Saturday, July 17, 2010

depression linked to dementia, Brain Video 4

In Beyond Meds, by Gianna Kali, Gianna suggests that this study could be flawed due to the research subjects having been medicated. Though there is no indication in the article whether they were medicated or not, I think she raises a valid point. Most probably, they were medicated, as most deemed "depressed" today, and for the past twenty to twenty-five years have been.

The article:

depression may double dementia risk

Gianna says that there is a possibility that the medications are causing dementia.

An interesting topic to research, the conclusions of this research could lead one, perhaps, to become medicated young for depression. This is a reason to recognise that medications, not just depression, could be contributing to dementia.


Brain Video -- Mental Illness:

"Society has stigmatised mental illness for thousands of years," says Charlie Rose at the beginning of this video.

Depression, Manic-Depression, and Schizophrenia affect the way people think, feel, and their motivation.

"Schizophrenia typically begins in college or the early twenties," Eric Kandel states.

Though Hippocrates suggested that mind disorders were medical in nature, it was not until the early 1800's at the Paris School of Medicine that Philippe Pinel called the disorders medical disorders. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance the disorders were considered demons.

In 1902, Emil Kraeplin's textbooks begin to appear. He defines mental illnesses as those affecting mood and thinking. "...Dementia praecox [Kraeplin defines as a] deterioration of cognitive processes in the brain," says Eric Kandel. Dementia praecox, as stated earlier in this blog, is a precursor of what is later called schizophrenia.

In schizophrenia, there are positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), negative symptoms (social withdrawal, lack of motivation), and cognitive symptoms (difficulty organising one's life, short term memory loss).

Speaking of a biological basis for the disorders: "The approach to biology came from chemistry," admits Helen Mayberg. She further says, of the medicines' effect, "That really created the foundation for the hypothesis that these were deficits in neurotransmitters." (She refers to depression.) Hypothesis. A hypothesis.

Mayberg did find "a biological marker, an area in the brain that was abnormally active in depressed patients," reports Kandel.

See Brain Video 4:

brain series, charlie rose, episode 9

In Brain Video 4, a psychotic episode is described as "horrible pain, a waking nightmare", by Ellyn Saks, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and wrote The Center Cannot Hold, a memoir of schizophrenia.

"We know genetics plays a role by looking at family histories," Stephen Warren shows in a graph. In analysing the graph, "...there's other factors playing a role like environmental factors," Warren says.

Speaking of schizophrenia, "...the seeds for the illness are really sown in early development...,"
says Jeffrey Lieberman. In schizophrenia, "stresses cause a dysfunction of the normal circuits," Lieberman states.

In schizophrenia, the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and striatum are said to be affected.

Speaking of therapy for these three disorders, Kandel says, "Psychotherapy works on the brain...It's like a biological treatment."

Ellyn Saks reveals that, for her, psychodynamic thereapy (psychoanalysis) helps. It helps you to identify and cope with stressors, develop an observing ego, and deal with the blow of having a mental illness, Saks suggests.

Unfortunately, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is suggested here as the best therapy for depression by Helen Mayberg. She also discusses Deep Brain (electrical) Stimulation for depression. Deep Brain Stimulation is said here to have possibilities for schizophrenia, as well.

These brain diseases are called "the most complicated in medicine" by Eric Kandel.

This past week:
  • medication: 5 mg Aripiprazole a.m., 10 mg Aripiprazole before sleep
  • sleep: average 9 hrs
  • exercise: walking, bicycling
  • diet: made certain to eat breakfast every day, ate four meals a day
  • weight: 156 lbs.
  • mood: ok all mornings upon rising


  1. hi...just so you know, I don't "say" the meds are potentially causing the problem without some cause.

    Grace Jackson has written a book about psychotropics including SSRIs that cause's title is:

    Drug-Induced Dementia -- Grace Jackson MD (psychiatrist and researcher)

    There is a review of this book on my blog where I make the suggestion that it's the drugs causing dementia...without that holding up my statement I sound rather vacuous.

    the actual review is here:

  2. gianna, thank you! i remember that book mentioned in your blog. i will return to the review of Drug Induced Dementia -- Grace Jackson MD when i am over a cold. thank you again!