Depression is robbing elderly of quality of life

Category: Depression

Look at this amazing study – scientists wanted to see what conditions caused the greatest loss in quality of life in patients 65 years and older. The average remaining years of these patients was to age 77, 12 years.

They looked at 9 leading conditions: depression, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, asthma, arthritis, and cancer to see what robbed aging patients of the most “quality of life” years.

By far – the biggest thief was depression taking nearly 2/3rds of an aging persons quality of life years away from them after age 65.

The researchers rightfully concluded that this needs to get fixed.1

Now let’s go for double jeapardy: Depression and behavioral changes may occur before memory declines in people who will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Doctors have long known that many people with Alzheimer’s experience depression, irritability, apathy and appetite loss but had not recognized how early these symptoms appear. Pinpointing the origins of these symptoms could be important to fully understanding Alzheimer’s effects on the brain and finding ways to counteract them. The study appears in the medical journal Neurology.


Treating depression

Recently a study was published that summarized recent findings on nutritional supplements and their prevention or therapeutic properties with respect to certain psychiatric disorders.

A traditional Mediterranean diet, for example, seems to have prophylactic benefits against depression and dementia, whereas overeating and obesity increase the risk for both.

Although evidence for nutritional supplements in the treatment of psychiatric disorders is not sufficient for general recommendations, data from observational studies and randomized controlled trials seem to point to their use for specific indications.

  • Folate, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), for instance, seem to have antidepressant properties, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) could reduce extrapyramidal side effects of antipsychotics .
  • Psychiatric disorders, in turn, may lead to deficiency of mineral nutrients and vitamins. For instance, vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency is common in alcohol-dependent patients and should therefore be considered during withdrawal treatment.
  • Some psychopharmacological drugs may additionally change the nutritional habits of the patients in an unfavorable way leading to weight gain and obesity and the risk for further psychiatric problems.2

Recent research shows how to reduce stress, anxiety and depression naturally

  • “Micronutrient supplementation has a beneficial effect on perceived stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and aspects of everyday mood in apparently healthy individuals. Supplements containing high doses of B vitamins may be more effective in improving mood states.”3

RESEARCH: Antidepressants generally do more harm than good

  • Antidepressants are modestly effective in reducing depressive symptoms, BUT they increase the brain’s susceptibility to future episodes after they have been discontinued.

This is what doctors from Hamilton University in Ontario had to say: Contrary to a widely held belief in psychiatry, studies that purport to show that antidepressants promote neurogenesis are flawed because they all use a method that cannot, by itself, distinguish between neurogenesis and neuronal death. In fact, antidepressants cause neuronal damage and mature neurons to revert to an immature state, both of which may explain why antidepressants also cause neurons to undergo apoptosis (programmed death). Antidepressants can also cause developmental problems, they have adverse effects on sexual and romantic life, and they increase the risk of hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood plasma), bleeding, stroke, and death in the elderly.

(This study) supports the conclusion that antidepressants generally do more harm than good by disrupting a number of adaptive processes regulated by serotonin. However, there may be specific conditions for which their use is warranted (e.g., cancer, recovery from stroke). We conclude that altered informed consent practices and greater caution in the prescription of antidepressants are warranted.”4

Non-medication option for treating depression, anxiety and stress

Is there an option for treating depression, anxiety and stress? At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we thoroughly assess each patient’s physical state and treat any triggers of depression without the use of medication.

Depression has been linked to problems or imbalances in the brain with regard to the neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA and dopamine

We analyze the urine to test the levels of these neurotransmitters, and use blood tests to look at levels of key amino acids. We also review the levels of fatty acids, namely Omega-3 fatty acids, and test for deficiencies in trace minerals such as intracellular magnesium and zinc, and vitamins including B-12, as low levels of any of these have been linked to depression. This comprehensive analysis enables us to treat the disorder using nutritional supplementation.

Many medical research papers reveal an association between higher levels of nutrient intakes (linoleic acid, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc) and better mental health.5

Treatment-resistant depression

In one medical paper, two cases of treatment-resistant depression were recognized to have improved with recognition and correction of the underlying medical etiology of vitamin B12 deficiency. Supplementations of vitamin B12 to the same antidepressant regimen that the patient had not responded earlier led to response. Two male subjects who were vegetarians presented with long-standing histories of depression and had not responded to three adequate trials of antidepressants. Upon investigation, the authors found that the subjects had low vitamin B12 levels. Both cases improved with supplementation of vitamin B12. Subjects with depression who do not respond to conventional antidepressants should be evaluated for nutritional factors.6


Contact the Magaziner Center for Wellness about this article magazinercenter@gmail.com


1. Jia H, Lubetkin EI. Impact of nine chronic conditions for US adults aged 65 years and older: an application of a hybrid estimator of quality-adjusted life years throughout remainder of lifetime. Qual Life Res. 2016 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Himmerich H, Erbguth F.Nutrition and dietary supplements in psychiatric diseases.Nervenarzt. 2014 Dec;85(12):1512-20. doi: 10.1007/s00115-014-4163-y.

3. Long SJ, Benton D. Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples: a meta-analysis. Psychosom Med. 2013 Feb;75(2):144-53. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31827d5fbd. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

4. Andrews PW, Thomson JA Jr, Amstadter A and Neale MC (2012) Primum non nocere: an evolutionary analysis of whether antidepressants do more harm than good. Front. Psychology 3:117. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00117

5. Davison KM, Kaplan BJ. Nutrient intakes are correlated with overall psychiatric functioning in adults with mood disorders. Can J Psychiatry. 2012 Feb;57(2):85-92.

6. Kate N, Grover S, Agarwal M. Does B12 deficiency lead to lack of treatment response to conventional antidepressants? Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Nov;7(11):42-4.


 

5-16-16