Depression, anxiety lead to loss of teeth


Depression and anxiety may be associated with dental decay and tooth loss, a new study has claimed.

Tooth loss from caries and periodontal disease is an outcome from complex, chronic conditions. Seve-ral biopsychosocial factors are involved, including accessing care, said R. Constance Wiener from West Virginia University.

Individuals reporting dental anxiety may avoid dental care and individuals with depression may be negligent in self-care, Wiener said. Experts examined a potential association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety by using data of 451,075 respondents. Analysis involved frequency, Chi square analysis, and complex survey logistic regression. Participants eligibility included being 19 years or older, and having complete data on depression, anxiety and tooth loss.

There were 76,292 eligible participants and 13.4 per cent reported anxiety, 16.7 per cent reported depression, and 5.7 per cent reported total tooth loss.

In Chi-square analysis by tooth loss: depression, anxiety, and a combined category of depression or anxiety were significantly different in tooth loss participants without the conditions, researchers said.

Source: The Asian Age

Stress Linked to Headache Frequency

German researchers have confirmed what headache sufferers have long suspected: The more stressed out you are, the more frequent your headaches.

For being so common, the exact mechanisms behind headaches can be somewhat mysterious. While the new data can only suggest an association with stress, “I would think that stress ‘triggers’ headache,” one of the researchers, Dr. Zaza Katsarava of University Hospital, University of Duisburg-Essen, told.

The study used data from the German Headache Consortium Study of 5,159 people age 21-71. These people answered questionnaires every three months from 2010 to 2012 about headache type and frequency and used a visual 100-point scale to state how much stress they experienced.

After adjusting for age, sex, drinking habits, smoking and so on, the data was clear. For those who reported “tension” headaches, each 10 point increase in stress was associated with a 6.3 percent increase in the number of days each month they suffered through a headache.

Migraine and mixed tension-migraine sufferers also showed increases with stress, 4.3 and 4 percent respectively, though Katsarava cautioned that because headache type was self-reported, some people who said they had migraines might have had tension headaches.

Those results jibe with other studies, like one from Ohio’s Xavier University released last spring in which researchers from the business school found that headache-related hospital admission increased significantly during the 2008-2009 recession.

Alleviating stress can be especially important for people who experience headaches, Katsarava said, because stress can create a vicious cycle. “Stress triggers headache, headache triggers stress. Because people are disabled, they can not manage their life and their duties.”

Headache treatment, she argued, should be include medical, psychological and behavioral approaches.

Source: nbc news

Saliva Test Predicts Risk of Severe Depression in Boys

High levels of stress hormone cortisol led to much greater likelihood of clinical depression diagnosis

If your teenage son is showing mild signs of depression, an experimental saliva test could determine if he’s at a risk for severe depression later in life.

In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, researchers examined the saliva of 1,800 teens between ages 12 and 19, and tracked the teens’ depression symptoms and mental illness diagnoses for up to three years later.

The test’s results were most pronounced for boys. Boys with mild symptoms of depression and high levels of cortisol–a stress hormone–were 14 times more likely to have a clinical depression diagnosis later on, compared with teens with lower levels of the hormone. For girls, high levels of cortisol put them at a four times greater risk for major depression later on.

Source: TIME

Loneliness ups older adult’s chances of premature death by 14%

A new study has revealed that feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14 percent.

The study by John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, and his colleagues shows that the impact of loneliness on premature death is nearly as strong as the impact of disadvantaged socioeconomic status, which they found increases the chances of dying early by 19 percent.

A 2010 meta-analysis showed that loneliness has twice the impact on early death as does obesity, he said.

The researchers looked at dramatic differences in the rate of decline in physical and mental health as people age.
Cacioppo and colleagues have examined the role of satisfying relationships on older people to develop their resilience, the ability to bounce back after adversity and grow from stresses in life.

The consequences to health are dramatic, as feeling isolated from others can disrupt sleep, elevate blood pressure, increase morning rises in the stress hormone cortisol, alter gene expression in immune cells, and increase depression and lower overall subjective well-being.

Cacioppo, one of the nation’s leading experts on loneliness, said older people can avoid the consequences of loneliness by staying in touch with former co-workers, taking part in family traditions, and sharing good times with family and friends – all of which gives older adults a chance to connect others about whom they care and who care about them.

The study was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual meeting in Chicago.

Source: Yahoo news


How sleep duration can up depression risk

A genetic study of adult twins and a community-based study of adolescents have linked sleep duration with depression.

“Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being,” American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. M. Safwan Badr, said.

“This new research emphasizes that we can make an investment in our health by prioritizing sleep,” Badr said.

A study of 1,788 adult twins is the first to demonstrate a gene by environment interaction between self-reported habitual sleep duration and depressive symptoms.

Results suggest that sleep durations outside the normal range increase the genetic risk for depressive symptoms.

Among twins with a normal sleep duration of seven to 8.9 hours per night, the total heritability of depressive symptoms was 27 percent.

However, the genetic influence on depressive symptoms increased to 53 percent among twins with a short sleep duration of five hours per night and 49 percent among those who reported sleeping 10 hours per night.

“We were surprised that the heritability of depressive symptoms in twins with very short sleep was nearly twice the heritability in twins sleeping normal amounts of time,” principal investigator Dr. Nathaniel Watson, associate professor of neurology and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle, said.

“Both short and excessively long sleep durations appear to activate genes related to depressive symptoms ,” Watson, who also serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, said.

According to Watson, the study suggests that optimizing sleep may be one way to maximize the effectiveness of treatments for depression such as psychotherapy.

Another study of 4,175 individuals between 11 and 17 years of age is the first to document reciprocal effects for major depression and short sleep duration among adolescents using prospective data.

Results suggest sleeping six hours or less per night increases the risk for major depression, which in turn increases the risk for decreased sleep among adolescents.

The studies are published in the journal Sleep.

Source: The siasat Daily

10 Natural Ways to Ease Depression

If you are suffering from depression or seasonal depression, there are many natural options that can help. Of course, you should always see a doctor as well.

1. Supplement with Vitamin D

This vitamin, which is more accurately termed a hormone, has been recently found to play a role in the number of depressive symptoms experienced. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts studied a group of post-menopausal women for a possible correlation between vitamin D and the symptoms of depression. They found that the lower the levels of vitamin D the women had, the more likely they were to experience symptoms of depression.

2. Eat Complex Carbs

If you’re eating a high protein diet or if your diet lacks whole grains, you may be deficient in the building blocks to make important the important neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain—a natural chemical that helps regulate mood. Add fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains to your diet.

3. Skip the Caffeine

Research links caffeinated beverages with suppression of serotonin. By skipping the coffee or tea, you’ll give your brain a better chance to make sufficient serotonin to maintain balanced moods.

4. Boost Your Omega 3s

Finnish researchers found that people who ate fish less than once a week had a 31 percent increase in incidence of mild to moderate depression compared to those who ate fish more often than that. Wild salmon and sardines are good sources of Omega 3s. Excellent vegetarian options include: raw walnuts, walnut oil, ground flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil.

5. Eliminate Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant. If you’re suffering from depression or prone to this disorder, skip the alcoholic beverage.

6. Take St. John’s Wort

The powerful herb frequently gets a bad rap in the media, largely because pharmaceutical drugs interact with it. Whenever that happens the natural, more cost-effective, and lower-side-effect herb is blamed. But, this herb has been found in numerous studies to be effective against mild to moderate depression. Follow the instructions on the package. And, if you’re taking any pharmaceutical drugs, consult your pharmacist or nutritionist before taking St. John’s Wort. A typical dose for depression is 300 mg three times daily.

7. Add SAM-e

Pronounced “Sammy,” this supplement is widely prescribed for depression in Europe. SAM-e is a naturally-occurring substance found in all living cells. Low levels can play a role in depression. Dozens of animal studies found that SAM-e caused significant results in only a few weeks of supplementation, due to its ability to boost three neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine—all of which are involved in mood regulation. A typical dose for depression is 1600 milligrams daily.

8. Get Adequate Magnesium

Magnesium is critical for the production and function of mood-regulating serotonin, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population is deficient. Leafy greens and raw, unsalted almonds are good sources of magnesium. Supplementing with 800 mg daily is common for depression.

9. To B or Not to B

When it comes to depression, consider adding a B-complex supplement to your daily diet. Make sure you choose a natural supplement free of artificial colors, flavors, or fillers. A 100 milligram supplement is a commonly prescribed dose for depression sufferers (with 100 MICROgrams of folate and B12).

10. Walk it Off

Research links insufficient exercise with depressive symptoms. While it can be difficult to get motivated to get outdoors during the winter months, it is a valuable mood booster. Try to go for a brisk walk at least three or four times a week.

Source: care2

Feeling too skinny may lead to depression, drugs

You may not be as skinny as you think you are. Teenagers who think they are too skinny when they actually have a healthy weight are at greater risk of being depressed, says a study.

“Teenage boys who feel they are underweight and report being the victim of bullying are also more likely to use steroids and feel depressed than other boys their age,” according to the findings reported by the American Psychological Association.

Also, boys who inaccurately see themselves as overweight are also more likely to be depressed than boys who think they are of average weight, added the study published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

“Teenage girls tend to strive for zero size whereas teenage boys tend to emphasise a more muscular body type. We found that some of these boys who feel they are unable to achieve that often unattainable image may be taking drastic measures,” said Aaron Blashill, staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

The research was based on two large, nationally representative samples of teenage boys in the US.

The first sample included 2,139 boys who were about 16-years old in 1996 at the beginning of the study and were followed for 13 years.

The second data came from a 2009 nationally representative survey of 8,065 ninth- through 12th-grade boys in the US.

“Doctors working with depressed teenage boys, particularly those who think they are underweight and/or bullied based on their appearance, should be mindful of the possibility of steroid use,” Blashill suggested.

“Cognitive-behavioural therapy has proven to be effective for body image concerns and could be helpful for boys considering using or already using steroids,” the study said.

Source: Business standard

10 Nondrug Remedies for Depression

Lifting depression without an Rx

Depression affects nearly 16 million Americans annually, and a large portion of those people take antidepressant drugs.

While antidepressants have been shown to help those with moderate to severe depression, they are usually less effective for those with mild depression.

If you don’t respond to antidepressants (or even if you do), you may want to explore nondrug remedies to lift your depression.

Exercise can relieve depression, possibly by altering the mood-regulating brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin.

It may also release the endorphins responsible for the “runner’s high” that some experience.

P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C., recommends exercising three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, is best, but “any degree of exercise is better than none,” he says.

Light therapy
During the short, dark days of winter, some people are prone to a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder.

One way to ease symptoms may be light therapy, in which you sit near a brightly lit box that mimics outdoor light. The therapy generally starts with daily sessions of about 15 minutes and increases to up to two hours daily. The timing depends upon the severity of symptoms and the intensity of the light, which a doctor can determine. Although the therapy doesn’t cure depression, it can ease symptoms, sometimes after only a couple days.

Mood diary
Therapy that teaches people about positive thinking can relieve depression, research suggests.

Dr. Doraiswamy recommends keeping a mood diary. “This is a tool used to train someone to keep track of positive things that are happening in their lives and not let single negative events wear them down,” he says.

A mood diary keeps negative events in perspective and serves as a reminder that good days do happen.

Dr. Doraiswamy recommends not writing in a diary daily if it feels like too much work; once-a-week entries are easier to stick with.

As with many alternative therapies, there isn’t a heap of data that proves acupuncture relieves depression. But a handful of research suggests it might.

One small University of Arizona study of 33 women with depression found that 64% of participants went into remission after acupuncture, compared to 27% in the no-treatment group.

In a second study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, 70 patients with a major depressive disorder who were already taking an antidepressant seemed to show more improvement if they had acupuncture, compared to those who did not.

Support groups
Support groups used to be standard in psychiatric settings, Dr. Doraiswamy says. But, he adds, they aren’t used as frequently today, although they are an excellent way to help treat mild forms of depression.

These groups provide education on depression, a community of support, and the opportunity to learn from people dealing with similar issues.

As an alternative for those not interested in talking about depression, Dr. Doraiswamy recommends just finding a group that shares your interests, whether it’s a book club or yoga

Cognitive behavioral therapy
Dr. Doraiswamy calls cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) “sophisticated education” for people with depression.

It is based on the fact that thoughts trigger feelings. Being aware of your thoughts and learning to change destructive patterns could alter the way your brain works and your reaction to situations.

CBT is considered short-term therapy, often lasting for 10 to 20 sessions. It has been shown to be as effective as medication in treating mild to moderate depression.

Fish oil
This supplement contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, including salmon, albacore tuna, and herring.

Studies on fish oil are inconclusive, but it is thought that being deficient in this fatty acid at certain times (like during the postpartum period) can cause mood swings and depression.

In areas where consumption of foods with omega-3 is high, people tend to have lower rates of depression.

Promising research suggests that meditation may play a role in preventing depression relapse. The research focused on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which combines traditional meditation with cognitive behavioral approaches.

In two studies, people were treated with antidepressants until their symptoms subsided. Then one group continued taking the medication while another went on a regimen of meditation therapy.

Relapse rates for people using meditation were the same as those taking antidepressants (about 30%), and lower than those on a placebo (about 70%) in one study.

The second study found that 47% of the meditation group relapsed, compared to 60% of the people on antidepressants alone.

Striking a pose may alleviate stress and symptoms of depression. Studies have shown that in both people with emotional distress and major depression, practicing yoga reduces stress, hostility, anxiety, and depression, and improves energy, sleep quality, and well-being.

Although there aren’t too many studies on the topic, yoga may prove to be a simple, low-risk tool for improving depression.

Source: Health


Meditation’s Effects Similar to Pills for Anxiety, Depression, and Pain

In a review of randomized clinical trials, Johns Hopkins researchers find that meditation is effective for combatting common mental health woes.

Meditation has been used for centuries, but its benefits have been primarily anecdotal, whether it’s a Tibetan monk blocking out pain to walk across hot coals or a college student meditating to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have applied scientific analysis to the practice and found that mindfulness meditation programs, which promote heightened awareness, can help with common mental health problems.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found measurable evidence of improvement in anxiety, depression, pain, and stress after eight weeks of treatment.

“For example, the effect size for the effect on depression was 0.3, which is what would be expected with the use of an anti-depressant,” the researchers said.

To come to these conclusions, researchers evaluated existing studies on meditation and rated them based on scientific standards of bias risk, precision, directness, and consistency. In the end, they analyzed 47 randomized clinical trials with a total of 3,515 participants.

Dr. Kevin Barrows, director of mindfulness programs at the University of California, San Francisco’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, said the study’s findings were “not surprising, but affirming.” He said that meditation often receives unfair criticism because studies on its effectiveness do not always meet the rigorous scientific standard of research.

“This a refutation of that,” Barrows, who was not involved in the JAMA study, told Healthline. “This is a scientifically rigorous study. It does corroborate the efficacy of mindfulness.”

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation, or vipassana, involves periods of time spent becoming more aware of one’s body and surroundings. It can be as simple as counting your breaths with your eyes closed, but to get the full benefits, it takes practice.

The goal of this kind of meditation is to simply be aware of the full circumstances of being alive.

In the book Mindfulness in Plain English, the Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, writes that the goal of meditation is not to change the world around us, but to control our reaction to it.

“Vipassana is a form of mental training that will teach you to experience the world in an entirely new way. You will learn for the first time what is truly happening to you, around you, and within you,” Gunaratana wrote. “It is a process of self-discovery, a participatory investigation in which you observe your own experiences while participating in them, and as they occur.”

Mindfulness meditation has been used as a complimentary therapy for mental problems for generations, but the new empirical evidence may help the practice become more widely accepted in the mainstream health field.

Source: cbs news