Cancer and mental health: Mayo Clinic expert dispels myths

Everyone with cancer experiences it differently and all emotions are valid and important, regardless of the mix or intensity. Shawna Ehlers, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist and psycho-oncology expert, helps patients cope with the burden of their cancer diagnosis. That includes dispelling myths that stress in their lives caused their cancer or that depression must be suffered through during cancer treatment.

Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available to Discuss Importance of Mental Well-Being

Nearly 20% of adults — about 50 million American people — are experiencing a mental illness, and about one in five children are affected by a mental disorder each year. There are many types of mental illness, including mood, anxiety and personality disorders.

Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury: M.O.M. to the Rescue

The M.O.M. project, which will have four units in Ohio, Florida, South Carolina and Texas, will engage veterans with traumatic brain injury, their caregivers and other stakeholders to bolster patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research in order to identify treatment options for traumatic brain injury that are effective, acceptable, and meaningful to the veteran population.

Pregnancy stretch marks cause stress and emotional burden, study finds

Stretch marks cause pregnant women and individuals substantial embarrassment that can negatively impact pregnancy and quality of life, a new study found. The lesions, and concerns for developing and permanency, may be contributing factors for depression or anxiety in the perinatal period, which affect up to one in seven women during pregnancy and postpartum. Researchers say this should bring new focus on stretch marks and identifying mental health disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Sitting more linked to increased feelings of depression, anxiety

During the initial COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, a lot of people suddenly became more sedentary as they adhered to stay-at-home orders or opted to self-isolate. Recently published research found people who continued to spend a higher amount of time sitting in the weeks following were likely to have higher symptoms of depression. A closer investigation into this association could play a role in helping people improve their mental health.

Cat’s Meow: Robotic Pet Boosts Mood, Behavior and Cognition in Adults with Dementia

Researchers tested the effectiveness of affordable, interactive robotic pet cats to improve mood, behavior and cognition in older adults with mild to moderate dementia.

Nurse, Heal Thyself – Spiritual Practices in the Midst of a Pandemic

For nurses on the frontline, the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially disparaging, challenging and even life altering. Nurses have worked extremely long hours faced not only with the excessive, increased number of deaths of their patients, who were dying alone, but also grieved the loss of coworkers. Researchers explored the use of spirituality and religion in nurses on the frontline as a way to find purpose and meaning in life, especially during times of heightened stress and uncertainty.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss the Mental Health Impacts of Social Media on Children

A Rutgers child and adult psychiatrist, Muhammad Zeshan, M.D., is available to discuss the negative impacts of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter on teenagers. “I’ve seen the negative psychological impacts of social media, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic…

Having MS Plus Depression May Be Tied to Increased Risk of Death

Depression is common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and a new study shows that people with both conditions may be more likely to die over the next decade than people with just one or neither condition. The study is published in the September 1, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found that people with MS and depression have an increased risk of developing vascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.

Racial discrimination linked to drinking through mental health in Black college students

A new study from Arizona State University and Virginia Commonwealth University examined the pathways that contribute to and protect against alcohol use problems in Black American college students. Racial discrimination led to depressive symptoms and to problem alcohol consumption. Positive feelings about being a Black American were associated with a weaker link between discrimination, mental health and alcohol use. The study was published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Paper reviews gut microbiome (bacterial and fungal communities) health for fighting depression during COVID-19 pandemic

In their paper, published Aug. 24 in the Frontiers of Nutrition, Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum and colleagues from CWRU, UH Cleveland Medical Center, BIOHM Health, and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, examined current literature about the microbiome and gut-brain axis to advance a potential complementary approach to address depression and depressive disorders that have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neuroactive Steroids May Induce Prolonged Antidepressant Effects by Altering Brain States

A new study by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and Sage Therapeutics discovered that neurosteroids (allopregnanolone analogs) may alter network states in brain regions involved in emotional processing, which may explain the prolonged antidepressant effects of these compounds.

No adverse cognitive effects of ketamine or esketamine for treatment-resistant depression

Used for the treatment of depression that does not respond to standard antidepressant medications, the anesthesia drug ketamine – and the related drug esketamine, recently approved for depression treatment – has no important adverse effects on memory, attention, or other cognitive processes, concludes a systematic review of medical research in the September/October issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Virginia Tech scientists tie improved learning processes to reduced symptoms of depression

In a Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry study led by Pearl Chiu and Brooks King-Casas of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, brain imaging and mathematical modeling reveal previously unreported mechanistic features of symptoms associated with major depressive disorder.

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.

COVID-19 pandemic drinking: increases among women, Black adults, and people with children

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depression in Dads of Preemies Deserves More Attention

While postpartum depression in new mothers is well recognized and known to increase if the newborn requires intensive care, depression in new fathers has not received much attention. A large study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that both parents with a baby in the NICU are at risk, with depression symptoms identified in 33 percent of mothers and 17 percent of fathers. Strikingly, the probability of reporting depression symptoms declined significantly for mothers but not for fathers after the baby came home.

UIC research identifies potential pathways to treating alcohol use disorder, depression

A discovery from researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago may lead to new treatments for individuals who suffer from alcohol use disorder and depression. The study, “Transcriptomics identifies STAT3 as a key regulator of hippocampal gene expression and anhedonia during withdrawal from chronic alcohol exposure,” is published in the journal Translational Psychiatry by researchers at UIC’s Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics.

Laughing gas relieves symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Chicago have found that a single, one-hour treatment that involves breathing in a mixture of oxygen and the anesthetic drug nitrous oxide — otherwise known as laughing gas — can significantly improve symptoms in people with treatment-resistant depression.

Low doses of “laughing gas” could be fast acting, highly effective treatment for severe depression

A new study at the University of Chicago Medicine and Washington University found that a single inhalation session with 25% nitrous oxide gas was nearly as effective as 50% nitrous oxide at rapidly relieving symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, with fewer adverse side effects.

Potential Vocal Tracking App Could Detect Depression Changes

According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people worldwide have Major Depression Disorder and another 20 million have schizophrenia. During the 180th ASA Meeting, Carol Espy-Wilson from the University of Maryland,will discuss how a person’s mental health status is reflected in the coordination of speech gestures. The keynote lecture, “Speech Acoustics and Mental Health Assessment,” will take place Tuesday, June 8.

The Pandemic Worsened Young Women’s Depression and Anxiety More than Young Men’s

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an uneven impact on mental health, affecting young women more adversely in some regards than young men, a new study suggests. Income loss likewise was associated with increases in depression. At the same time, however, the young people actually showed a reduction in binge drinking and alcohol problems. The combination of findings highlights the complexity of the pandemic’s behavioral health effects. The pandemic has raised widespread concern that its related stressors — such as social isolation, job loss, financial strain, and increased caregiving responsibilities — may have broadly aggravated substance use and mental health conditions. People age 18–25 were thought to be especially vulnerable, because of their transitional life stage and relative propensity to risky behaviors such as heavy drinking. While some studies have indicated that the pandemic was associated with intensifying mental illness symptoms and substance use in this age group, most did not