Depression Could Shorten Cancer Survival, Study Suggests

(HealthDay News) — Symptoms of depression are linked to shorter survival times among cancer patients, according to a new study.

The link may be attributed to abnormal stress hormone regulation and inflammatory gene expression, researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reported in the Aug. 1 edition of PLoS ONE.

"Our findings, and those of others, suggest that mental health and social well-being can affect biological processes, which influence cancer-related outcomes," Lorenzo Cohen, a professor in the center’s departments of general oncology and behavioral science, and director of the Integrative Medicine Program, said in a university news release.

via Depression Could Shorten Cancer Survival, Study Suggests.

Even Mild Depression, Anxiety Hurts the Heart: Study

(HealthDay News) — Even mild depression or anxiety may raise your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and other causes, according to British researchers.

And the greater the level of psychological distress, the higher the odds of death from heart disease, the researchers say.

"The fact that an increased risk of mortality was evident, even at low levels of psychological distress, should prompt research into whether treatment of these very common, minor symptoms can reduce this increased risk of death," said lead researcher Tom Russ, a clinical research fellow at the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Center of the University of Edinburgh.

via Even Mild Depression, Anxiety Hurts the Heart: Study.

Exercise, meds both help depressed heart patients | Reuters

(Reuters) – People with heart disease who are also depressed may get as much relief from their depression symptoms with regular exercise as with medication, according to a U.S. study.

Researchers writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that of 101 heart patients with signs of depression, those who exercised for 90 minutes per week and those who started taking Zoloft both improved significantly compared to participants assigned to drug-free placebo pills.

via Exercise, meds both help depressed heart patients | Reuters.

Meet your new wizard therapists: New Zealand trials video game that uses role playing games to try to beat depression | Mail Online

Long viewed as a contributing factor in teenage isolation, computer games are now being used to treat adolescent depression.Rather than simply encouraging players to engage in combat or destruction, the SPARX video game developed in New Zealand attempts to teach teenagers how to deal with depression using the psychological approach known as cognitive behavioural therapy CBT.Just as importantly, its creators set out to make the game exciting for those teenagers who are often reluctant to seek counselling and bored by well-meaning advice on how to cope with depression.

via Meet your new wizard therapists: New Zealand trials video game that uses role playing games to try to beat depression | Mail Online.

Early Puberty Linked to Depression | Psych Central News

Going through early puberty puts a child at greater risk for anxiety and depression later in adolescence, according to researchers at the University of Melbourne.

By studying magnetic resonance images of the brains of 155 adolescents (ages 12, 15, and 18), researchers discovered that participants who went through puberty earlier than their peers had a larger pituitary gland and were in turn more prone to depression in their later teen years.

via Early Puberty Linked to Depression | Psych Central News.