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depression

Many older adults don’t take prescribed antidepressants

Older adults who are prescribed medication for depression by primary care physicians often fail to start taking these drugs or to continue using them as directed, a Dutch study suggests. While people with severe and chronic mental illness may see a psychiatrist for medications, many patients with depression may not see a mental health professional and instead get care from a primary care provider. The new study findings are drawn from data on roughly 1,500 people who were at least 60 years old and diagnosed with…

With back pain, depression tied to higher healthcare spending: study

WASHINGTON: When patients with painful back problems are also depressed, they have significantly higher healthcare costs than back-pain patients without depression, a U.S. study suggests. Getting treatment for both depression and back pain may reduce pain episodes and the economic burden, the study authors write in the journal Pain Medicine. “Back pain is a big problem in our clinics, and we’re seeing more and more admissions,” said lead study author Dr. Jawad Bilal of the University of Arizona College of Medicine in…

Cavs’ Love on a mission to change attitudes about mental health

Kevin Love is one of the toughest players in the NBA but the embodiment of that type of masculinity is ‘outdated’ and ‘dangerous’ and stops men from seeking help for depression and anxiety, according to the Cleveland Cavaliers forward. The five-time All Star knows only too well how debilitating burying emotions can be after he suffered a panic attack during a game last November. He realized he needed help and started seeing a therapist. Now he is hoping to spread the message that seeking help is a sign of strength,…

Depression may be more severe in elderly people

NEW YORK: Elderly people with major depressive disorder (depression) may be more likely to suffer severe and persistent symptoms than younger adults with the same mental health diagnosis, a Dutch study suggests. Researchers examined data on 1,042 adults with major depressive disorder who ranged in age from 18 to 88. The researchers studied how depression developed over time by comparing symptoms at the start of the study to symptoms two years later. Compared to participants ages 18 to 29, people aged 70 and older were…

Rise in US suicides highlights need for new depression drugs

CHICAGO: A spike in suicide rates in the United States has cast fresh light on the need for more effective treatments for major depression, with researchers saying it is a tricky development area that has largely been abandoned by big pharmaceutical companies. US health authorities said that there had been a sharp rise in suicide rates across the country since the beginning of the century and called for a comprehensive approach to addressing depression. The report was issued the same week as the high-profile suicides of…

Study finds 44 genetic risk factors for major depression

LONDON: International scientists have identified 44 genetic variants that can increase the risk of developing major depression and found that all humans carry at least some of them. The new findings could help explain why not everyone treated with antidepressants sees their condition improve, the scientists said, and could also point the way toward new medicines. In the largest study of its kind, scientists also found that the genetic basis for depression is shared with other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia…

Mild shock therapy may ease anxiety and depression, but not chronic pain

NEW YORK: People with anxiety and depression might feel a little better after they get mild electric shock therapy, but it’s unclear how much it will help or whether this treatment might ease other conditions, researchers say. The therapy, known as cranial electrical stimulation, delivers a current similar to that of a 9-volt battery through electrodes on skin to the brain. Researchers examined data from 26 clinical trials that randomly assigned some patients with a variety of chronic painful conditions to receive this…

Free public transport for older adults tied to less depression

LONDON: Eliminating cost as a barrier to getting around town may improve the mental health of older adults by reducing loneliness and lack of social engagement, suggests a UK study that followed over 18,000 people for more than a decade. Researchers found that increased eligibility for a free bus pass led to an 8 percent increase in the use of public transportation among older people, and a 12 percent decline in depression symptoms among those who started taking the bus when they became eligible for the program. Among…

Nature and nurture contribute equally to depression risk

For the first time, researchers have found that the environment you’re raised in is as important as your genes in determining risk for major depression. In a large retrospective study, researchers looked at depression diagnoses among more than 2.2 million people in Sweden and their parents and found that genetic factors and household environment contributed equally to odds that the illness would be “transmitted” from parents to offspring. The results - based on comparing adopted and biological offspring from both…

Depression in late teens linked to high school dropout: study

NEW YORK: Older teens struggling with depression are more than twice as likely to drop out of high school as peers without that mental illness or those who recovered from a bout of depression earlier in life, Canadian researchers say. Understanding that current or recent depression raises dropout risk may encourage schools to put a higher priority on mental health services, the study team writes in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “This is the first study of its kind to look at depression symptoms in the year before…