New hope for patients with depression and anxiety

There is a strong link between depression and anxiety disorders and autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), a chronic thyroid condition affecting approximately 10 percent of the population. Scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now proven that special treatment could help many sufferers, especially women.

Depression and anxiety are among the most common psychiatric disorders across the globe. In 2016 more than 260,000 patients were admitted to hospital for treatment in Germany alone, according to statistics from the Federal Statistics Office.

Together with Prof. Dr. Johannes Kornhuber, Chair of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at FAU, and scientists from the Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Bonn, Dr. Teja Wolfgang Grömer, medical practitioner in Bamberg and lecturer at the Chair of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, has now proven a strong link between depression and anxiety disorders and autoimmune thyroiditis. ‘Over the years, I must have been consulted by several hundred people suffering from depression and anxiety,’ reports the psychiatrist and former Max-Planck researcher. ‘At the end of 2015 I noticed a marked connection between AIT and the other two conditions, especially in patients suffering from both. After realising that more than one in two people diagnosed with anxiety and depression — and only in these cases, not other conditions — also tested positive for antibodies I decided to investigate the issue in more detail.’ With the help of the co-authors and a student of psychology at the University of Bamberg, Eva-Maria Siegmann, Dr. Grömer drew up a systematic overview of the current state of research and calculated the strength of the connection on the basis of statistics. For his metastudy, Dr. Grömer combined 21 independent studies based on a total of 36,174 participants. 35,168 of the participants suffered from depression and 34,094 from anxiety.

Full story at Science Daily

How do you know if you’re having a panic or anxiety attack?

The terms panic attack and anxiety attack are used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Key characteristics distinguish one from the other, though they have several symptoms in common.

These types of attack have different intensities and durations.

Panic attacks are generally more intense than anxiety attacks. They also come on out of the blue, while anxiety attacks are often associated with a trigger.

Symptoms of anxiety are linked to numerous mental health conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and trauma, while panic attacks mainly affect those with panic disorder.

Full story at Medical News Today

 

Mental health crises seeing more kids forced to ED for help; experts call for greater investment

A dramatic increase in the number of children going to the emergency department in mental health crises is evidence “the system is failing”, according to a group of leading adolescent and mental health experts.

In Victoria, there was a 46 per cent increase in the number of children presenting to the ED for self-harm, stress and anxiety, mood, behavioural and emotional disorders between 2008 and 2015, according to a recent study.

Similarly, in New South Wales, ED presentations among 10-19 year-olds for suicidal thoughts, self-harm and intentional poisoning increased by 27 per cent between 2010 and 2014, another paper has shown.

Full story at ABC.net

Brains of young people with severe behavioral problems are ‘wired differently’

Research published today (Tuesday 1 May) has revealed new clues which might help explain why young people with the most severe forms of antisocial behaviour struggle to control and regulate their emotions, and might be more susceptible to developing anxiety or depression as a result.

The study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, used neuroimaging methods to investigate young people with the condition ‘Conduct Disorder’ — typified by symptoms that range from lying and truancy, through to physical violence and weapon use at its more extreme end.

Researchers from the universities of Bath (UK), Cambridge (UK) and the California Institute of Technology (USA) wanted to understand more about the wiring of the brain in adolescents with Conduct Disorder, and link connectivity to the severity of Conduct Disorder and ‘psychopathic traits’ — the term used to define deficits in guilt, remorse and empathy.

Full story at Science Daily

More than 1 in 20 US children and teens have anxiety or depression

About 2.6 million American children and adolescents had diagnosed anxiety and/or depression in 2011-12, reports an analysis of nationwide data in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

The number of children with diagnosed anxiety — but not depression — has increased in recent years, according to the new report. The lead author was Rebecca H. Bitsko, PhD, of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Study Shows High Rates and Impact of Anxiety and Depression in American Youth

The researchers analyzed data from the nationally representative National Survey of Children’s Health for the years 2003, 2007, and 2011-12. In the most recent year, more than 65,000 parents were asked about problems with anxiety and/or depression (diagnosed by a doctor or other healthcare professional) in their children aged six to 17 years.

Full story at Science Daily

The memory part of the brain may also hold clues for anxiety and depression

The hippocampus is an area of the brain commonly linked with memory and dementia.

But new U of T Scarborough research finds that it may also yield important clues about a range of mental health illnesses including addiction, anxiety and depression.

The research, authored by a team of neuroscientists, found that a specific part of the hippocampus could play an important role in emotional regulation, a finding that calls into question our understanding of how exactly this part of the brain works.

“What this shows is that we may need to rethink how the hippocampus processes information,” says Rutsuko Ito, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

Full story at Science Daily

Acne linked with increased risk of depression

In an analysis of one of the largest electronic medical records databases in the world, researchers found that patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, but only in the first 5 years after being diagnosed with acne.

The British Journal of Dermatology analysis included data from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) (1986-2012), a large primary care database in the United Kingdom.

The investigators found that the risk for major depression was highest within 1 year of acne diagnosis — a 63% higher risk compared with individuals without acne — and decreased thereafter.

Full story at Science Daily

Can early symptoms predict bipolar disorder? Evidence shows differing patterns of risk factors

Two patterns of antecedent or “prodromal” psychiatric symptoms may help to identify young persons at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder (BD), according to a new analysis in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Early signs of BD can fall into a relatively characteristic “homotypic” pattern, consisting mainly of symptoms or other features associated with mood disorders; or a “heterotypic” pattern of other symptoms including anxiety and disruptive behavior. Environmental risk factors and exposures can also contribute to BD risk, according to the analysis by Ciro Marangoni, MD, at the Department of Mental Health, Mater Salutis Hospital, Legnato, Italy; Gianni L. Faedda, MD, Director of the Mood Disorder Center of New York, NY, and Co-Chairman of a Task Force of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders on this topic; and Professor Ross J. Baldessarini, MD, Director of the International Consortium for Bipolar & Psychotic Disorders Research of the Mailman Research Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Full story at Science Daily

People who sleep less than 8 hours a night more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety

Sleeping less than the recommended eight hours a night is associated with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Meredith Coles and former graduate student Jacob Nota assessed the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts (e.g., worry and rumination). The research participants were exposed to different pictures intended to trigger an emotional response, and researchers tracked their attention through their eye movements. The researchers discovered that regular sleep disruptions are associated with difficulty in shifting one’s attention away from negative information. This may mean that inadequate sleep is part of what makes negative intrusive thoughts stick around and interfere with people’s lives .

Full story at Science Daily

Marijuana use may not aid patients in opioid addiction treatment

Many patients who are being treated for opioid addiction in a medication-assisted treatment clinic use marijuana to help manage their pain and mood symptoms.

But new research led by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., of the Washington State University College of Nursing found that frequent marijuana use seems to strengthen the relationship between pain and depression and anxiety, not ease it.

“For people who are using cannabis the most, they have a very strong relationship between pain and mood symptoms, and that’s not necessarily the pattern you’d want to see,” Wilson said. “You would hope, if cannabis is helpful, the more they use it the fewer symptoms they’d see.”

Full story at Science Daily