Blood Tests Diagnose Depression?

Blood Tests Diagnose Depression? New blood tests to diagnose depression may lead to better treatment and less stigma. Diagnosing teenage depression the way it’s done now — by letting teens take the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and asking them to describe their own symptoms, and then relying on psychiatrists to interprete these — can be tricky since mood swings are normal during the adolescent years.

But diagnosing depression in teenagers is urgent because these youngsters are highly vulnerable to the mental disorder: Teenage years are the prime time for depression to start and rates of major depressive disorders jump from two to four percent in pre-adolescent kids to 10 to 20 percent by late adolescence. On top of that, untreated depression in teens puts these children at greater risk for suicide — and for a lifetime of social difficulties, substance abuse and physical illness.

Read moreBlood Tests Diagnose Depression?

Neuroticism, Depression, & Memory Reappraisal

Depression can be prevented by ‘reappraising’ negative memories, study suggests. The thoughts we have — and how we deal with it — can make us fall into a downward spiral of depression — or can help us stave if off. That’s the basic finding of a new study in the journal Emotion.

Women, in particular, may be particularly prone to depression because of the way they deal with negative memories, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say.

Read moreNeuroticism, Depression, & Memory Reappraisal

Celebrities With Alzheimers: US President Ronald Reagan

Celebrities With Alzheimers: US President Ronald Reagan. Like 30 million mostly elderly people in the world, former United States President Ronald Reagan suffered dementia from Alzheimer’s disease. But now scientists have unlocked — at least in part — how the brain encodes memories, leading to hopes that a cure for the memory and learning loss brought by the neurodegenerative disease may soon be found.

At 69, he was the oldest to enter the White House. But the former film star who became the 40th president of the United States radiated a youthful optimism rooted in the traditional virtues of a departed pre-World War II era.

Read moreCelebrities With Alzheimers: US President Ronald Reagan

Is PTSD Linked to Violence? What’s an Effective Cure for PTSD?

Is PTSD Linked to Violence? What’s an Effective Cure for PTSD? The case against a United States soldier who is accused of going on a shooting rampage earlier this month in two Afghan villages that left women and children dead has focused global attention on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other “invisible wounds of war” and of traumatic events like rape.

The suspect in the case, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, even as a military investigation into his case continues. The case has also triggered a system-wide review of mental health facilities in the U.S. defense system.

Read moreIs PTSD Linked to Violence? What’s an Effective Cure for PTSD?

What is Conversion Disorder? Causes & Symptoms?

The symptoms are physical, distressing, uncontrollable — and all-too-real. But the underlying cause is psychological. That’s what conversion disorder is.

And that, too, was the exact diagnosis given by a New York doctor to the 12 teenage girls he treated recently who had developed—virtually overnight—neurological tics, verbal outbursts and other Tourette’s-like symptoms.

Some of the girls are improving and back in school at New York’s LeRoy High School, while others continue to worsen, says one of two girls who appeared on the Today Show to discuss their plight.

Read moreWhat is Conversion Disorder? Causes & Symptoms?

Good Cholesterol Prevents Alzheimers Disease?

Good Cholesterol Prevents Alzheimers Disease? Can good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Researchers from Columbia University in New York have found that “people over 65 who had the highest levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL were 60 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over four years than people with the lowest HDL levels” (via Reuters).

The same study found that there is no difference on whether people’s HDL is naturally occurring or whether they took in drugs called statins to increase their good cholesterol levels. In both instance, those with higher HDL levels had lower Alzheimer’s.

Read moreGood Cholesterol Prevents Alzheimers Disease?