Clear effect of art therapy on severe depression

Create a picture of how you are feeling on this particular day, said the first exercise in the art therapy. After ten treatments the patients who suffered from severe or moderately severe depression had shown more improvement than the patients in the control group, shows research at Sahlgrenska academy.

“The conclusion is that it was the art therapy that facilitated their improvement,” says Christina Blomdahl, PhD at the institute of health and care sciences, licensed occupational therapist and art therapist.

As part of her dissertation she has allowed 43 patients with severe or moderately severe depression to undergo a manual-based art therapy that she has developed herself. The control group consisted of 36 people who all suffered from the same medical condition.

Full story at Science Daily

Twice weekly yoga classes plus home practice effective in reducing symptoms of depression

People who suffer from depression should participate in yoga and deep (coherent) breathing classes at least twice weekly plus practice at home to receive a significant reduction in their symptoms.

The findings, which appear in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, provide preliminary support for the use of yoga-based interventions as an alternative or supplement to pharmacologic treatments for depression.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is common, recurrent, chronic and disabling. Due in part to its prevalence, depression is globally responsible for more years lost to disability than any other disease. Up to 40 percent of individuals treated with antidepressant medications for MDD do not achieve full remission. This study used lyengar yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture and breath control.

Full story of yoga classes effective in reducing symptoms of depression at Science Daily

Treatment strategy for anorexia

New research conducted in adolescent rodents provides insights on the mechanisms behind anorexia nervosa and points to a potential treatment strategy.

In experiments involving food restriction and/or exercise, investigators found that the extent to which certain receptors are expressed in neurons in a particular region of the brain can influence whether an adolescent female rat develops anorexia nervosa-like behavior, such as to exercise, rather than eat, in spite of being hungry. The findings suggest that a risk factor for anorexia may be under-expression of these receptors, α4βδ-GABAA called receptors, following stress. Therefore, boosting the activity of these receptors may be a promising treatment strategy.

“Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, surpassing even that of depression, and currently, there are no accepted pharmacological treatments,” said Dr. Chiye Aoki, lead author of the Journal of Neuroscience Research article. “This makes the pursuit of effective medications particularly important. Rodent models enable scientists to separate cultural influences from the neurobiological basis of behaviors that are present in the illness.”

Full story on treatment strategy for anorexia at Science Daily

Exercise can tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study from University of Manchester researchers.

Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients’ brain functioning.

The study by Firth, Dr Brendon Stubbs and Professor Alison Yung is published in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Schizophrenia’s acute phase is typified by hallucinations and delusions, which are usually treatable with medication.

Full story of exercise and schizophrenia at Science Daily

Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms

Exercise, even a small amount, can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD in adults, according to a new study by University of Georgia researchers.

The study, released this month in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, found a single bout of exercise has psychological benefits for adults with these elevated ADHD symptoms. About 6 percent of American adults report symptoms consistent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which lead to anxiety, depression, low energy and motivation, poor performance at work or school and also increased traffic accidents.

“Exercise is already known as a stress reducer and mood booster, so it really has the potential to help those suffering with ADHD symptoms,” said the study’s senior author Patrick O’Connor, professor in the UGA College of Education’s kinesiology department. “And while prescription drugs can be used to treat these symptoms, there’s an increased risk of abuse or dependence and negative side effects. Those risks don’t exist with exercise.”

English football performance impaired by mental fatigue

Professional footballers and their coaches often complain about the mental fatigue induced by the stress of frequent matches.

Now research from the University of Kent has demonstrated for the first time that mental fatigue can have a negative impact on football performance by reducing running, passing, and shooting ability.

Professor Samuele Marcora of Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences worked with researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, and Ghent University in Belgium on the study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise.

Full story of English football and mental fatigue at Science Daily

Food and Emotions: 90 percent overlook key to weight loss, survey finds

Tens of millions of Americans vow each year to lose weight in the New Year, and while their intentions are good, most of the time their results are not. It’s estimated that only 8 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them.

Even if weight is lost initially, it usually returns. Studies show nearly 2 out of 3 people who lose 5 percent of their total weight will gain it back, and the more weight you lose, the less your chances of keeping it off.

“That’s not surprising,” said Diane Robinson, PhD, a neuropsychologist and Program Director of Integrative Medicine at Orlando Health. “Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise. But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts.”

Full story of emotional component and weight loss at Science Daily

Exercise and stop smoking to improve depression after heart attack

“Depression is almost three times more common in people who have had a heart attack than in those who haven’t,” said Dr Manuela Abreu, a psychiatrist at the University of Lisbon, Portugal. “Cardiac rehabilitation with aerobic exercise can reduce depressive symptoms and improve cardiovascular fitness.”

“Patients who are depressed after a heart attack have a two-fold risk of having another heart attack or dying compared to those who are not depressed,” added Dr David Nanchen, head of the Prevention Centre, Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dr Nanchen’s research shows that exercise and stopping smoking may improve depression after heart attack. He studied 1,164 patients who were part of the Swiss Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) cohort, a large prospective multicentre study of patients with ACS in Switzerland. Patients were enrolled between 2009 and 2013 and followed up for one year. Depression was assessed at enrolment and at one year.

Full story of improving depression after heart attacks at Science Daily

Exercise with a physiotherapist helps people with depression

Exercise has a positive effect on depression — so reveals a dissertation written at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

In a study at the Sahlgrenska Academy, the researcher evaluated exercise as add-on therapy to medicating with antidepressants. The study divided 62 individuals with diagnosed clinical depression into three groups, in which two participated in two different types of exercise with a physiotherapist twice a week for 10 weeks while the third, the control group, did not participate in systematic exercise.

Person-centered approach

The exercise in the study was based on a person-centered approach, where the exercises were adapted to the participant’s needs, expectations and previous experiences.

Full story of exercise with a physiotherapist at Science Daily

Good life satisfaction has beneficial effects on bone health

Women aged 60-70 who are satisfied with their lives have a higher bone density and they suffer from osteoporosis less frequently than their unsatisfied peers, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland.

Osteoporosis is a common disease, which easily leads to bone fracture, and hip fractures in particular can have serious consequences. Bone density gets lower as people age; however, for women, the menopause constitutes a significant risk factor. Other risk factors of osteoporosis include low levels of physical activity, light body composition, smoking, low intake of calcium and vitamin D, as well as some drugs and medical conditions. For instance, long-term stress associated with depression can have detrimental effects on metabolism and, in consequence, on bone health. The health behaviour of a depressed person may also increase the risk of osteoporosis, as the person might smoke or exercise too little.

Full story of good life and bone health at Science Daily