Tag Archives: Mental Health

How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains

kids-playing-soccer-10078413A new study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has found that exercise improves the cognitive ability in children. By performing 70 minutes of physical activity in two-hour session daily for nine months, the 110 children enrolled in the test group has showcased substantial improvements in the assigned cognitive tests at the end of the program in comparison to the corresponding control group. Based on these new findings, how would you pursue your patients to incorporate regular exercise in their lifestyle, and to encourage their children to do so?
For more reading, please visit The New York Times.
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Looking at stressors “in a positive light” only helpful in some

If you have ever looked a situation in a “more positive light”, you have practiced cognitive reappraisal. According to a study published in Psychological Science, cognitive reappraisal is beneficial in improving depression but only in situations that are uncontrollable. In the study, Allison Troy and colleagues recruited subjects who had a recent stressful life event. The subjects’ cognitive reappraisal ability (CRA) was measured by having them watch sad films and using cognitive reappraisal amongst other tests. Troy found that despite having high CRA, people in stressful situations that were controllable (i.e. poor performance at work) had higher level of depression compared to those who have uncontrollable situations. Troy also adds that cognitive reappraisal may negatively impact these situations because people would be “less inclined to attempt to change the situation.” What are some other methods/coping mechanisms to reduce depression from different life stressors?

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Can Depression in Pregnancy Negatively Impact Child in Later Life?

pregoAccording to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, teenagers are more likely to be depressed if their mothers were depressed while pregnant.  The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children followed the offspring of more than 8,000 mothers who had postnatal or antenatal depression. The risk of depression was determined to be about 1.3 times higher than normal at age 18 in those children. Researchers suggest treating depression in these pregnant females is important and that medical treatment during pregnancy could lower the risk of future mental health problems in the child. How do you feel about treating depressed pregnant  females with medication therapy? What other options do you suggest for the treatment of depression?


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Could Midlife Stress be Responsible for Alzheimer’s Disease Later?

According to a 38-year long longitudinal study published in the British Medical Journal,  stressed middle-aged women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Researchers surveyed 800 Swedish women who were at least 38 years old from 1967 until 2005 evaluating their mental health and wellbeing at least once every decade. The women would report stressful life events such as divorce, widowhood or illness and how distressed they felt by those events. Researchers found that for each additional stressor women reported, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increased by about 20 percent. What are your thoughts about the study? What do you normally recommend to patients who are stressed?

For additional information, please click here.


Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables associated with happiness and psychological well-being

A cross-sectional study recently published in the journal Social
Indicators Research evaluated the consumption of fruits and vegetables
in 80,000 individuals in England and the association with
psychological well-being and happiness.  Researchers found that
individuals who consumed more fruits and vegetables daily had better
mental well-being, noticing a positive correlation between the two.
Have you found that you feel happier when you consume more fruits and

For more information see Social Indicators Research

Two thirds “turn to drink” to relax in the evening

A recent poll of 2,000 adults aged 30-45 discovered that more than two-thirds of adults either drink or think of having a drink before they get home from work. Having a bad day and work-related stress were the most common reasons for the consumption of alcohol. How do you educate your patients on ways to cope with stress?