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Researchers Take a Step Toward Advancing Precision Hormone Therapies to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

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A new study from the University of Arizona Health Sciences found that women who received hormone therapy were up to 58% less likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could lead to the development of a precision medicine approach to the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

The study, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, found that women who had undergone menopausal hormone therapy for six years or more were 79% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and 77% less likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases get sick.

“This is not the first study of the effects of hormone therapy on reducing neurodegenerative disease,” said Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, Director of the UArizona Center for Innovation in Brain Science and lead author of the article. “But what is important about this study is that it advances the use of precision hormone therapies to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.”

Hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, which can include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, weight gain, and depression. During the study, Dr. Brinton and the research team evaluated the insurance claims of nearly 400,000 women aged 45 and over who were going through menopause.

They focused on the effects of individual hormone therapy drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, including estrogens and gestagens, and combination therapies on neurodegenerative diseases. They also assessed the effects of the type of hormone therapy, the route of administration – oral vs. skin – and the duration of therapy on the risk of disease.

They found that using the natural steroids estradiol or progesterone resulted in greater risk reduction than using synthetic hormones. Oral hormone therapies resulted in a lower risk of combined neurodegenerative diseases, while hormone therapies administered through the skin reduced the risk of dementia. The overall risk was most reduced in patients aged 65 and over.

In addition, the protective effect of long-term therapy of more than a year in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia was greater than that of short-term therapy of less than a year.

“With this study we gain mechanistic knowledge. This reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia means these diseases share a common driver that is regulated by estrogen, and if there are common drivers, there may be common therapies, ”said Dr. Brinton, who researched neurodegenerative diseases and the aging woman, has brains for more than 25 years. “The key is that hormone therapy is not a treatment, it is keeping the brain and system going, which leads to prevention. It is not a reversal of the disease; it prevents disease by keeping the brain healthy. “

To the co-authors of Dr. Brinton owns the first authors Gregory L. Branigan, PhD, an MD PhD student at UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson; Kathleen Rodgers, PhD, Associate Director of Translational Neuroscience at the Center for Innovation in Brain Science and Professor of Pharmacology at UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson; research assistant as postdoc Yu Jin Kim, PhD, at the Center for Innovation in Brian Sciences; and former postdoc Maira Soto, PhD.

Dr. Brinton recently co-authored another article led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and published in Scientific Reports. These results indicated that the menopausal transition phase has profound effects on the structure, connectivity, and energy metabolism of the brain and provides a neurological framework for both vulnerability and resilience.

Aging-related neurodegenerative diseases are a major public health concern as the proportion of the population ages 65 and older increases. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 5.5 million people in the United States.

This study was funded in part by the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health (P01AG026572, R37AG053589, T32AG061897).

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NBA roundup: Kevin Love honored for efforts to destigmatize mental health issues

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Cleveland Cavaliers striker Kevin Love during Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat. Love, a five-time NBA All-Star, is honored by a Boston foundation for his work on and off the court in removing the stigma from mental health problems. Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

BOSTON – Kevin Love knows the euphoria of sinking a threesome just before the buzzer. But the five-time NBA All-Star had plenty of lows to make up for those highs.

“There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. That’s just the truth, “wrote the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers power forward of his lifelong struggles with depression and low self-esteem.

On Thursday, the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation honored Love with its annual Morton E. Ruderman Award in Inclusion for its work both on and off the field to eradicate the stigma of mental illness.

“Love has repeatedly taken steps to eradicate the mental health stigma by sharing stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety and other challenges,” the foundation said in a statement. He also founded the Kevin Love Fund, with the ambitious goal of helping more than 1 billion people over a five-year period.

Last year, his fund partnered with the University of California, Los Angeles to establish the Kevin Love Fund Chair in UCLA’s Psychology Department to diagnose, prevent, treat, and destigmatize anxiety and depression.

Love, 33, won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016 and was a member of the gold-medaled US national team at the 2010 FIBA ​​World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.

He has repeatedly taken steps to eradicate the mental health stigma by telling stories of his struggles with depression, anxiety, and other challenges. In a 2018 essay for The Players’ Tribune, he revealed that he had been seeing a therapist for several months after suffering a panic attack during a game earlier this year.

The fight continues: In April, Love apologized for a fit of anger on the pitch during a game against the Toronto Raptors.

“When I first spoke about my mental health problems, it changed my life,” said Love on Thursday.

“In recent years, athletes around the world have shown us incredible courage by highlighting the psychological stress of extreme pressure. In this way, they have helped initiate a cultural shift around mental wellbeing, ”he said.

Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said Love was chosen for his “instrumental role in destigmatizing mental health and exposing this long-overdue conversation.”

“He has served as a high-profile role model for countless people facing mental health problems who can now use his courage and determination as a guide,” said Ruderman.

BUCK: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee center, has had surgery for his back injury that has kept him from playing since the opening game of the season.

The Bucks announced that Lopez had back surgery on the same day in Los Angeles. Team officials did not provide a schedule for his potential return, but said, “Lopez will continue to be listed as out of action and updates on his rehabilitation progress will be provided accordingly.”

Lopez played 28 minutes and had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in an opening season win over the Brooklyn Nets, but the 7-footer has not played since. The 33-year-old Center is in his fourth season with the Bucks and in his 14th season overall.

He averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season while helping the Bucks win the NBA title.

Bucks officials said Robert Watkins performed the operation under the supervision of team doctor William Raasch.

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How Light Therapy Can Help With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Cleveland Clinic

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The winter months can mean snowball fights, hot cocoa, and Christmas decorations, but they also mean less sunlight. And less sunlight can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) now known as major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.

The Cleveland Clinic is a not for profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

SAD is a form of depression that typically occurs in fall or winter. The lack of sunshine affects our circadian rhythm, the so-called “internal body clock”, which regulates the 24-hour cycle of biological processes in our body.

Reduced sunlight can also cause your serotonin levels to drop and melatonin levels to become unbalanced, which can play a role in your sleep patterns and mood.

For many, the use of light therapy can help treat SAD and other conditions such as depression and insomnia.

Psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD, talks about how light therapy works and how to use it at home.

What is light therapy?

Also known as phototherapy or bright light therapy, light therapy can be used to treat SAD and other diseases with artificial light. To use light therapy, you need to sit or work near a light therapy box for about 30 minutes.

“Especially in winter our body reacts to the gray, cold weather and the lack of natural sunlight,” says Dr. Borland. “Light therapy compensates for the lack of exposure that we get from natural sunlight.”

Types of light therapy

While most light boxes or other light therapy devices use full spectrum fluorescent light, there are also several types of light therapy that can provide benefits beyond treating SAD.

  1. Red. While more research is needed to see if red light therapy is effective at treating wounds, ulcers, and pain, there is some promise that it will help with fading scars and improving hair growth.
  2. Blue. In addition to helping people with SAD and depression, blue light can help with sun damage and acne as well.
  3. Green. Research shows that green light can be beneficial in migraine sufferers.

Benefits of light therapy

Helps with SAD

About 5% of adults in the United States have SAD, which tends to start in young adulthood. About 75% of people with seasonal affective disorder are women.

When you have SAD, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Sadness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Weight gain.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Irritability.

In order to increase your alertness, mood, energy and concentration most effectively and for the longest, regular use of light therapy is important. Research shows that light therapy is considered to be the best treatment for SAD.

Helps with depression

Research shows that light therapy can improve depression by helping your circadian rhythm and balancing serotonin levels.

One study shows that light therapy, both alone and with fluoxetine, an antidepressant, was effective in improving symptoms of depression.

Helps with sleep disorders

If you suffer from insomnia or circadian rhythm sleep disorders, research shows that using light therapy can help by positively affecting the levels of melatonin and serotonin in your brain.

It can also help you set up and stick to an ideal sleep schedule.

Supports the effectiveness of antidepressants

If you are taking an antidepressant, remember to use light therapy in combination with your medication.

“It helps balance and activate the serotonin in our brain,” says Dr. Borland. “So if someone is on medication and doing talk therapy, all of these things can certainly improve their mood.”

How to use light therapy

Although there are light therapy options like dawn stimulators and natural spectrum lightbulbs, the use of a light box (a flat panel device that uses full spectrum fluorescent light) is the most common in treating SAD.

If you’re interested in a lightbox, there are plenty of affordable options out there. But Dr. Borland says you should do your homework and look for one that provides 2,500 to 10,000 lux of output (a way to measure light brightness).

Here’s the best way to use your lightbox:

  • Use a timer. Dr. Borland says the time it takes to use your light box will vary from person to person, but most people tend to use it for 30 minutes a day. “The nice thing is that most light boxes have a timer,” he says.
  • Use it in the morning. Try to use it as early as possible in the day, says Dr. Borland. Use at night can have negative effects.
  • Don’t look straight into the light. Place your lightbox on the side of your desk or table. “Only use it as a passive light source and don’t look directly into it,” says Dr. Borland.

Dr. Borland cautions you not to speak to your doctor before starting light therapy. It may not be the best option for people with vision problems, people taking certain medications like anti-inflammatories or antibiotics, people who are photosensitive, and people with bipolar disorder.

Headache, blurred vision, fatigue, and eye strain may also occur when using light therapy. If symptoms worsen, call your doctor.

But with its affordable price and small, practical size, using a light box can be beneficial.

“Be open-minded,” says Dr. Borland. “This is something that can be used in addition to medication, talk therapy, exercise, and socializing – all those things that are important in life.”

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Editorial: Students call for empathy with mental health issues

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The COVID-19 pandemic affected the way we all deal with mental health. To be separated from friends and loved ones, and to remain isolated for your own physical health and that of others, has been incredibly difficult for everyone. Many students have family members dying or watching as they struggle with COVID-19.

Anxiety and depression grew in terrifying numbers, and we had to find out the hard way the importance of taking care of yourself and, most importantly, prioritizing mental health. Students struggled to keep their studies going through online courses and work; many students had to combine their homework with their schoolwork or had difficulties accessing the internet or a laptop. Some professors understood this and were lenient with attendance and class work. When the hybrid classes stopped and fully face-to-face classes began, the professors and administration seemed to think we could go back to normal just like that. It was ridiculous and an oversight by the members of the community to believe that there would be no transition period when students needed more empathy and support than ever before.

College has always been associated with stress and anxiety for students, but throw in the remnants of the pandemic trauma and the fact that we are still in a pandemic and college students are facing a new type of stress that college earlier did -Generations have never faced before. The forbearance should not have disappeared with the return to classroom teaching. IIf anything, this is the time for expansion and compassion. Students have and continue to struggle with their mental health. There should be a university-wide focusin an effort to impart and expand resources to all students. All professors should have similar views or treat their students similarly. It is not helpful for a student struggling with mental illness to be lenient and prolonged in one class but fail and fall behind in another because the two professors have different standards and understandings of it, what the student needs from them. To be successful, and to be successful, students need to feel supported and have confirmed her psychological concerns. College didn’t make it this semester, and that’s unacceptable. This semester should have focused on making the transition easier, but just because this semester couldn’t offer that to students doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any changes for the next semester. The pandemic has shown the importance of focusing primarily on mental health. There must be a balance for students to be successful. There should be a common understanding or procedure that all professors can follow with students asking for help. If a professor cannot personally sympathize with the student, this should not hinder the ability to help the student. Student accessibility services should consider restructuring to make the process simpler for special circumstances and more open to all. Students can no longer feel alone with their mental health problems; it’s just no longer acceptable.

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