30.11.2011

1 из 5 американцев сидит на психоактивных лекарствах

Оптимистичненько так. Называется, сделай сам - настроение? - а зачем, ведь есть таблетки, которые создадут любое настроение.
Вот такой интересный материал на http://blisstree.com/feel/1-in-5-americans-on-mental-health-drugs-overmedicating-817/ советую вам почитать для размышлений:

Almost half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug, and now a new report tells us that more than 20% of us take at least one medication to treat a mental health problem–a number that is up 22% since 2001. It’s an alarming trend for sure, and has us wondering: Are all of these drugs really necessary, or are Americans over-medicated?
Granted, mental health disorders are a serious illness which require serious treatment. According to the statistics released by Medco Health Solutions, more than a quarter of us suffer from mental health problems which have us taking antidepressants, antipsychotics, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs or anti‐anxiety treatments every year. And women are far more likely to take a drug to treat a mental health condition than men with those over 45 showing the highest use.
And yet, the World Health Organization says this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are over-medicated.
So what does it mean? Are more Americans just getting diagnosed with depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders? Are these conditions becoming more prevalent? Or, are doctors simply taking the easy way out and prescribing more drugs than necessary without exploring other alternate treatments first for less severe cases?
In Charles Barber’s Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation, the New York Times stated that he makes a case for Americans being “vastly overmedicated for often relatively minor mental health concerns”. There is also the theory to the sharp rise in mental health medications: We are asking for them. TheNY Times also suggested that we are a self-drugging society in many respects. We are often too quick to pop pills when something doesn’t feel quite right. Many of us use alcohol to numb feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. It was even suggested that some Americans are taking mental health medications for “ficticious concerns”. For that, we can point a finger to all of the marketing and advertising that the drug companies are doing (over $5 billion a year) that suggest we may have a problem (even though we thought we were fine until we saw their commercial telling us how depressed we are).
In a recent Blisstree post, I talked about the fact that some doctors think depression could actually be good for usbecause it forces us to face our issues and dissect exactly what is happening in our lives and in our head. Because of this, some doctors still think that other mental health treatments like talk therapy should be explored first because putting a pharmaceutical bandage over our depression or anxiety can often preclude us from uncovering our source of true happiness. Other experts have also suggested that a healthy diet, stress-reduction and even yoga can help bring us back to a positive mental state.
Tell us what you think. Are Americans too quick to take mental health medications?

05.11.2011

Я ещё и там

И кстати, уважаемые. Большой и тёплый велкам на http://my.science.ua/my/OlgaMaslova/. Любезно согласилась там периодически радовать народ околобиологическими вкусняшками.  Ресурс вообще молодой, но создан с очень альтруистично-эпистемологическим задумом. Надеюсь, все молодые (и не очень) блоговеды "из оттуда" сделают его реально стоящим и крутым. Чего нам (да и вам) и желаю. :)

04.11.2011

Про мужчин и восприимчивость к алкоголю

Читаем:
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances, and men are up to twice as likely to develop alcoholism as women. Until now, the underlying biology contributing to this difference in vulnerability has remained unclear. A new study published in Biological Psychiatry reveals that dopamine may be an important factor.
Researchers from Columbia and Yale studied male and female college-age social drinkers in a laboratory test of alcohol consumption. After consuming an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, each participant underwent a specialized positron emission tomography (PET) scan, an imaging technique that can measure the amount of alcohol-induced dopamine release.
Dopamine has multiple functions in the brain, but is important in this context because of its pleasurable effects when it is released by rewarding experiences, such as sex or drugs. Despite similar consumptions of alcohol, the men had greater dopamine release than women. This increase was found in the ventral striatum, an area in the brain strongly associated with pleasure, reinforcement and addiction formation.
"In men, increased dopamine release also had a stronger association with subjective positive effects of alcohol intoxication," explained Dr. Nina Urban, corresponding author for this study. "This may contribute to the initial reinforcing properties of alcohol and the risk for habit formation." Dr. Anissa Abi-Dargham, senior author on this project, notes that "another important observation from this study is the decline in alcohol-induced dopamine release with repeated heavy drinking episodes. This may be one of the hallmarks of developing tolerance or transitioning into habit."
These findings indicate that the ability of alcohol to stimulate dopamine release may play an important and complex role in its rewarding effects and abuse liability in humans. This identification of an in vivo neurochemical mechanism that could help explain the sex difference in alcoholism is an exciting step forward in alcoholism research.
Source : Elsevier
http://www.molecularstation.com/forum/science-news-views/83485-why-men-more-susceptible-alcoholism.html 

Паразит мозг не съест, но химию его изменит...

Сто лет не обновляла этот бложик, пардон.
Вот вам забавная новость. На английском, ага, как обычно.
Некоторые паразиты (токсоплазма, например) в мозгу могут феерически изменять выработку допамина.

Brain parasite directly alters brain chemistry

A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 per cent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messenger in the brain.

Their findings are the first to demonstrate that a parasite found in the brain of mammals can affect dopamine levels.

Whilst the work has been carried out with rodents, lead investigator Dr Glenn McConkey of the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences, believes that the findings could ultimately shed new light on treating human neurological disorders that are dopamine-related such as schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Parkinson's disease.

This research may explain how these parasites, remarkably, manipulate rodents' behaviour for their own advantage. Infected mice and rats lose their innate fear of cats, increasing the chances of being caught and eaten, which enables the parasite to return to its main host to complete its life cycle.

In this study, funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Dunhill Medical Trust, the research team found that the parasite causes production and release of many times the normal amount of dopamine in infected brain cells.

Dopamine is a natural chemical which relays messages in the brain controlling aspects of movement, cognition and behaviour. It helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centres and regulates emotional responses such as fear. The presence of a certain kind of dopamine receptor is also associated with sensation-seeking, whereas dopamine deficiency in humans results in Parkinson's disease.

These findings build on earlier studies in which Dr McConkey's group found that the parasite actually encodes the enzyme for producing dopamine in its genome.

"Based on these analyses, it was clear that T. gondii can orchestrate a significant increase in dopamine production in neural cells," says Dr McConkey.

"Humans are accidental hosts to T. gondii and the parasite could end up anywhere in the brain, so human symptoms of toxoplasmosis infection may depend on where parasite ends up. This may explain the observed statistical link between incidences of schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis infection."

Dr McConkey says his next experiments will investigate how the parasite enzyme triggers dopamine production and how this may change behaviour.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/uol-bpd110411.php