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Depression

Severe depression: Vagus nerve stimulator improves lives

For people with treatment-resistant depression, adding vagus nerve stimulation to medication can drastically improve their quality of life, concludes a new study. People with severe depression may benefit from the neurostimulation technique ‘vagus nerve stimulation.’ The National Institute of Mental Health suggest that over 16 million people in the United States have had at least one episode of major depression in the past year. Of these, more than 10 million adults report that the condition severely impaired their quality of life. There are a variety of treatments available for depression, including therapy, medication, and making changes to one’s lifestyle. However, for some, these therapies are not enough to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life. Some with t...

Research suggests link between epilepsy and bipolar disorder

Research at Royal Holloway University of London, has suggested a link between patients with epilepsy and patients with bipolar disorder, through investigating a medicine used to treat both disorders. Valproic acid has been used successfully for many years to treat people with a diagnosis of either epilepsy or bipolar disorder, but there has never been a clear understanding of how it works for these two different conditions. Unfortunately, the drug also has severe side effects, increasing the chance of causing birth defects, if taken by pregnant women. Professor Robin Williams, Head of the Centre for Biomedical Sciences in Royal Holloway’s School of Biological Sciences, and his students have carried out extensive research to discover how the drug works. Their work has been published i...

Addressing Psychiatric Comorbidities in Pediatric Epilepsy

Children with a chronic physical illness have a substantially elevated prevalence of psychiatric illness. The odds of having a mental health disorder were 62% higher among children with vs without a chronic physical condition, even after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and access to health care, according to results from a study published in 2016.1 The risk for psychopathology is even greater among children who have chronic central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In children with epilepsy, various studies have reported a prevalence of mental health problems ranging from 16% to 77%, and a 3-fold to 9-fold risk compared with controls.2 In a recent study of children and adolescents age 10 to 19 years who had epilepsy, the most commonly observed comorbid psychiatric disorders were att...

Why does depression make you feel tired?

Depression can cause debilitating fatigue and make the simplest activities, such as getting out of bed, too difficult to manage.   According to a 2018 report, fatigue affects over 90 percent of people with major depressive disorder.   In this article, learn about the link between depression and fatigue, as well as how to cope.  

Cognitive-behavioural therapy does not meaningfully reduce depression in most people with epilepsy: a systematic review of clinically reliable improvement

Depression and anxiety are common comorbid conditions in people with epilepsy. Their presence is associated with an increase in suicide risk, increase healthcare costs, increase in mortality and reduced quality of life.

Epileptic seizures and depression may share a common genetic cause, study suggests

Rutgers and Columbia scientists assessed family histories of epilepsy and depression to find a possible genetic relationship   From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.

A Chronic Childhood Illness Like Epilepsy Could Increase Risk of Adult Depression, Study Reports

Chronic childhood illnesses such as epilepsy could increase the risk that a person will develop clinical depression as an adult, according to new research. The study, “Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health – a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Study finds prevalence of depression and anxiety in individuals with epilepsy

An analysis of published studies found that in individuals with epilepsy, there is a 20.2% prevalence of anxiety disorders and a 22.9% prevalence of depression. Investigators also found no differences in the prevalence of either depression or anxiety based on the severity of illness.

Having Depression Increases the Likelihood of Developing Epilepsy

There is a growing interest over the possible relationship between depression and epilepsy. A study recently published showed that there is an increased risk of developing epilepsy among persons diagnosed with depression, and vice versa. Epilepsy is a syndrome characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures due to an imbalance of chemicals in the nervous system. This chemical imbalance is also one of the underlying mechanisms of depression. This similarity in pathophysiology has sparked an interest among the medical community to determine the possible relationship between the two diseases.

RADAR-CNS programme aims to improve lives of patients with brain disorders

A major new research program supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative launches today, which will develop new ways of monitoring major depressive disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis using wearable devices and smartphone technology. The RADAR-CNS (Remote assessment of disease and relapse – Central Nervous System) programme aims to improve patients’ quality of life, and potentially to change how these and other chronic disorders are treated. Continuous remote assessment using smartphones and wearable devices provides a complete picture of a patient’s condition at a level of detail which was previously unachievable. Moreover, it could potentially allow treatment to begin before a patient’s health deteriorates, preventing the patient relapsing or becoming ...

Suicidal Thoughts Plague Young and Old with Epilepsy

PHILADELPHIA — Patients with epilepsy are more likely to commit suicide than the general population, new CDC data showed. An analysis of data from the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) found that the annual suicide mortality rate among those with epilepsy was about 16% higher than that seen in the general population, according to Niu Tian, MD, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues.

Decision Making Anxiety and Depression Circuits Identified

Scientists have identified the specific neural circuitry that triggers anxiety in individuals when confronted with critical decisions. Our brains can actually gauge how critical a decision is and trigger anxiety in us accordingly! Do you freak out when you have to decide if you want to order pizza or a tub of fried chicken for dinner? No? But you definitely get anxious when you have to decide between schools for your kid or figure out which job offer to accept — the one that will keep you tied to your desk and pay you a hefty paycheck or the one that promises a lot of adventure for peanuts. There is a reason why we get anxious when we have to make certain decisions, and why we decide on other matters without batting an eyelid. The reason is inside the brain.

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