Innovative approaches to treatment resistant depression

See Dr. Nasrallah’s June editioial in Current Psychiatry, June, 2012 p 4-5 on treating depression.  Also see Dr. Timothy R. Jennings’ comments regarding the ethical need to recommend TMS treatment before using atypical antipsychotics due to its efficacy and the lack of side effects in Current Psychiatry Vol. 11, No. 10 at

Magnetic Therapy Can Ease Depression, Doctors say

USA Today ran an article about TMS in their August 19, 2012 edition.  The link for the article is Ny1cTR.  Check it out!

Foods That Fight Depression from @everydayhealth by Chris lliades, MD

Are there depression fighting foods? A growing body of research says yes.
Recent studies hsve found evidence that foods such as cold-water fish (salmon, sardines,and tuna,for example), walnuts and canola oil may be especially beneficial in fighting depression, thanks to an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. This may help to explain why Scandinavian and Asian countries, which boast fish-rich diets, also have lower rates of depression.
Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont,Mass.,have found that foods rich in uridine have positive effects on mood. Uridine is a natural substance found in sugar beets and molasses, which make these foods also good for treating depression.
Farther afield, Japanese researchers found that a diet high in fish protects people from depression and suicide, while in Finland a team of researchers surveyed 1,767 residents and concluded that eating fish more than twice a week has a protective effect against suicide and depression.
Exactly how these foods fight depression is not known. Researchers think that they may cause changes to some fats in brain membranes,making it easier for chemicals to pass through.The study at McLean hospital used laboratory rats, and researchers there caution that the metabolism of rats and humans is quite different.
Kathleen Franco, MD, professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in Ohio, believes that diet and supplements, along with medication and psychotherapy, have a role in depression treatment. “It is recommended that individuals eat a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables with antioxidants; omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna and some other fish; and vitamins that include all the Bs,”says Dr. Franco.
Others are less convinced about the role of supplements and foods for depression. “Dietary supplements such as St. John’s wort and others have less consistent support in research studies and thus may not be effective for depression, says Richard Shadick, PhD, adjunct professor of psychology and director at the Pace University Counseling Center in New York City. “However, one way of controlling your diet that can improve your mood is limiting alcohol.”
Foods rich in omega-3 acids are not the only ones that have been studied for their effect on depression.Other foods or dietary supplements that may be beneficial include:

B vitamins. Studies suggest that if you have low levels of the B vitamin folic acid and high levels of a protein called homocysteine, you are more likely to be depressed. Folic acid, vitamin B2,B6,and B12 have all been shown to decrease levels of homocysteine. You can be sure to get enough B vitamins by eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables,nuts, whole grains and legumes.

Amino acids. Tryptophan is an important amino acis your body needs to make the brain chemical serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are believed to be a cause of depression. Several studies have shown that a diet high in tryptophan can improve depression. Tryptophan is found in foods high in protein, such as meat, fish, beans, and eggs.

Carbohydrates. All the carbohydrates you eat are broken down into sugar that your brain needs to function properly. However, eating too much sugar can cause peaks and valleys in your blood glucose levels that can cause or aggravate symptoms of depression. The best way to avoid these symptoms is to eat a diet low in refined carbohydrates and sugar and high in fruits and vegetables.

St. John’s wort. This plant has been used for centuries as a dietary supplement to treat depression and anxiety. Although some evidence has shown St. John’s wort effectiveness in treatin mild depression, two recent studies found that it was no more effective than a placebo for treating major depression.

Much of the evidence related to treating depression with food is not strong enough to say a particular food can cure depression, but active research continues. For now, most doctors agree that a depression diet, whether from food or dietary supplements, is not a substitute for proper medical care.

“Psychotherapy and medication are the most effective means of combating depression. It should be noted that for all forms of depression, it is important to see a mental health professional to determine the best treatment,” advises Dr. Shadick.

Depression and Low Self Esteem

To learn about the relationship between depression and low self esteem go to the NAMI website and read “Worth Fighting For”  Worthwhile information…

A blood test for depression? New research points the way

A simple blood test may one day be all that is needed to help parents figure out whether a child is suffering from clinical depression or normal teenage angst, a new study suggests.
In a pilot study of 28 adolescents, scientists showed that teenage depression could be diagnosed through a panel of 11 genetic markers, according to a report published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

If the results are confirmed in larger trials, doctors doctors may one day be able to screen for depression just as they do for diabetes, says co-author Eva Redei, the David Lawrence Stein professor of psychiatric diseases affecting children and adolescents at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

This new research could help not only teens, but also adults suffering from depression, says Dr. Michael Thase, a professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“This is very interesting early research that could point to the development of not just biomarkers, but also help with the identification of new genes that are involved with the expression of this common illness,” he says. “And that could potentially lead to new treatments.”

With no actual test, diagnosis of depression is currently subjective and depends upon a person’s ability to identify and describe symptoms. This is especially difficult for teens who may be particularly out of touch with what’s going on.

Researchers developed their test by first studying rats specially bred to model human depression. While rats don’t experience all the symptoms of depression, they do show many of the same signs.

“They huddle together,” says Redei. “They don’t move around alot. They aren’t much interested in playing. They’re less interested in food than normal rats. And they don’t sleep well.”

Intriguingly, the “depressed” rats also respond well to certain antidepressants, says Redei.

” In reality, depression affects our ancient brains as much as our new brain,” she says. “And the ancient brain is the same in humans as it is in rats.”

Severe depression is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and complicated genetic factors, she explains, and given the right genetics, can be kicked off by “any kind of environmental challenge such as trauma or life stresses.”

To see how the depressive brain reacts to environmental triggers, Redei and her colleagues looked at differences in the way normal rats and depression-model rats behaved in response to stress. They pulled blood samples from all the rats and found a host of markers that differed between the two groups.

In the second part of their study, the researchers examined blood from 14 depressed and 14 healthy teens, looking at the levels of 26 markers that had been identified in the depression-model rats.

They found that 11 of those markers, taken together, accurately predicted which teens were clinically depressed.

Thase, of the University of Pennsylvania, says further research may be a boon to diagnosing both teen and adult depression.

“Now you want to see if they get the same results with older people,” he says. “Or does it have something to do specifically with early onset depression?”

Depression Treatment

NeuroStar TMS Therapy

is the first and only non-systemic and non-invasive TMS device cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with major depression who have not benefited from prior antidepressant treatment.* NeuroStar TMS Therapy uses highly a focused, pulsed magnetic field to stimulate function in targeted brain regions.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy is:

Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment.
Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body

Watch this video for more information and then call us.

Depression Treatment with TMS

offers full remission of symptoms!


Westchester New York

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