May 25, 2014 |
Can antidepressants help ward off Alzheimer's disease? That's the tantalizing question raised by new research from a University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist. She's says it's way too early to answer it. "I am not advocating that people take [antidepressants] at this point in time for anything other than depression," said Yvette Sheline, a professor of psychiatry, radiology, and neurology and director of the Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress. Her latest work explored the link between amyloid beta, one of the hallmark proteins in Alzheimer's disease, and the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa)
May 24, 2013
By George Ball A few years back I witnessed an unforgettable sight. Having just led some visitors around Burpee's Fordhook Farm floral display gardens, I noticed one man standing outside the garden, rocking back and forth, his eyes closed. Concerned, I asked him if everything was OK. "I . . . am . . . happy," he replied simply, lost in rapture. In his honor, we have named it the "Happiness Garden. " I mention this episode because our country is right now in the midst of an epidemic of unhappiness.
February 10, 2013 |
In Side Effects , the tricky psychological thriller starring Rooney Mara as a depressed and quite possibly suicidal New Yorker, Jude Law shows up as Dr. Jonathan Banks, Mara's character's psychiatrist. He meets her after a car accident brings her to the hospital, and then takes her on as a patient. He prescribes antidepressants, and then other antidepressants, and then a new drug, still in clinical trials. The whole world of SSRI's - Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft (has anyone done a study on why all the x' s and z' s?
January 15, 2013 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: Do you think I have to disclose to my friends, relatives, dates, etc., that I'm on antidepressants? It's likely to change my relationships in some ways (I hope for the better), so I feel these people deserve an explanation, but I'm afraid I'm going to feel judged, whether or not anyone is actually judging me. What do you think? Answer: Friends, no, relatives, no, dates, no ... until you get to the point where you think things are on a serious, committed path.
December 10, 2012
Tanning faces backlash Teenage girls risking deadly melanoma for a year-round tan have helped spur a global backlash against the tanning-bed industry. Health officials from Brasilia to Sydney are banning tanning salons amid evidence that they cause malignant lesions. Tanning-bed use causes all three types of skin cancer, especially for those under age 25, a study from the University of California, San Francisco, said. Doctors say the work in the British Medical Journal should prompt tougher warnings on ultraviolet radiation-emitting tanning machines, which support $5 billion in U.S. annual economic activity.
August 1, 2011
Evolutionary psychologist Paul Andrews has an unusual take on depression and antidepressants. Andrews, an assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, thinks depression, miserable as it is, serves a positive role, much as fever does in fighting infection. He argues that the lethargy, lack of appetite, sleeplessness, and rumination that accompany depression help people focus on and ultimately solve their problems. "Depressed mood states seem to promote an analytical processing style," Andrews said, that helps people break complex problems into smaller bites.
May 30, 2011 |
Question: I recently saw my eye doctor because I suddenly became very sensitive to light. He said that it was caused by a condition called "Adie's pupil. " My right pupil is much larger than my left and it won't get smaller in bright light. Otherwise, I see fine. He gave me eye drops, but didn't really know what caused it. Is it curable? Answer: Adie's pupil is a condition likely from a viral infection affecting the nerve fibers that constrict the pupil in bright light.
April 9, 2008 |
A federal appeals panel in Philadelphia backed the pharmaceutical industry's arguments yesterday that it should be insulated from certain lawsuits. The 2-1 opinion said drugmakers could not be blamed for the suicides of two people on antidepressants whose families claimed that the drug's warning labels were not strong enough. While narrowly written, the decision was a clear victory for drugmakers and Bush administration officials, who want scientists at the Food and Drug Administration, not lay juries, deciding what drug labels should say. Lawyers for the plaintiffs countered that the FDA was outgunned and poorly funded at best and that lawsuits represented an important check on the system and a last attempt for injured victims to get redress.
May 2, 2006 |
Doctors now view everyday unhappiness and clinical depression as lying on a continuum, with biochemistry accounting for the whole range of human moods, from pathological to normal variants. Whether a patient suffers from clinical depression or just everyday unhappiness is immaterial because neurotransmitter imbalance is thought to be the cause of both. In both conditions, antidepressants are the treatment of choice. Statistics affirm the new attitudes. In the United States, doctors treat both major and minor depression with medication at roughly the same rate, even as the symptoms of minor depression merge into everyday unhappiness.