major depressive disorder

How ketamine can change the brain to fight depression

New research in mice, which the National Institutes of Health supported, shows how ketamine can alter brain circuits, quickly redressing depression-like symptoms. Previous studies have shown that ketamine — an anesthetic — can rapidly reduce severe symptoms of major depressive disorder, particularly the occurrence of suicidal thoughts. However, researchers are still unsure how this substance acts in the brain to fight off depression or how to maintain its therapeutic effects in the long run. Full story at Medical…

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When neurons are out of shape, antidepressants may not work

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed medication for major depressive disorder (MDD), yet scientists still do not understand why the treatment does not work in nearly thirty percent of patients with MDD. Now, Salk Institute researchers have discovered differences in growth patterns of neurons of SSRI-resistant patients. The work, published in Molecular Psychiatry on March 22, 2019, has implications for depression as well as other psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia…

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When neurons get the blues

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), lift the fog of depression for many people. But for around a third of people with major depressive disorder, SSRIs don’t make much of a difference. Now, researchers from the Salk Institute have pinned down a possible reason why — the neurons in at least some of these patients’ brains may become hyperactive in the presence of the drugs. The study appeared in Molecular Psychiatry on January…

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Suspect Molecules Overlap in Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Evidence has been mounting that some mental disorders share many of the same genetic risk factors. Now, researchers have discovered that this overlap extends to the molecular level – some of these suspect genes also turn on-and-off similarly in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. These molecular signatures may hold clues to what goes wrong in the brain in these disorders—and potentially ways to better treat or even prevent…

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Antidepressant response within hours? Experts weigh evidence on ketamine as fast-acting treatment for depression

Recent studies suggest that ketamine, a widely used anesthetic agent, could offer a wholly new approach to treating severe depression — producing an antidepressant response in hours rather than weeks. Two reviews of recent evidence on ketamine and related drugs for treating depression appear in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, published by Wolters Kluwer. Ketamine and related drugs may represent a “paradigm shift” in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar depression — especially…

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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…

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Correlates of overweight, obesity among adolescents with bipolar disorder in the national comorbidity survey

Bipolar disorder is one of the most disabling medical conditions among adolescents worldwide. Similarly, being overweight or obese is common in adolescents and is known to confer risk for cardiovascular disease and other poor health outcomes in adulthood. As a result, the intersection of bipolar disorder and overweight is a matter of clinical and public health concern. Previous studies have demonstrated that overweight and obesity are more prevalent among adults with bipolar disorder as compared…

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Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren’s depression?

Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder (MDD) was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry. It is well known that having depressed parents increases children’s risk of psychiatric disorders. There are no published studies of depression examining three generations with grandchildren in the age of risk for depression and with direct interviews…

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Fertility patients’ history is best predictor of risk for major depression

A potent risk factor for developing major depressive disorder (MDD) during fertility treatment is something health providers are likely not even looking for, according to new research from San Francisco State University. Fertility treatment patients and their partners are far more likely to experience MDD than the general population, the study found, and a key factor in predicting a patient’s risk is whether he or she has a previous diagnosis of major depression. But past…

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