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Time to adopt Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a public health intervention to ease depression?

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As near­ly 10,000 fresh­men and trans­fers arrived on cam­pus at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Los Ange­les, last fall, they were invit­ed to try some­thing nev­er before offered dur­ing stu­dent ori­en­ta­tion: depres­sion screen­ing.

The hope, admin­is­tra­tors explained, is that by iden­ti­fy­ing their risk for depres­sion, stu­dents can get the sup­port they need before they face the rig­ors of acad­e­mia and the dis­ori­ent­ing expe­ri­ence of liv­ing away at col­lege. Read the rest of this entry »

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation shows early promise to ameliorate depression, especially if combined with other therapies and dosage optimized

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Tran­scra­nial Direct Cur­rent Stim­u­la­tion Promis­ing for Major Depres­sive Dis­or­der (Psy­chi­a­try Advi­sor):

Tran­scra­nial direct cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tDCS) is an inves­tiga­tive modal­i­ty for major depres­sive dis­or­der (MDD) that has shown some promis­ing results. Though it has a while before it is approved by the US Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, clin­i­cians and patients have been clam­or­ing for an effec­tive treat­ment for MDD that is not asso­ci­at­ed with harm­ful adverse effects. Read the rest of this entry »

ABC mental health campaign aims at increasing participation in social, recreational activities

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Here’s a men­tal health work­out that’s as sim­ple as ABC (The Con­ver­sa­tion):

While we take phys­i­cal work­outs very seri­ous­ly, there is much less said about the “work­outs” that help us remain men­tal­ly agile and healthy. But just as with phys­i­cal health, there are sim­ple and prac­ti­cal ways that can help every­one to enjoy good men­tal health. Read the rest of this entry »

New book on how “Forest Bathing” can promote physical and mental health

– The Kumano Kodo trail in Japan

Nature deficit dis­or­der” is a mod­ern afflic­tion. With more peo­ple liv­ing in cities, work­ing in high-rise office build­ings, and becom­ing addict­ed to their innu­mer­able elec­tron­ic devices, many of us are indeed expe­ri­enc­ing a nature deficit. This is true for chil­dren and adults alike.

In his new book, For­est Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Hap­pi­ness, Japan­ese med­ical doc­tor and researcher Qing Li presents some sober­ing sta­tis­tics: By 2050, accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nations Pop­u­la­tion Divi­sion, three quar­ters of the world’s peo­ple will live in cities. Even now, the aver­age Amer­i­can spends 93 per­cent of the time indoors, and Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Psychedelics can promote neural plasticity in the prefrontal cortex and expand pathways for mental health

– Cred­it: Cell Reports 2018 23, 3170–3182DOI: (10.1016/j.celrep.2018.05.022). Copy­right © 2018 The Authors

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Psy­che­delics in Neu­rol­o­gy: Poten­tial for Improv­ing Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty (Neu­rol­o­gy­Times):

Back in the 1950s, research was prov­ing that psy­che­del­ic agents could be effec­tive in the treat­ment of var­i­ous neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, just as sci­ence was explor­ing their ben­e­fi­cial effects, the coun­ter­cul­ture was explor­ing and embrac­ing their effects. Slow­ly but sure­ly, psy­che­delics were asso­ci­at­ed with rebel­lious youth and the tumul­tuous anti-war move­ment. As a result, the gov­ern­ment shut down most of the research.

The 1990s saw renewed inter­est in psy­che­del­ic com­pounds as a means to address neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders. Research explored the ben­e­fits of MDMA and ket­a­mine to treat mood dis­or­ders and post­trau­mat­ic stress dis­or­der. Now, a new study sheds even more light on the promise these agents might pro­vide. Read the rest of this entry »

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