MRI scans detecting chemical imbalance may predict schizophrenia

MRI scans detecting chemical imbalance may predict schizophrenia

A chronic and severe mental health condition, schizophrenia is characterized by a patient’s detachment from the real world with typical symptoms including hallucinations (apparent perception of something not present), delusions (unreal thoughts), unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking, and movement disorders. Read more

Toxic proteins discarded by brain cells may cause neurological disorders

Toxic proteins discarded by brain cells may cause neurological disorders

Old age can bring a lot of health challenges with an increased risk of chronic conditions, genetic disorders and behavioral problems. Neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death among aged Americans. Apart from Alzheimer’s, the commonality of Parkinson’s disease is evident from figures by the NIH Senior Health stating that roughly 60,000 people in the United States are detected with the disorder every year. The prevalence of Parkinson’s rise with increasing age though the same may stabilize by the time patient turns 80 years old. Read more

Does animal-assisted therapy provide relief from mental disorders?

Does animal-assisted therapy provide relief from mental disorders?

It is a well-known fact that spending time with pets can make one feel happier, calmer and much more relaxed. The sense of security, healing and unconditional love felt when in proximity to pets can help people take proactive methods to ensure a blissful life. But, can this healthy interaction with animals be converted into a therapeutic tool to create a balance in one’s life?

The American Humane Association has defined animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as, “goal-directed intervention in which an animal is incorporated as an integral part of the clinical health-care treatment process.” While critics have questioned the effectiveness of animal therapies, research has shown that animals possess untapped therapeutic powers that can be beneficial for people suffering from a wide range of psychological and physiological problems. Read more

Older people perform better on ‘Happiness Subscale’ than youngsters, finds study

Older people perform better on ‘Happiness Subscale’ than youngsters, finds study

For a long time, old age has been associated with despair and unhappiness. However, there are many people for whom aging is not all bad. Instead, it becomes a key to happiness and bliss for them. Older adults tend to be more positive and optimistic, as observed by a 2016 study titled “Paradoxical Trend for Improvement in Mental Health With Aging: A Community-Based Study of 1,546 Adults Aged 21-100 Years.”

In the study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers showed that although older adults witnessed a rapid deterioration in their physical and cognitive health, there was linear improvement in their mental health. The elderly people were rated higher on the Happiness Subscale, as well as on the reverse-coded Anxiety Scale and the Depression Scale. They also fared better on various other parameters, such as the level of well-being, happiness, satisfaction with life, and susceptibility to mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Read more

Chronic problem of loneliness impacts mental well-being

Chronic problem of loneliness impacts mental well-being

Loneliness is as damaging as smoking and as chronic as obesity. One of the major impacts of loneliness is the way it impinges on the mental well-being of an individual. Studies have shown that loneliness is responsible for a host of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. In fact, loneliness has been linked to a variety of autoimmune disorders, apart from various physiological problems, especially those related to the heart. Read more