Mental Illness Awareness Week runs from October 2 to October 8, so we share our top articles discussing dementia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorder.
Mental Illness Awareness Week is run by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) aiming to shed light on mental illness in hopes to combat the associated stigma.
Mental illness is a growing problem, yet many sufferers are still stigmatized, which hinders their ability to seek out help. Public initiatives, like Mental Illness Awareness Week, aim to promote an open discussion about mental illness in hopes that more individuals who need help can obtain it.
Dementia risk higher with calcium supplementation in women
Women who take calcium supplements may be at a higher risk for dementia, compared to women who don’t take these supplements. Moreover, the risk is particularly high in women who have already sustained a cardiovascular event resulting in poor blood flow to the brain such as stroke.
The research found a seven times greater risk of dementia among stroke survivors supplementing with calcium, compared to women with no stroke history or who did not supplement.
Dementia risk was also tripled in supplementing women with white matter brain lesions, compared to non-supplementing women with white matter lesions. Continue reading…
Depression with mild cognitive impairment may raise dementia risk, accelerate brain aging in elderly: Study
Depression with mild cognitive impairment may raise dementia risk and accelerate brain aging in the elderly. In the study involving seniors over the age of 65, the researchers found that depression was associated with a higher risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Three percent to 63 percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment experienced depressive symptoms, and some studies have shown an increased risk of dementia in those with a history of depression.
The authors noted, “We found that depression was related to a higher risk of prevalent MCI and dementia, incident dementia, and progression from prevalent MCI to dementia, but not to incident MCI.” Continue reading…
Yeast infection in men linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder
Yeast infection in men is linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A recent study found that male yeast infections may prelude a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder as a result of exposure to infectious viruses or parasites affecting their behavior.
There is growing evidence that schizophrenia may be a result of an overactive immune system. The most recent findings uncovered that there is a protein that tells the brain to remove certain neural connections during childhood, increasing the risk of developing schizophrenia later on in life. Other studies have shown that higher activity among microglia, which are a type of cells that act as the body’s first line of defense. Researchers concluded that overactive microglia harm the brain by destroying connections. Continue reading…
Study links post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to heart attack and stroke
According to a new study, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The researchers noted that this could be because their blood vessels don’t expand normally post-PTSD.
The study also showed that the risk factors normally associated with blood vessel problems – high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking – didn’t seem to play a role in the improper blood vessel dilation of people with PTSD.
But one thing the researchers strongly suspect is… stress. Continue reading…
COPD-affected adults more likely to have an anxiety disorder problem
Adults affected by the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to have an anxiety disorder problem, compared to those without the lung and breathing problem. The researchers found that COPD adults have triple the risk of developing a generalized anxiety disorder, compared to those without COPD.
The investigators pointed out that sleep problems, chronic pain, and functional limitations help to explain some of the added risk for anxiety disorders. Study author, professor Esme Fuller-Thomson said, “Even after accounting for 18 possible risk factors for GAD [generalized anxiety disorder], individuals with COPD still had 70 percent higher odds of GAD, compared to those without COPD.” Continue reading…