Yoga as a complimentary, and effective, treatment for depression – even treatment-resistant depression

Yoga as a complimentary, and effective, treatment for depression – even treatment-resistant depression

“Yoga Effective at Reducing Symptoms of Depression” reports on several studies presented at the American Psychological Association 2017 Annual Convention. The studies utilize different versions of yoga, including hatha yoga and Bikram yoga, varying durations of “treatment,” and people with diverse symptoms, including people with anxiety, depression, and even treatment-resistant depression.

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Should clinicians “prescribe” exercise for people with a family history of Alzheimer’s?

Should clinicians “prescribe” exercise for people with a family history of Alzheimer’s?

“Exercise Top Lifestyle Factor for Alzheimer’s Prevention?” Reports on a presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2017 in London. This study evaluated the relationship between two different levels of exercise and Alzheimer’s symptoms. The study is remarkable because the subjects were people known to have genetic mutations that leave them prone to developing Alzheimer’s. These people were “destined to develop (Alzheimer’s) and know approximately when they will start having symptoms.”

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Social Isolation and Mortality – As Much Risk as Obesity?

Social Isolation and Mortality – As Much Risk as Obesity?

“Loneliness May Represent a Greater Public Health Hazard Than Obesity” reports on a presentation at the American psychological Association Annual Convention. The presentation reviewed the results of two very thorough meta-analyses, one with a total of 300,000 participants and the other with more than 3.4 million participants in several countries. The focus was on the role of social isolation, loneliness, or living alone contributed to mortality.

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Addiction and Mental Illness: The Connection, and Coping Resources

Addiction and Mental Illness: The Connection, and Coping Resources

This article was written by a guest contributor to the mhconcierge.com psychology healthcare newsletter, Jennifer McGregor.  Jennifer is a medial student and contributor to publichealthlibrary.org, a new website that provides resources for medical students and the public interested in progressive healthcare resources. 

People who struggle with mental illness are much more likely to experience an addiction than those without mental illness. Similarly, people with an addiction are more likely to develop either the symptoms of a mental illness or a fully established mental illness. Coping when you are handling both a mental illness and addiction is never easy and can make your situation worse. If this describes your situation, there are some things to know about the connection between these conditions and how you can start recovering.

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New York Times on why high calorie foods are “addictive”

New York Times on why high calorie foods are “addictive”

The New York Times “Well” section has some excellent summaries about current health research. They may be informative to health care professionals, but also provide, I think, information that can be accessible to patients, too.

An article published on 1-23-14  describes interesting research about what makes high calorie foods so “addictive,” and it turns out that it is the sugar more than the fat.

The article includes,
“We do a lot of work on the prevention of obesity, and what is really clear not only from this study but from the broader literature over all is that the more sugar you eat, the more you want to consume it,” said Dr. Stice, a senior research scientist at the Oregon Research Institute. “As far as the ability to engage brain reward regions and drive compulsive intake, sugar seems to be doing a much better job than fat.”

And,
Heavily processed foods loaded with fat and sugar activate and potentially alter the same reward regions in the brain that are hijacked by alcohol and drugs of abuse. Though the extent to which these foods can provoke addictive behavior remains controversial, the results may help explain why millions of people who diet and struggle to lose weight ultimately fail.

And,
“If you look at our American diet, most people are consuming considerably more sugar than fat,” he said. “We’ve really ramped up the sugar in our diets, but we’ve backed off on fat.”

What does this mean for health care professionals working with people trying to loose weight? Obviously, we need to attend to how much sugar our patients are consuming, not just to the fat content of their intake. (This is not a radical concept, but may be a matter of degree, with an incentive to pay MORE attention to sugar intake than we have in the past).

The full article is available online.