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Friday, 08 June 2012 09:45

Brain training 'helps treat depression'

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A brain training technique which helps people control activity in a specific part of the brain could help treat depression, a study suggests.

depressionDepression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. As per WHO data, 121 million people worldwide are victim of Depression and it is among the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Recent two study findings  suggest effective way to combat this common mental disorder. The first involves a Brain training technique and the other involves use of   recreational drug and anaesthetic, ketamine, known as Special K

1, Brain training technique
Cardiff University researchers used MRI scanners to show eight people how their brains reacted to positive imagery. After four sessions of the therapy the participants had seen significant improvements in their depression.

Another eight who were asked to think positively but did not see brain images as they did so showed no change.

The researchers said they believed the MRI scans allowed participants to work out, through trial and error, which sort of positive emotional imagery was most effective.
The technique - known as neurofeedback - has already had some success in helping people with Parkinson's disease.

Brain activity
But the team acknowledge that further research, involving a larger number of people, is needed to ascertain how effective the therapy is, particularly in the long term.
Prof David Linden, who led the study which was published in the PLoS One journal, said it had the potential to become part of the "treatment package" for depression.
About a fifth of people will develop depression at some point in their lives and a third of those will not respond to standard treatments.

Prof Linden added: "One of the interesting aspects of this technique is that it gives patients the experience of controlling aspects of their own brain activity.
"Many of them were very interested in this new way of engaging with their brains."

Chris Ames, from the mental health charity Mind, said: "While these initial results are interesting, the research is clearly at an early stage. "Further research should give a better idea of how beneficial this technique could be as a treatment for depression."

2, Special K' could relieve depression

Recreational drug and anaesthetic, ketamine, is being trialled in people with severe depression and is providing almost instant relief from symptoms, offering fresh hope of a quick new way to manage the illness at its worst, reports medicalxpress. Further it documents,

Ketamine, known colloquially as “Special K”, has been shown to alleviate depression in a matter of minutes or hours instead of the weeks it can take some conventional medications to treat the illness. Ketamine works on a different part of the brain from other traditional antidepressants, which is helping researchers understand more about the brain and its role in depression.

“It’s a paradigm shift. All the other existing antidepressant medications work on receptor systems like serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine, whereas this works on the glutamate system,” Professor Loo says.

A successful, ongoing trial could mean ketamine will be used in Australia in clinical settings within a decade. read more Medicalxpress

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Read 3378 times Last modified on Friday, 08 June 2012 12:08


  • Comment Link Mindy Weinstein Sunday, 17 June 2012 20:21 posted by Mindy Weinstein

    We found a safe and effective remedy for brain function issues in a vegetarian form of Omega-3 far more effective than fish oil, flax seed oil or hemp called Marvalous Omega-3 made from the cold-pressed seeds of salvia sclarea sage. It was discovered and developed by an Israeli company called Marvalous. It is NON-TOXIC, USDA and FDA approved. I saw kids with autism and ADHD make dramatic improvements as well as adults with depression and dementia. As a special education teacher, I know real improvements when I see them. Check out our website:

  • Comment Link Julie A Schultz Duff Saturday, 16 June 2012 07:03 posted by Julie A Schultz Duff

    NO WAY... I have depression and ptsd and you couldn't pay me to take Special K... special indeed if you want to have hallucinations and not remember what they were and other people have to tell you what you did or said. Of course they think they feel better... they can't remember!!! How do I know... they put me on it after my 7th back surgery because I'm allergic to all pain meds. I'm having my 9th surgery on the 21st of June and I said NO THANK YOU to Special K except during surgery. This is craziness, sorry!

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