Health and Fitness

Talking About Mental Health - Mental Health In The Media, UK

Mind's Open Up project is proud to be supporting the free One in Four conference 'Talking about mental health - getting it right' - in London on 1 February. One in Four is a national magazine written by people with mental health difficulties. Open Up is supporting them to deliver the conference as part of their Open Up Initiatives Scheme. The conference will look at the ways in which mental health and wellbeing is represented in the media and think about how we can all get better at discussing it. It bring together professionals, people who experience mental health difficulties, and people with a foot in both camps, to set a new agenda for how the media, companies and public bodies talk about mental health. Speakers and panellists include: Alastair Campbell, former Director of Communications for Tony Blair, journalist and mental health awareness campaigner, Debra Allcock Tyler CEO, Directory of Social Change, Sue Caro, Senior Diversity Manager, BBC, Jacqui Thornton, former Health Editor The Sun, Shaun Crowe, Regional Co-ordinator, London Mental Health and Employment Partnership and Heather Payne, Media Action Worker at South Warwickshire User Forum.

Before Or After Birth, Gene Linked To Mental Health Has Different Effects

Scientists have long eyed mutations in a gene known as DISC1 as a possible contributor to schizophrenia and mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder. Now, new research led by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests that perturbing this gene during prenatal periods, postnatal periods or both may have different effects in mice, leading to separate types of brain alterations and behaviors with resemblance to schizophrenia or mood disorders. The findings, reported online Jan. 5 in Molecular Psychiatry, could eventually help researchers treat mental illness in people or even prevent it. To manipulate DISC1 expression during different periods, the researchers, led by Associate Professor Mikhail Pletnikov, M.D., Ph.D., crafted a novel mouse model in which a mutant form of the gene could be turned off by feeding the animals small amounts of the antibiotic doxycycline in their chow. The animals could get the drug directly by eating it or through their mothers during gestation.

Research Shows That Weight Loss Products Advertised In Spam E-Mail Are Purchased By Young Adults With Weight Problems: Psychological Stress Implicated

Forty-one percent of college students with weight problems opened and read spam e-mail advertising weight loss products and 18.5 percent bought these weight loss products, according to a new study published in the January issue of the Southern Medical Journal. The research was conducted by Joshua Fogel, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of the Business Program at the Department of Economics at Brooklyn College, and Sam Shlivko, B.S., a former Brooklyn College student and currently a student at New York Law School. In additional analyses considering the impact of a number of relevant variables, those with weight problems as compared to those without weight problems, were three times more likely to open/read and also three times more likely to purchase weight loss products from this spam e-mail. Also, increased psychological stress was associated with an increase in purchases of these weight loss products advertised in spam e-mail. As lead investigator, Dr. Fogel analyzed data from a survey of 200 college students, who were asked if they had weight problems and if in the past year they received, opened/read, or purchased products from spam e-mail about weight loss topics.

More U.S. Patients Receive Multiple Psychotropic Medications

An increasing number of U.S. adults are being prescribed combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In some clinical situations, evidence suggests that more than one psychotropic (affecting the brain or mind) medication may be beneficial, according to background information in the article. For instance, a patient with depression who does not respond to one medication alone might require a second antidepressant, or an individual who has depression with psychotic features might respond to a combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic. "In routine psychiatric practice, however, patients often receive psychiatric medication combinations that are not well supported by controlled clinical trials, " the authors write. To examine patterns and trends in psychotropic polypharmacy-or the prescription of more than one psychiatric medication-Ramin Mojtabai, M.

Few Americans With Major Depression Receive Adequate Treatment

Many U.S. adults with major depression do not receive treatment for depression or therapy based on treatment guidelines, and some racial and ethnic groups have even lower rates of adequate depression care, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Depression is a leading cause of disability among many racial and ethnic groups in the United States, according to background information in the article. Pharmacotherapy (including antidepressants) and psychotherapy are both effective, well tolerated treatments for depression when provided according to established guidelines (such as those from the American Psychiatric Association), the authors note. Previous research suggests that many individuals are untreated or undertreated, but most studies of depression care have not distinguished between the two modalities and have also aggregated major racial and ethnic groups (for instance, combining all Latino individuals instead of examining specific subgroups, such as Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans).

NAMI Applauds New Report On Caregiving

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) praises a new report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009, which offers a revealing portrait of the nearly one-in-three American adults who serve as a family caregiver. The study is based on interviews with 1, 480 caregivers chosen at random and offers a national profile of people caring for adults, the elderly and children with special needs. It follows similar studies conducted in 2004 and 1997, but for the first time, caregivers for children, as well as those caring for adults over the age of 18, were surveyed. The report echoes the findings of NAMI's own depression survey and schizophrenia survey, which include the perspective of caregivers for people living with these serious mental illnesses. All these reports suggest that caregivers face daily stresses that can impact their own health and other relationships. For example, NAMI's depression survey, released in November, found that while almost one-half (48 percent) of caregivers for people with depression have been diagnosed with depression themselves, only about 25 percent were engaged in treatment at the time of the survey.

Pfizer's Lyrica Receives Complete Response Letter From FDA For Generalized Anxiety Disorder Monotherapy Treatment

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Complete Response letter regarding the company's New Drug Application (NDA) for Lyrica ® (pregabalin) capsules CV as a monotherapy treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The FDA determined that the data contained in the NDA were insufficient to support approval. The application was a resubmission in response to a "not-approvable" letter issued by the FDA in August 2004. The FDA continues to review a separate application for Lyrica as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of GAD. "We are disappointed with the FDA's decision and will work with the agency to determine next steps" "We are disappointed with the FDA's decision and will work with the agency to determine next steps, " said Steve Romano, vice president, Medical Affairs Head, Primary Care Business Unit. "Given the chronic nature of GAD and the number of patients who continue to experience anxiety symptoms despite treatment, there is a clear unmet need for new and different treatment options.

Multiple Deployments To Iraq, Afghanistan Adversely Affect Mental Health Of U.S. Soldiers

A new study reports that repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan may adversely affect the mental health of these deployed soldiers. Researchers assessed the effects of prior military service in Iraq or Afghanistan on the health of New Jersey Army National Guard members preparing for deployment to Iraq. They analyzed anonymous, self-administered pre-deployment surveys from 2, 543 National Guard members deployed to Iraq in 2008, measuring for effects on mental or physical health. They found that previously deployed soldiers were more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression, more than twice as likely to report chronic pain, and more than 90 percent more likely to score below the general population norm on physical functioning. Researchers said, "Our findings suggest that repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan adversely affect the physical and mental functioning of New Jersey National Guard troops.

A Common Set Of Genes Responsible For The Use And Misuse Of Alcohol And Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Roughly eight to 12 percent of marijuana users are considered "dependent" and, just like alcohol, the severity of symptoms increases with heavier use. A new study has found that use and misuse of alcohol and marijuana are influenced by a common set of genes. Results will be published in the March 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "Results from a large annual survey of high-school students show that in 2008, 41.8 percent of 12th graders reported having used marijuana, " explained Carolyn E. Sartor, a research instructor at Washington University School of Medicine and corresponding author for the study. "Although many may have used the drug on only a few occasions, 5.4 percent of 12th graders reported using it daily within the preceding month." "The active ingredient in marijuana is THC, which mimics natural cannabinoids that the brain produces, " added Christian Hopfer, associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Psychological Problems Present Even When Witnesses Had Never Been Victims Of Bullying

Students who watch as their peers endure the verbal or physical abuses of another student could become as psychologically distressed, if not more so, by the events than the victims themselves, new research suggests. Bullies and bystanders may also be more likely to take drugs and drink alcohol, according to the findings, which are reported in the December issue of School Psychology Quarterly, published by the American Psychological Association. "It's well documented that children and adolescents who are exposed to violence within their families or outside of school are at a greater risk for mental health problems than those children who are not exposed to any violence, " said the study's lead author, Ian Rivers, PhD. "It should not be a surprise that violence at school will pose the same kind of risk." Researchers surveyed 2, 002 students ages 12 to 16 at 14 public schools in England. The students were presented with a list of numerous bullying behaviors, such as name-calling, kicking, hitting, spreading rumors and threatening violence.

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