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Depression May Lead to Brittle Bones

A new study, conducted by Israeli scientists, shows that depression may cause brittle bones, and also that some anti-depressants could be used to treat osteoporosis.

The scientists, at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, said mice that were given drugs to induce behavior similar to human depression suffered from a loss of mass in their bones, mainly their hips and vertebrae. After being given anti-depressants, the bone density of the mice increased, along with their level of activity and social interaction.

Dr. Philip Gold, chief of...
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Learning How Brain Cells Communicate

Do you take a list to the grocery store or do you remember all the items you need? It all depends on proteins in your brain called NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptors, which allow your neurons to communicate with each other.

Jon W. Johnson, University of Pittsburgh associate professor of neuroscience, Anqi Qian, of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, have discovered how different types of NMDA receptors perform varied functions.

Communication between cells in the brain depends on specialized molecular receptors that conduct...
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Accurate Perceptions & Depression

There is a growing line of research attempting to understand factors related child and adolescent depression. Today, the LA Times covered a new study on preteens, which found that those with the most accurate perceptions of whether classmates liked or disliked them were the least likely to struggle with depression. This was true even for people that accurately perceived less social approval.
Many psychologists have speculated that the smiling child who believes she is the glowing sun in her classmates' universe will be...
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Testing Teen Antidepressant Levels

Current research could possibly explain why some teenagers taking antidepressants become aggressive or suicidal, some going as far as to kill themselves. In a recent study, researchers used hamsters to determine the link between teens, antidepressants, and suicidal tendencies.

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is currently the only anti-depression medication approved to treat juveniles. However, controversy is mounting over claims that the drug actually increases suicidal behaviors in children and adolescents.

Prozac is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is already known to inhibit aggression in...
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Online Therapy Benefits Depression

According to researchers at The Australian National University in Canberra, spending time on therapeutic and educational web sites may be just as effective as regular visits to the psychotherapist.

Researchers studied a group of patients who were referred to two web sites: The MoodGYM and education site BluePages. The MoodGYM is a cognitive behavior therapy site dedicated to preventing depression by helping users to identify and overcome difficult emotions, and showing them how to develop good coping skills, in order to improve...
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Few Consumers Check Source of Online Health Information

Pew Internet yesterday released a report that showed (a) most Internet users start at a search engine (not a content site, like WebMD) when looking for health information online; and (b) very few check the source and the date of the information they fine.

Just 15 percent of those surveyed said they always checked the source and date of the health information online, while another 10 percent said they did so most of the time. Three-quarters of those surveyed said they checked the...
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Obsessive Shopping Disorder: The Poor Man’s Disease?

I've been haunted by questions ever since I published my first blog entry on compulsive shopping behavior. These are questions which have become all the more pertinent after the whole schizophrenia diagnosis debate. The most troubling one of which is: Should compulsive shopping behavior actually make it into the next DSM as a full-fledged mental disorder of its own?

A mental illness is characterized by having a significant, often debilitating impact on one's life. I think that compulsive shopping behaviors...
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Jane Pauley No Dupe

Jane Pauley, who has bipolar disorder and is a passionate mental health advocate, is suing the New York Times for using her image in an advertising supplement for drug companies rather than what she believed would be an article on mental health issues.

Claiming that...
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Physical Exercise Guidelines

According to a news report today, in 2008, the government will publish a list of guidelines for phsyical exercise. Everyone knows that obesity is a growing problem in the country, as is a reduction in physical activity, and officials are hoping that a government intervention similar to the food pyramid will help slow or reverse the trend. The government already has several publications on exercise, but this one (like the food pyramid) will be updated regularly as scientific discovery continues.
The government...
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