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What Neuroimaging Can Teach us About Depression


What Neuroimaging Can Teach us About Depression
Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD
July 01, 2016

Neuroimaging studies have shown several neurophysiological substrates for depression: An overview by Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD.


Neuroscience and neuroimaging have revealed much to provide evidence that depression is a biological disease. Indeed, depression is not just one thing, despite the efforts of mainstream psychiatry to classify it into a single illness category. Nassir Ghaemi, MD, noted expert on psychopharmacology recently wrote:4

Psychiatry…practice(s) non-scientifically; we use hundreds of made-up labels for professional purposes, without really getting at the reality of what is wrong with the patient…We have a huge amount of neurobiology research now to conclude that the 20th century neurotransmitter theories of psychopharmacology basically are false. The dopamine and monoamine (serotonin) hypotheses of schizophrenia and depression are wrong...we now know that drugs have major second messenger effects which (cause) neuroplastic changes in the brain, including connections between neurons. The brain is literally re-sculpted.”

Neuroimaging studies have shown several neurophysiological substrates for depression. Functional brain scans, such as SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) or PET (positron emission tomography) have shown that while patients may present with the same symptoms of depression, they can have very different processes occurring in their brains.


Future directions in Psychiatry might include anti-inflammatory agents,30 more extensive use of ketamine infusion therapy,33 ketamine analogs, and neuroimaging-based selection of medications,14,17 which some have shown improves outcomes.16 Recognition that depressive episodes can be precipitated by neural injury, such as TBI or toxic injury may lead to radically different, even non-pharmacological treatments for depression following brain injury. A barrier to these advances is the fundamental resistance on the part of psychiatrists to look at the organ they are treating and to open their eyes to possible alternative explanations for the depression the patient describes to them.

Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist in Denver, Colo., who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex adult, child, and adolescent psychiatric cases. His website is www.childpsychiatristdenver.com.

Homeownership Rate in the U.S. Drops to Lowest Since 1965

Source: Bloomberg

The U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest in more than 50 years as rising prices put buying out of reach for many renters.

The share of Americans who own their homes was 62.9 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since 1965, according to a Census Bureau report Thursday. It was the second straight quarterly decrease, down from 63.5 percent in the previous three months.

The drop extends a years-long decline from the last housing boom, in part because of tight credit and a shift toward renting in the aftermath of the crash. First-time buyers have been struggling to find affordable properties as low mortgage rates and an improving job market spur competition for a tight supply of listings. Home prices rose 5.2 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of values in 20 cities released this week.

“One of the biggest hurdles now is affordability,” Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the Census Bureau report was released. “Home prices are rising so much faster than incomes, so it’s hard for buyers to save for a down payment.”

The homeownership rate reached a peak of 69.2 percent in June 2004.


Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-28/homeownership-rate-in-the-u-s-tumbles-to-the-lowest-since-1965

Unions ask San Diegans to boycott Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs

Unions ask San Diegans to boycott Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs
ABC 10 News
Published on Jul 26, 2016

A UFCW Local 135 spokeswoman says 14,000 union members could go on strike in roughly two weeks.

LBN story: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141532446

Unions ask San Diegans to boycott Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs

Source: KGTV ABC 10

A strike by local grocery workers could be on the horizon, but for now, those workers don't want you stepping foot in their San Diego-area stores.


A UFCW Local 135 spokeswoman said 14,000 union members could go on strike in roughly two weeks. They haven't had a contract with Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs since March.

"We're talking 160 days without a contract," said Ledford. "We are asking for you to boycott so that they understand the impact that you're lack of patroness can do if we don't get a fair and equitable contract."


Union spokeswoman Lori Kern said the grocery chains are only offering a 10-cent raise next year and want to increase healthcare costs.


Ledford said they want their loyal customers to shop at other union chains like Gelsons, Kiels, Smart and Final, and Food 4 Less.


Read more: http://www.10news.com/news/unions-ask-san-diegans-to-boycott-vons-albertsons-and-ralphs-072616

Yay Barbara Boxer!

Two of my favorite politicians are Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi.
From Boxer's speech:

"I have a message for Donald Trump and Mike Pence:
We are not going back to the dark days when women died in back alleys.
We are never ever ever ever going back!
Never! We are moving forward with Hillary Clinton..."

"There's a lot of talk about what makes America great.
Well I'll tell you this:
It's not when we insult each other.
It's not when we tear each other down.
It's when we stand together,
it's when we work together,
it's when we build together,
it's when we fight together,
and that's what makes America great."

Democracy Now! EXCLUSIVE: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange on Releasing DNC Emails That Ousted Debbie Wass

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez interview Julian Assange on todays most important news story.

Part 1: EXCLUSIVE: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange on Releasing DNC Emails That Ousted Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Part 2: Assange: Why I Created WikiLeaks' Searchable Database of 30,000 Emails from Clinton's Private Server

Part 3: Julian Assange: Choosing Between Trump or Clinton is Like Picking Between Cholera or Gonorrhea

Wikileaks posts nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails online

Source: Washington Post

Wikileaks posted a massive trove of internal Democratic National Committee emails online Friday, in what the organization dubbed the first of a new "Hillary Leaks" series.

The cache includes nearly 20,000 emails and more than 8,000 file attachments from the inboxes of seven key staffers of the DNC, including communications director Luis Miranda and national finance director Jordan Kaplan, according to the Wikileaks website. The emails span from January 2015 through late May and are presented in a searchable database.


A hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for handing the documents over to Wikileaks on Twitter. However, some experts have expressed skepticism about his involvement, citing differences between the data Wikileaks released and Guccifer 2.0's previous leaks of hacked data.

The Democratic Party has had its share of cybersecurity woes recently. Last month, the DNC acknowledged that its systems had been breached.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/07/22/wikileaks-posts-nearly-20000-hacked-dnc-emails-online/

New coalition rallies against proposed rate hike by SCE&G

Source: Post and Courier

Leaders from small business, environmental and community groups joined forces Monday to challenge South Carolina Electric & Gas’ largest rate increase proposal in years.

The Coalition to Stop the Blank Check said the utility’s 3.06 percent rate increase plan is detrimental for low-income customers and small businesses. The increase would cover ballooning costs at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, north of Columbia.

Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce, said the state needs to stop letting SCE&G’s pass along the costs to customers.

“Right now there’s a blank check that the company holds and they are exercising that blank check by raising costs dramatically and delaying the plant’s construction,” Knapp said during a Statehouse news conference Monday.


Read more: http://www.postandcourier.com/20160718/160719429/new-coalition-rallies-against-proposed-rate-hike-by-sceg

Some earthquakes on San Andreas fault are triggered by gravitational tug of sun and moon

Source: Los Angeles Times

The gravitational tug between the sun and moon is not just a dance of high and low tides: It can also trigger a special kind of earthquake on the San Andreas fault.

This phenomenon has fascinated scientists for years. Like sea levels, the surface of the Earth also goes up and down with the tides, flexing the crust and stressing the faults inside. Further study found that during certain phases of the tidal cycle, small tremors deep underground – known as low-frequency earthquakes – were more likely to occur.

“It's kind of crazy, right? That the moon, when it's pulling in the same direction that the fault is slipping, causes the fault to slip more – and faster,” said Nicholas van der Elst, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist and lead author of a new study on the subject published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “What it shows is that the fault is super weak – much weaker than we would expect – given that there's 20 miles of rock sitting on top of it.”

Studying how these low-frequency earthquakes respond to the tides can reveal new information about the San Andreas and what it might mean for larger earthquakes, researchers say. The data offer a window into deeper parts of the fault – as much as 20 miles underground – that would otherwise be inaccessible.


Read more: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-la-me-earthquakes-tides-san-andreas-20160718-snap-story.html

FDA: Electroshock has risks but is useful to combat severe depression

Source: Washington Post

After years of consideration, the Food and Drug Administration has determined that for carefully selected patients with profound depression, the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy, long demonized, outweigh the risks of possible memory loss caused by its use.


The devices that are used to administer ECT are regulated by the agency as Class III. That is the highest-risk designation, and it makes the equipment subject to the highest level of regulatory control. The FDA is proposing to downgrade that assessment to Class II for those whose depression has not responded to other treatments or is so severe that they need the kind of rapid response that only ECT can provide.


An estimated 100,000 of the 3 million people in the United States with treatment-resistant depression undergo ECT each year, a figure that could rise if the proposed new designation is finalized. By generating a brief pulse of electricity to the brain, the devices induce a generalized seizure. For reasons not fully understood, the result is that many patients feel better afterward.


If in fact finalized, the new assessment would bring to a close decades of wrangling over how best to regulate the controversial treatment. The FDA first proposed to classify ECT as Class II in 1978, before backing away after public opposition arose. It tried again in 1990 but did not finalize the change. In 2011, it invited an advisory panel to consider the issue yet again.

Following two days of contentious hearings, that panel voted, 10 to 8, against easing the classification, saying that not enough was known about the risks and benefits of ECT devices and that more research was needed.

Although the FDA generally follows the recommendations of its advisory panels, the agency finally decided against accepting that advice, publishing its proposal to ease the classification in the Federal Register on Dec. 28 of last year.


Prior to the advisory panel’s meeting in 2011, the FDA said it had received more than 3,000 comments from patients, family members of patients, researchers and others. About 80 percent of those comments opposed an easing of controls, the FDA reported late last year. Among the most common possible side effects mentioned by patients, the agency said, were memory loss, cognitive complaints and brain damage.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fda-electroshock-has-risks-but-is-useful-to-combat-severe-depression/2016/07/18/4a109cbc-2f4e-11e6-9de3-6e6e7a14000c_story.html
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