 3,019 women enrolled in the Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Health Study (1998?2004), a prospective study of pregnant women in five Michigan communities.
There are at least two plausible explanations for these findings. First, psychiatric medication use in pregnancy may pose an excess risk of PTD. Second, medication use may be an indicator of depressive symptom severity, which is a direct or indirect (i.e., alters behavior) contributing factor to PTD," concludes the authors of the study.
September 2003 - Neurology Today -
Chronic Daily Headaches Caused by Overuse of Over-the-counter Pain Medications
According to Dr. Stephen Silberstein, about four percent of the population experiences chronic daily headaches, the majority of which are caused by overuse of over-the-counter pain medications. Dr. Silberstein, professor of neurology at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, was a guest on the HealthTalk webcast, The Truth About Over-the-Counter Migraine Treatments.
"Every drug in the world has side effects," said Dr. Silberstein.
Aside from rebound headaches, overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen and naproxen can cause upset stomach or even gastrointestinal bleeding.
"In the U.S., one of the most common causes of admissions from drug reactions is from drugs of that class," said Dr. Silberstein.
"It's like a really bad migraine only worse," said Dr. Silberstein.
To avoid suffering through this, he recommended visiting a doctor before you quit.Prescription migraine prevention medications, which don't cause rebound, can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
It's important to completely avoid the offending pain relievers for several months."If you had medication overuse, there is a period of vulnerability in your body that might last a few months," warned Dr. Silberstein.
During that time, both preventive medications and lifestyle changes
can lower your risk of migraine attacks.Dr. Silberstein recommended quitting smoking, losing excess weight, exercising regularly, eating well and getting adequate sleep.
WHY MEDICATION OVERUSE IS A BIG HEADACHE - AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
October 27, 2009 - Seattle, Washington -
Alarming Weight Gain for Children Using Psychiatric Drugs
Alarming weight gain seen in kids on psych drugs
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP - KOMO News, Seattle
Children on widely used psychiatric drugs can quickly gain an alarming amount of weight; many pack on nearly 20 pounds and become obese within just 11 weeks, a study found.
"Sometimes this stuff just happens like an explosion. You can actually see them grow between appointments," said Dr. Christopher Varley, a psychiatrist with Seattle Children's Hospital who called the study "sobering."
The number of children using these drugs has soared to more than 2 million annually, according to one estimate.
Doctors "should not stretch the boundaries" by prescribing the drugs for conditions they haven't been proven to treat, said Varley, co-author of the editorial.
Why these drugs cause weight gain is uncertain but there's some evidence that they increase appetite and they may affect how the body metabolizes sugar, said Jeff Bishop, a psychiatric pharmacist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The drugs also can have a sedation effect that can make users less active.
The specific drugs known to cause weight gain are listed as, Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa, atypical antipsychotics which are often used in combination with other drugs. Diabetes and resultant deaths have also been tied in with Zyprexa use in lawsuits in recent years.
Issues for Children and Psychiatric Drugs
by Lawrence Diller, Ph.D.
July 8, 2009 - Clinical Study: Large Percentage of Doctors Unclear About Off-Label Uses of Prescription Drugs
Study: Off-label use of prescription drugs
A recent study headed by Dr. G. Caleb Alexander and associates, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago indicated that many doctors are unclear as to the use of drugs prescribed off-label for uses which were not approved by the FDA.
Doctors could identify FDA approved uses for drugs in only 55-57% of cases, and 41% of physicians believed at least one drug-indication pair with uncertain or no supporting evidence (e.g., quetiapine [Seroquel] for dementia with agitation) was FDA approved. (There are black box warnings for prescribing Seroquel for elderly patients with dementia and agitation.
The study concludes:
"These findings highlight a pressing need for more effective methods to inform physicians about the evidence base, or lack thereof, for drugs they prescribe off label."
Fort Myers Florida, USA - News-Press.com Overdrugged abused children in Florida
Fla. must follow drug rules for foster children
Nadereh Salim, CEO of the Children's Network of Southwest Florida, which runs foster care here, doesn't believe caregivers here use drugs simply to control unruly kids. It's reassuring to know, however, that, after the Broward death, there's been targeted training on the issue.
About 13 percent of abused, abandoned or neglected children in foster care in Southwest Florida are taking drugs such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers.
"We do believe that is misuse of medication to calm children down,"
"There's so much more you can do with children. We can give them other outlets to work out their energy."
August 17, 2009 - Forbes - America's Most Medicated States
West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Missouri
Aug 3, 2009 - Antidepressant Use Doubles in Decade from 1996 to 2005
Antidepressant Use Doubles from 1996 to 2005.
Archives of General Psychiatry, August 2006. (off-site link).
A clinical study conducted by Mark Olfson, MD, MPH; Steven C. Marcus, PhD of Columbia University, NY, confirms that antidepressant use has doubled since 2006. This despite black box warnings for increased suicidality among young people with antidepressant use.
This indicates a number of persons, including those 6 years old and older, taking, or who had taken antidepressants at least once in that decade, is about 10% of the US population.
Of concern to Dr's Olfson and Marcus, were the increase in use and prescribing of medications for depression, with very little additional use of therapy, which has proven to be as effective as medication in the treatment of depression. The study concludes, "During this period, individuals treated with antidepressants became more likely to also receive treatment with antipsychotic medications and less likely to undergo psychotherapy."
Depression treated with medication alone is not as effective as when combined with therapy, and therapy alone, without pharmaceutical treatment, can be very effective in depression treatment for both child, youth and adult depression.
The reports indicate, that many in the medical profession simply prescribe medication when clients are depressed, and many, looking for a quick fix, take pills rather than go for a more complete solution.
October 27, 2003 - Netherlands - Clinical Study: SSRI antidepressants contribute to bleeding, and result in a 4 times higher rate of blood transfusions
Relationship of Serotonergic Antidepressants and Need for Blood Transfusion in Orthopedic Surgical Patients
. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163:2354-2358. American Journal of Epidemiology
Antidepressants and Increased Risks of Abnormal Bleeding
Most are aware that seretonin is a neurotransmitter and that it is what is increased through use of SSRIs-Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Like plugging up the drain so that more water stays in the sink, SSRIs block the reuptake openings in the brain cells so that more serotonin remains in the synapses, the gap between the branches of the two extended cells. This contributes in many persons, to a feeling of well being.
Seretonin also has an effect on blood clotting. Some researchers were concerned that SSRIs might be contributing to excessive bleeding in those taking SSRIs. Heerdink of the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Netherlands, studied over 64,000 patients who were on SSRIs between 1992 and 2000. During the evaluation period of a little over 200 days, over 196 persons were admitted to the hospital for abnormal bleeding.
Their conclusion was, they felt that SSRIs do contribute to excessive bleeding. It has been stated in other studies that SSRIs and similar drugs can contribute to bleeding in the brain. The degree of bleeding in the Netherlands study was at least 2 times as high as might be considered normal.
Drugs which had an intermediate inhibition effects had a rate of bleeding 2 times that of normal:
- Venlafaxine (Effexor) - Atypical
- Dothiepin (Prothiaden) - Tricyclic
- Amitriptyline (Elavil) - Tricyclic
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox) - SSRI
- Imipramine (Tofranil) - Tricyclic
- Citalopram (Celexa) - SSRI
Drugs which had high effects had a rate 2.6 times that of normal
- Paroxetine (Paxil) - SSRI
- Clomipramine (Anafranil) - Tricyclic
- Sertraline (Zoloft) - SSRI
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)-SSRI
In other words this second groups of drugs is considered stronger or to cause more bleeding. Around 1% of those who took the drug experienced such bleeding (1 in 100). These drugs are representative of a broader range of drugs.
May 24, 2009 - Alberta Canada -
Changes in Perceived Job Strain and the Risk of Major Depression
Results From a Population-based Longitudinal Study
JianLi Wang, Norbert Schmitz, Carolyn Dewa and Stephen Stansfeld
is a prevalent mental disorder in the working population. Improving the work environment may reduce the risk of major depression.
The authors examined data from the longitudinal cohort of the Canadian National Population Health Survey from 1994-1995 to 2004-2005. Survey participants were classified into 4 groups by changes in job strain status from 1994-1995 to 2000-2001 (no change in low job strain, no change in high job strain, changing from high to low job strain, and changing from low to high job strain).
The incidence proportion of major depressive episodes in each of the 4 groups was 4.0%, 8.0%, 4.4%, and 6.9%, respectively.
Participants who reported a change from high to low job strain had a risk of major depression similar to those exposed to persistently low job strain.
Reducing job strain may have positive impacts on the risk of depression. Self-rated health is a strong predictor of depression and plays an important role in the relation between job strain and
March 16, 2009- Clinical Study:
Women Who Take fluoxetine (Prozac) During Third Trimester of Pregnancy
are at Greater Risk for Miscarriage and Birth Defects
Birth Outcomes in Pregnant Women Taking Fluoxetine
Christina D. Chambers, B.A., Kathleen A. Johnson, B.A., Lyn M. Dick, B.A., Robert J. Felix, B.A., and Kenneth Lyons Jones, M.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Among the 97 infants exposed to fluoxetine who were evaluated for minor anomalies, the incidence of three or more minor anomalies was significantly higher than among 153 similarly examined control infants (15.5 percent vs. 6.5 percent, P = 0.03). As compared with the 101 infants exposed to fluoxetine only during the first and second trimesters, the 73 infants exposed during the third trimester had higher rates of premature delivery (relative risk, 4.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 20.8), admission to special-care nurseries (relative risk, 2.6; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 6.9), and poor neonatal adaptation, including respiratory difficulty, cyanosis on feeding, and jitteriness (relative risk, 8.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.9 to 26.6). Birth weight was also lower and birth length shorter in infants exposed to fluoxetine late in gestation.
Women who take fluoxetine during pregnancy do not have an increased risk of spontaneous pregnancy loss or major fetal anomalies, but women who take fluoxetine in the third trimester are at increased risk for perinatal complications.
January 2009 - Science Direct - 95% Greater Risk of Suicide for Veterans Starting Antidepressant Treatment
95% increase of Suicide risk after starting antidepressant treatment
Marcia Valensteina, Hyungjin Myra Kima, Dara Ganoczya, John F. McCarthya, Kara Zivina, Karen L. Austina, Katherine Hoggattd, Daniel Eisenberge, John D. Piettef, Frederic C., Blowa, B., and Mark Olfsong
A new study reports of veterans indicates that suicide risks increased approximately 95% following the first 12 weeks of
treatment for treated veterans, and increased 500% following discharge from psychiatric hospitals.
Higher-risk periods for suicide among VA patients receiving depression treatment: Prioritizing suicide prevention efforts
Health systems with limited resources may have the greatest impact on suicide if their
target the highest-risk treatment groups during the highest-risk periods. To date, few health systems have carefully segmented their
treatment populations by level of risk and prioritized prevention efforts on this basis.
The general suicide rate was 114//100,000 person-years.
In the 12 weeks following new
, suicide rate increased to 210/100,000.
Following discharge from hospitalization the rates for the first 12 weeks increased to 568/100,000.
Following dose changes rates for the first 12 weeks increased to 154/100,000.
Adult veterans 61-80 were at highest risk in the first 12-week periods.
July 29, 2008 - Post-menopausal Women - Antidepressants Weaken Bones
Older adults who take antidepressants may be at greater risk for bone fractures, studies suggest. In one of the most recent studies, published in the May issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers found that antidepressant use in postmenopausal women - with an average age of 64 - was associated with an increased risk of certain bone fractures, including those of the spine.
The women had a 30% increased risk of spine fracture, with an overall increased risk of 20% for any type of fracture.
Schimelpfening, N. (Retrieved July 29, 2008). About.com. New York, NY.
See: Do antidepressants weaken bones? off-site link
February 5, 2009 - Giving Away Free Antibiotics May Do More Damage Than Good
by Kelly Heboer, Newark Star Ledger.
The overprescribing of antibiotics by doctors as related in this article, is indicative of a general tendency of overreliance on pharmaceuticals in all types of treatments. Some of the points mentioned here are,
The campaign by certain pharmacies to give free antibiotics tends to portray antibiotics as an over-the-counter drug, rather than to give it its proper place as a drug that needs to be prescribed very carefully.
Antibiotics are for serious bacterial infections, not colds or flu, which are caused by viruses.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that over one-half of antibiotics prescribed for community infections are unnecessary.www.who.int
Free antibiotics may do more damage than good. Newark Star Ledger.
July/Aug 2007 - Psychology Today - Cognitive Therapy vs. Antidepressants
Cognitive Therapy As or More Effective Than Antidepressants
The important thing to realize is that they
] are not the only way, or even the best way to treat
. It's kind of ironic that one of the certain remedies for depression is connection with another human, but the drugs that are supposed to resolve depression actually get in the way of intimate relationships. [with respects to sexual side effects that sometimes occur with antidepressants.]
cognitive-behavioral therapy instead. While antidepressants may be needed forever, psychotherapy is not. Further, it tackles the behaviors and thought patterns that are the root cause of depressive episodes and helps people learn far more effective strategies for coping.
Studies show that a 12-week course of cognitive-behavioral therapy is at least as effective as
in relieving the disorder and more effective in preventing recurrence. In the long run, it's much more cost-effective too. July/Aug 2007 Psychology Today; Hara E. Marano; p. 50,51.
June 22, 2007 - New York City -
Increase of Tax on Cigarettes leads to 19% Drop in Cigarette Use in New York City
New York City: Decrease in
There is a link between smoking,
, drugs and mental health. In New York City, a recent study reported a 19% decrease in persons who smoked. The reason was an increase in the cigarette tax in July 2002. Some 60% of persons with bipolar disorder also are aid to be affected by substance abuse of one type or another.
The increase in cigarette tax went from 8 cents to $1.50 per pack. New York state raised its excise tax from $1.11 to $1.50. WHO reported that child abuse rates similarly decreased in areas where the alcohol tax was increased. (Preventing Child Maltreatment-a guide to taking action and generating evidence WHO www.who.int
May 2007 - Ecotherapy, Going Green, A Walk in the Park Helps With Depression
Green helps in Mental Health
According to new research, getting exercise outdoors in a green environment may be beneficial to depression. Mind, a British mental health charity, has released a report entitled Ecotherapy: the green agenda for mental health
. This report discusses the results of a study which looked at the effect of "green exercise" on mental health.
Mind, is a British mental health charity, which recently released Ecotherapy: the green agenda for mental health. In the study, a walk in a country park was compared to a walk in an indoor shopping center. What they found was: 71 percent reported decreased levels of depression after walking in the park.
Based upon this and similar studies, Mind is calling for ecotherapy
to be recognized in the UK as a valid frontline treatment for mental health problems. Ecotherapy could involve such simple activities as taking a walk in a park, flying a kite or participating in a gardening therapy project.
This has also been demonstrated in a previous study from Duke University. It shows how exercise affects in a positive way mental, sometimes in ways that
fail to. Go green for good mental health. http://www.mind.org.uk
June 2007 - Obesity Drug causes psychiatric problems. FDA
Not to be sold in the United States
French Pharmaceutical Company Sanofi-Avenis, markets the drug rimonabant in 37 countries. It is a drug for obesity. Concerns about the drugs psychiatric effects have been called into question by the FDA in the US, and the committee voted not to allow the drug to be sold at the present time in the US. Worries about whether the drug induced seizures, a high dropout rate in clinical studies, as well as evidence of doubling patient's risk of problems such as
, aggression and psychosis, lead the decision.
Snofi-Aventis also has been the patent holder for the sleeping medication Ambien. Obesity drugs typically help a person lose 5% of weight, (for some up to 10%). That means a 220-pound woman, might be expected to lost 10 or 20 pounds, to 210 or 200.
Dr Jules Hirsch, an FDA advisory committee member who is a research physician at Rockefeller University stated, "The problem I see with this whole thing is that the number of people who are going to lose weight is very small, You're telling a 220 pound woman that she has a one in four chance of getting down to 200 pounds if she sticks with the program. That's not going to make anyone very happy." This is true also of other drugs for obesity. Often times, when the drug regimen stops, the weight is gained again.
May 3, 2007 - Increase in
A recent study from Maryland, USA reported that antidepressant use increased 300% in the US from 1997-2006 (2007). See: F.D.A. Expands Suicide Warning on Drugs…for minors taking antidepressants, the rates of children 295 studies of antidepressants, including 77,000 adults from college .May 3, 2007, by Benedict Carey, New York Times.
March 2007 - Antidepressants and higher risk of suicidal thoughts
A recent report that studied 27 clinical trials of antidepressants and their effects confirmed that antidepressant use by children and teenagers does increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, although this study puts the number at 3% as opposed to 4%. Interestingly placebo treatment had a 50% success ratio in depression, slightly lower than the short term success ratio with antidepressants. (2007)
2006 Black Box Warnings in 2004
on antidepressants caused their use to decline for a number of months and then level off from mid-2004 to the end of 2006. This was due to reports that antidepressant use doubled the risk of suicidal thoughts from 2-4% in children and teenagers. (FDA) The warning was recently expanded to include the 18-24 year old age group.
August 2006 - The Archives of General Psychiatry reported that antidepressant treatment in children and young adults does lead to a higher suicidality. Antidepressant Drug Therapy and Suicide in Severely Depressed Children and Adults
A Case-Control Study. Mark Olfson, MD, MPH; Steven C. Marcus, PhD; David Shaffer, MD. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:865-872.
Walking (as Exercise and Therapy) Helps Mild to Moderate Depression
as well as Clinical Depression
A Duke University study
reported that regular brisk walking and other forms of exercise had a greater positive effect on depression than
and a greater success ratio in terms of recurrence rate as well, doing better than even exercise when combined with medicine.
September 20, 2006 - Walking at least three times a week could be as effective as medication in relieving the symptoms of
depression in older adults.
Walking will also decrease the chances that depression will return over time. That is what researchers at Duke University Medical Center are saying after studying 156 older adults suffering from depression.
Results indicate that taking regular walks will help lift depression, lessen tension, increase optimism, boost self-esteem, and increase energy. Researchers at Stanford University have also been studying depression. Their study found that exercise significantly reduced
and depression without any of the
WALKING 10 to 30 Minutes a Day Helps Clinical Depression.
If a half hour of exercise seems like a marathon, take heart. A Duke University Medical Center study has found that a quick 10-minute walk may be enough to make clinically depressed people feel better.
The study, by health psychologist Kathleen Moore, involved a group of inactive depressed people age 50 and older. Before they began walking on a treadmill at maximum effort, the group took a mood test. Then they walked for eight minutes and completed the test again. The participants showed immediate psychological changes, Moore says. Eighty-two percent said they were less tense, tired, angry, and confused after they walked. The same percentage reported feeling more vigorous.
1999- Clinical Study: Walking Good for Depression
Recommended as Substitute for Antidepressants
One study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999, divided 156 men and women with depression into three groups. One group took part in an aerobic exercise program, another took the SSRI sertraline (Zoloft), and a third did both. At the 16-week mark, depression had eased in all three groups. About 60%?70% of the people in all three groups could no longer be classed as having major depression. In fact, group scores on two rating scales of depression were essentially the same.
This suggests that for those who need or wish to avoid drugs, exercise might be an acceptable substitute for antidepressants. Keep in mind, though, that the swiftest response occurred in the group taking antidepressants, and that it can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise when you're depressed.
A follow-up to that study found that exercise's effects lasted longer than those of antidepressants. Researchers checked in with 133 of the original patients six months after the first study ended. They found that the people who exercised regularly after completing the study, regardless of which treatment they were on originally, were less likely to relapse into depression.
2005 - Walking Daily Has Positive Affect on Mild to Moderate Depression
2005 - A study published in 2005 found that walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms. Walking fast for only 15 minutes a day five times a week or doing stretching exercises three times a week did not help as much.
Exercise and Depression. (Retrieved August 3, 2009). Harvard Mental Health Letter.
March 28, 2007 - Antidepressants May Not Benefit Those With Bipolar Disorder
Says a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine on March 28. Even though antidepressants are being prescribed widely along with
for bipolar disorder, a recent study shows that antidepressants do not benefit or enhance the performance of mood stabilizing drugs. The lead author of the study was Dr. Gary Sachs, director of the bipolar clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.
February 15, 2007 - New York Times - Pharmaceuticals and Children - Debate Over
Children and Psychiatric Drugs
On December 13, 2006 in Hull Massachusetts a 4-year old girl was found dead on the floor of her parent's bedroom. The cause was overdose from prescription psychiatric medications. Her parents were arrested and accused of deliberately giving the child an overdose of her medications. She had been on psychiatric medications since she was 2 years old for
The practice of aggressively treating childhood psychiatric disorders in children is something that is open to much debate. Some claim that without aggressive treatment many of such children become suicidal; others claim that never should a child be treated with these type of medications. Though drugs need to be approved by the FDA for children, the practice of treating children with psychiatric medications in the treatment of
children is widespread.
Rebecca, the little girl was on a prescription "drug cocktail" of Seroquel, an atypical antipsychotic, of the newer generation of antipsychotic drugs, less tranquilizing than the older typical
antipsychotics, as well as Depakote, an equally powerful medication, and Clonidine, a heart medication that is frequently prescribed to children to calm them down.
"Drug cocktails" of three, four, five or even more drugs have are often prescribed to patients with bipolar disorder or other psychiatric problems, to address various symptoms. While such medications can be effective in calming a patient down, they also can be very sedating, making normal everyday functions difficult for many. Such a practice is not uncommon in the psychiatric community. Seroquel is part of a class of drugs that includes Risperdal and Zyprexa which has been implicated in weight gain among its users, as well as a greatly increased risk of diabetes in the case of Zyprexa, which has led to both sickness and death in patients.
Rebecca, for one, "seemed sleepy and drugged" most days. One teacher said that Rebecca seemed to come to life about 2:00 PM when the drugs seemed to be wearing off.
"Parents very often want a quick fix," stated Dr. Carlson of and doctors rarely have much time to spend with the, and the great appeal of prescribing medication is that it is simple. Dr. Gabrielle Carlson is professor of pediatrics and
psychiatry at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in Long Island, NY.
February 11, 2007 - Relationship Between Doctors and Pharmaceutical Companies
It was recently reported in the New York Times of the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. $12 billion a year is spent marketing pharmaceuticals to doctors. The University of Michigan banned such a practice, which amount to $2.5 million a year. The practice often involves free samples to doctors and meals to entire staffs. Some other universities have similarly banned the practice. Some however, are reluctant to stop the practice, as research money is often coming in from pharmaceutical companies for the universities.
"Gifts bring with them the need to reciprocate," said one professor of social medicine. It is not the same as a bribe, but the big money does have influence in a doctor's psychological persuasion. New York Times Feb 11, 2007
2006-2007 - Zoloft and Diabetes
There has been an ongoing story of Zoloft and its propensity to contribute to a higher incidence of diabetes. While its manufacturer had knowledge to that effect, the date was apparently manipulated in such a way so as to had the severity of the problem.
Zoloft is an atypical
, (of the newer variety since the 1990s, which produce less side effects than the older typical antipsychotics) and is commonly used in the treatment of
. Weight gain is a serious side effect of many
, including newer drugs. Along with that, the risk of diabetes rises tremendously with use of Zoloft. Millions of dollars in restitution money was awarded in a class action suit from the manufacturers of Zoloft.
January 2007 - Newark, NJ
Art & Medicine
A hospital in Newark, NJ is giving 6 months of art supplies to children in a program to use art as a rehabilitational tool for children and teenagers who are ill. The program was inspired by one little girl with leukemia who painted to take her mind off things.
paintings are displayed as part of the program in showings and galleries. It helps the children to build self-esteem during a difficult time in their life, and helps them not to take their minds off of things.
December 11, 2003 - British Warning on Antidepressant Use for Children. Link with suicidal thoughts.
British drug regulators yesterday recommended against the use of all but one of a new generation of antidepressants in the treatment of depressed children under 18. In a letter sent to doctors and other
, drugs, known as S.S.R.I.'s, indicated that their benefits did not outweigh their potential risks.
Their effectiveness in treating depression in children, they said, has not been sufficiently demonstrated, and some drugs have been linked with
thoughts and self-harm in children and
. A summary of the findings was published on the Web site of the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency ( www.mhra.gov.uk
). This a strong signal to doctors. The agency exempted
, from Eli Lilly, but recommended against the use of six drugs: Paxil, from GlaxoSmithKline; Zoloft, from Pfizer; Effexor, from Wyeth; Celexa and Lexapro, from Forest Laboratories Inc., and Luvox, from Solvay.
The F.D.A. is investigating whether the data support a link between
and the S.S.R.I.'s -- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors --in children and adolescents. Only a few of the drugs -- including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft -- have been tested in large trials as a treatment for depression in
One big problem for outside researchers, and for the public, is that the data that seems to show a link between the drugs and suicide is privately held by drug companies, though it has been provided to the government agencies. 40,000 Britons under 18 were taking such drugs, with about half taking Prozac. Dr. David Healy, of the University of Wales College of Medicine has been one outspoken opponent of the growing use of
British Warning - Antidepressants and Youth