Thursday, June 6, 2019

Healthy brain with Mushrooms intake

Because of its nutritional value, especially the richness in antioxidants and its diverse culinary techniques, mushrooms have always been used around the world as the loved ingredient. They belong to the family of Fungi. The high nutritional components of the mushrooms help them to defend themselves against their enemies and to survive in the environment. This fact can support that they have the potential to enhance our body’s defense mechanism for our health and well-being.

Although not all the classes of mushrooms are edible, they all have their nutrition content. For instance, all mushrooms contain beta glucans that have been found to help fight inflammation and aid the immune system. Also, they are rich in antioxidants that protect cell health. Some mushrooms are also having the potential to fight against breast and other hormone-related cancers as they contain an enzyme called aromatase that inhibits the production of estrogen.

Mushrooms also support the mental health of a person. It has been used effectively in Chinese Traditional Medicine (Lion’s Mane) and is still a potent food for patients with various brain and neurocognitive disorders. It is said that they activate an important peptide known as ‘Nerve Growth Factors (NGF)’ which is essential for the growth, survival, and maintenance of the brain neurons.
It has been observed that eating mushrooms reduces the risk for mild cognitive impairment (M.C.I.), a type of memory impairment that is often a precursor of Alzheimer’s disease as it has a potential preventive measure to slow cognitively decline and neurodegeneration in the elderly. Some other age-related health conditions such as loss of short-term memory and visual recognition memory seem to be supported effectively by adding the mushrooms in their food.

With the conclusions from various researches on various varieties, it is believed that an amino acid called ergothioneine (ET), which has been found in almost all the tested varieties, is associated with this correlation. ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that we are unable to synthesize. The level of ET decreases with the age and results in cognitive dysfunction. Thus, it is advised to have mushroom intake in your food and thus, delay the onset of cognitive dysfunctions in later years. Some of the varieties of Mushroom with health benefits include Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, golden mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, white button mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and canned button mushrooms.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Learn how to manage Bipolar Disorder: therapies, medication and more

Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that causes the extreme change in the moods of an individual from being too excited (manic episode) to a depressed phase with the normal mood states in- between. It is typically a lifelong disorder with highly variable and unique pattern of episodes in each individual. Therefore, treatment is more complex and often involves more than one medication due to variable episodes.
Many treatment plans are already available which involves psychotherapeutic treatment, alternate medicines, complementary treatments and lifestyle changes with the most important treatment plan of psychiatric medication. All the other treatment plans goes alongside the prescribed medications. Also today, many researches are going on all around the world for exploring the new possibilities.
Medications mainly involve Mood stabilizers, Antidepressants and Antipsychotic drugs. One of the earliest medications used for its treatment is Lithium, a central treatment of bipolar disorder. It is believed that it was discovered almost 50 years ago and since then, it has been using effectively to treat people having bipolar disorder. Some other pharmacological agents such as Lamictal, Abilify, Carbamazepine, Olanzapine, etc. are also in use to treat mood swings of bipolar Disorder. But their Effect remains not for too long. Hence, there is a greater need for the scientists to look for improved therapies for the various episodes of bipolar disorder. Recently, a new drug, called scopolamine was accidentally discovered for treating mood swings of bipolar disorder, when it was testing for its effects on memory and attention. The drug is found to have a great antidepressant response and the improvement persisted for weeks or even months.
Psychological therapies such as talk therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and family treatment help to identify the mood swings, thus, can also increase medication compliance, and teach skills to cope with the disorder.
Alternate therapies such as phototherapy, acupuncture, massage, yoga etc. also aids to the medication efficiency and general self-care.
Most importantly, it is prescribed from every specialist to adopt strategies for the changes in lifestyle which mainly include adequate sleep, exercise and nutritional food as it helps in managing the symptoms of the bipolar disorder.
Current advances in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as DNA research allow the access to the genetic secrets concerned with the bipolar disorder. Through this knowledge, several genetic variants linked to bipolar disorder has been highlighted which gives the possibility of complete treatment in the coming years.

Friday, May 24, 2019

World Schizophrenia Week

Every Year from May 20-27, Schizophrenia Week is celebrated worldwide with May 24, dedicated as World Schizophrenia Day. Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that hinders the function of the brain, making a person incapable to think, react, and feel. The whole week is dedicated to raise awareness about schizophrenia and to fight the stigma associated with it. According to the statistics of World Health Organization (WHO), about 21 million people are affected by this psychiatric disorder all over the world.

There are many myths associated with schizophrenia and are often misdiagnosed as other mental conditions such as bipolar disorder. Hence, it is very important to raise awareness about this condition. One of the most popular myths is that the people suffering from schizophrenia have Split personality disorder.  Psychosis, which includes hallucinations and delusions, is a hallmark symptom of schizophrenia which makes others to think that they might have Split personality disorder. Because of the periods of psychosis, the condition is also misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder sometimes. People with bipolar I disorder can have psychotic symptoms during mania and/or depression, and those with bipolar II can have them during an episode of depression.

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder and the average age of its occurrence is late adolescence or early adulthood i.e., 16 to 30 of age.  Researches shows that it affects both men and women equally but there might be an earlier onset of the condition in males. The people suffering from Schizophrenia are also more likely to die younger than rest of the population as it co-associated with or people are at high risk of other medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiac diseases. It is not always that people with schizophrenia are dangerous or violent, or they live in hospital or homeless. Most people with schizophrenia live with family, in group homes or on their own.

The cause of schizophrenia is not well known but both hereditary and genetic factors contribute to it. Some other factors include brain chemistry and substance abuse.  The condition is totally treatable and proper medication and treatment helps to live a normal and harmonious life. Psychiatrists evaluate symptoms, tests, and medical history, and prescribe medications and psychotherapy for treatment.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Things about Depression that you must know

It is common to feel low, exhausted, and loss of interest in daily activities as a sign of regular depression that everyone goes through in their lifetime. But if these continue for a longer period of time and affect your life, then you may be suffering from clinical depression and requires treatment. It can affect anyone of any age group and the reasons are not always known.

Depression or Clinical Depression is the most common but the most serious type of mood disorder. It is not the common sadness phase that passes by, but it is a persistent condition that lasts for months or years and should be treated. The treatment may be medication from psychiatric or Psychotherapy. It interferes with our ability to think, feel and behave and disrupts our functionality to carry on our lives.  

There are many types of depression, some of which results from the experiences in your life while the others are caused by the chemical changes in the brain. Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder are the most common ones.

Depression can be caused due to many reasons and are not always preventable. Some of the common causes include:
  • Imbalanced Neurotransmitters in Brain: Neurotransmitters are the chemical substances in the brain that helps in communication of brain with different areas and involve in mood regulation. So the imbalance in neurotransmitters or the shortage may lead to clinical depression.
  • Female sex hormones: Women suffer from depression about twice as often as men especially during their reproductive years. The occurrence peaks during their menstrual period, childbirth, and perimenopause. This suggests that the hormonal flux can be cause of their depression. Eventually, the woman's depression risk declines after she goes through menopause.
  • Poor Diet: From our childhood, we are always said to have balanced diet as the poor diet leads to many adverse effect in our body. Depression is also one of them. A variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are known to cause symptoms of depression especially the diets low in omega-3 fatty acids and high in sugar and simple carbs.
  • Physical Health problems: The physical and the mental health go hand in hand and both can trigger each other. Depression can cause certain heart diseases and dementia. Similarly, certain illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, Addison's disease, and liver disease, can cause depression symptoms.
  • Drugs: Alcohol and drugs leads to many depressive disorders but some of the prescribed medicines such as anticonvulsants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and many more drugs are also the contributing factors. Thus, it is always advised to review your medication.
  • Stress: In today’s life, Stress has become one of the major contributing factor of mental illness. Researchers suspect that that during stress, there is an increment in the level of hormone, called cortisol which affect the neurotransmitter serotonin and contribute to depression.
  • Grieves: Grieving over the loss of loved ones, are expected to subside over time. But when symptoms get worse, it may turn into depression.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Healthy Mind at Work place

The statistics suggest that one out of six people suffers from mental health problems which mainly include depression and anxiety. Earlier it was said that a person must be active and working to avoid mental health problems. But with the increase in workplace competition, workload and negative work environment (such as harassment and bullying), nowadays, it has become one of the major reasons for the mental illnesses, leaving behind the stress due to debts and financial problems.

Though unemployment is a well known risk factor for mental illness and getting work is said to be protective, a negative working environment, however, may lead to physical and mental health problems, substance abuse and addictions, absenteeism and lost productivity. Stress from work can also hinder family relations and friendships, and even increase risks for chronic illnesses and heart attacks.

Risks to mental health in the workplace include:
  • High and unrelenting workload;
  • Low levels of support for employees;
  • Minimal wage growth;
  • Lack of opportunity to advance;
  • Inflexible working hours;
  • A work environment that does not encourage teamwork;
  • Unclear tasks or organizational objectives;
  • Poor communication and management practices;
  • Bullying and psychological harassment and many more

Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
Creating a healthy surrounding to promote mental health not only results in the better mind but also in better and increase productivity, reduction in absenteeism, and few other benefit from associated economic gains. In a healthy workplace, a person feels valued, supported, and energetic towards their tasks with the respectful surrounding.

There are a number of different strategies and plans for organizations to achieve a healthy workplace. Some of them are:
  • Educate and create awareness about mental health: create such an environment so that a person will free to share their loads and problems;
  • Productive atmosphere: respectful, appreciated, incentivized, and rewarded surrounding with no signs of intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, and fear. Good working relationship with all staff.
  • Liveable wage: encourages a committed and sustained workforce.
  • Open and effective Communication
  • Act and Support: Create opportunities and promote work-life balance
With the various measures taken by the organizations, we should also look for our health as it is or mind and health which is getting affected. Following are the tips that help to restore your mental wellness:
  • Do not work overtime unnecessarily
  • Take necessary breaks
  • Go for holidays
  • Give time to your family and friends
  • Allocate time to do the things you enjoy
  • Eat healthy and take adequate sleep
  • Look for your body weight and fitness

Friday, May 3, 2019

The genetic association of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder or the manic depressive illness is a mental disorder that causes depression episodes and manic episodes (abnormally elevated mood). Earlier it was thought as only a psychiatric illness with behavioural and mental patterns that causes distress and impairment of personal functioning. Later with the advancement in the field of Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging techniques and Molecular studies, it has been revealed that Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a multifactorial brain disorder with radical shifts of mood.

Although it was long known that both environmental and genetic factors play an important role, the cause was not clearly understood. For instance, it has been known that exposure to high levels of stress for a longer period, especially during childhood, is responsible for the development of BD. But now, it has been revealed that which genes need to be blamed. In most cases, no single gene is responsible for bipolar disorder.

A class of genes known as Immediate Early genes (IEGs) respond quickly to environmental stimuli, such as in stressful condition. It activates other genes that lead to neural plasticity and thus the brain responses as per the changes in the environment, adapting new experiences. One type of IEG gene known as EGR3, which normally responds to environment and stressful stimuli is found to be repressed in the brain of BD patients which suggest that during stressful condition, the EGR3 in BD patients does not respond to the stimulus appropriately, making them vulnerable to higher levels of stress and have more difficulties dealing with stress or adapting to it if compared to healthy individuals.

Some of the other candidate genes responsible for bipolar disorder include G72/DAOA, DISC1, NRG1, TPH2, BDNF, 5-HTT, DAT1 and many more. With the changing lifestyle and increase in the stressful environment, Bipolar Disorder (BD), along with depression and schizophrenia has become one of the most serious mental illnesses and one of the top 20 causes of severe impairment in everyday life. With the current findings of genes, the exploration has started the role of several of these mutations in BD pathophysiology using in vitro and animal models and is serving as a very promising area in molecular and neuroscience research.

Healthy brain with Mushrooms intake

Because of its nutritional value, especially the richness in antioxidants and its diverse culinary techniques, mushrooms have always...