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Naloxone in British Columbia

July 24th, 2017

When it comes to addiction, one of the things we have to be realistic about is the possibility of overdosing. This is a very real concern especially with the overdose emergency of opioids going on today. In the community, there are kits available to you and your family free of charge to prevent the loss of life. These are called Naloxone kits.

These kits are made to save lives and now in British Columbia are free to the public, if you or a loved one is dealing with opioid addiction this is something you will want to look in to. While it may seem scary or difficult to express a need for these kits, it is a necessity for many of us today.

Naloxone is a medication that when administered can reverse the effect of an overdose caused by: all opioids including morphine, fetanyl, heroin and methadone.) Naloxone works by pushing the opioids out of the opiates receptors in a person’s brain. While the medications will reverse the effects immediately, more treatment may be needed.

Currently this medication is available to individuals for free through specific sites. These sites are able to provide the kits to anyone who is at risk themselves for overdosing or are at risk of being around, seeing, experiencing someone overdose on opioids. This medication is used as an emergency treatment option, but does not negate the need for follow up treatment. There are agencies in British Columbia such as: The Crossing Point and Valiant Recovery. If you or a family member needs ongoing addiction treatment, these are great options for you to seek out.

With over 17,000 kits distributed in 2016 in British Columbia, having the knowledge can only be beneficial. If you are worried about a family member, friend or even yourself – you can visit this site http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/overdose-awareness/pharmacy_list_july19.pdf to find where you can get your free Naloxone kit. The list is 8 pages long and broken up in to sites that offer the Naloxone Kits and overdose response training and sites that only offer the kits.

There are a number of sites where you can go in the entire area that offer the kits. Please remember when using Naloxone, it can bring a person’s breathing back and reverse the effects of the overdose. However, the person may still need to get to a doctor or emergency room. Lastly it is important to understand that more than 1 dose of Naloxone may be needed to revive a person after an overdose.

Can Metabolic Deficiencies Cause Treatment Resistant Depression?

August 26th, 2016

Is there a link between metabolic deficiencies and treatment resistant depression? New research shows that this could be the case. The research shows that diagnosing and treating many metabolic disorders in patients with treatment resistant depression could lead to improved outcomes, or even complete remission from the depression in some cases. According to professor and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry chair David Lewis, M.D., “What’s really promising about these new findings is that they indicate that there may be physiological mechanisms underlying depression that we can use to improve the quality of life in patients with this disabling illness.” Approximately 15 million adults in the USA alone suffer from depression and the global numbers are much larger.

Treatment resistant depression is a big problem, and more than 65% of suicides are caused by major depressive disorder or what is commonly called depression. This is one of the most common mental disorders but many patients do not respond well to typical treatments. Pitt School of Medicine professor of psychiatry, and clinical and translational science Lisa Pan, M.D., was the lead study investigator. According to Dr. Pan “Major depressive disorder, usually referred to simply as depression, affects nearly 15 million American adults and is one of the most common mental disorders. Unfortunately, at least 15 percent of patients don’t find relief from conventional treatments, such as antidepressant medications and psychotherapy.” Pan explained that “Over a period of years, we tried every treatment available to help this patient, and yet he still found no relief from his depression symptoms. It’s really exciting that we now have another avenue to pursue for patients for whom our currently available treatments have failed, This is a potentially transformative finding for certain groups of people with depression.”

PTSD Risks Increase With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury According to Recent Study

August 22nd, 2016

According to researchers the risk of developing PTSD increases after a mild traumatic brain injury. Researchers from a variety of organizations which included Washington University in St. Louis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Francisco General Hospital, and the University of California, San Francisco performed evaluations on various factors that were related to mental health and functioning issues. The hope is that understanding how this type of injury affects mental health and contributes to PTSD and other mental disorders will lead to better screening, more accurate detection and diagnosis, and earlier treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. The impact that mTBI had was explored in emergency services providers who were civilians rather than evaluating the impact on military personnel. In the study roughly 27% of patients who had suffered mTBI screened positive for PTSD at a follow up screening 6 months after their injury.

The study on PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma and the findings show the importance of following up after a mTBI. Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, professor and Journal of Neurotrauma editor in chief John T. Povlishock, Ph.D. explained “This study represents yet another important communication originating from the CDC and the TRACK-TBI study group that now reframes PTSD within the context of civilian TBI. The finding of a relatively significant proportion of civilian patients experiencing PTSD following mild TBI calls for its more routine evaluation, particularly in those patients with the added comorbid factors identified in this report.”

Research Shows Grandkids Have Higher Risks When There is a Generational History of Depression

August 19th, 2016

A recent research study shows that grandkids who have a multi generational history of MDD, or major depressive disorder, will have higher risks of developing depression as well. The study investigators determined that when an individual has both a parent and a grandparent with MDD the risk for the individual to develop depression is much higher. Knowing the increase in risk could help with identification so that grandkids who face these higher risks may benefit from early intervention. The full study details were published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry. This is the first study published that looks at depression over 3 generations, and that uses direct interviews with all three generations of family members. The study looked at 251 grandkids, with an average age of 18, as well as the parents and grandparents of the grandchildren.

The study conclusion for the research on grandkids, generational history, and depression stated “In this study, biological offspring with two previous generations affected with major depression were at highest risk for major depression, suggesting the potential value of determining family history of depression in children and adolescents beyond two generations. Early intervention in offspring of two generations affected with moderate to severely impairing MDD seems warranted.” A well established fact is that parental depression raises the psychiatric disorder risks that the child faces. The latest research also shows how important it is to look further into the generational history than just the parents of a child because the risk is impacted by more than a single generation.

Could Dopamine Activation Lower the Rate of Binge Eating? Research Shows Promise!

August 15th, 2016

Recent research has suggested that specific neurological circuits in the brain that are associated with dopamine production may be able to inhibit binge eating in lab mice. At the current time the cause of binge eating is not known, and the neurological basis behind this disorder is unclear. The newest research brings some much needed clarity. Researchers at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston determined that some of the neural circuits in the brain may be able to inhibit binge eating although the how and why of this inhibition is still not completely clear. Senior paper author, Baylor College of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics Dr. Yong Xu, explained that “Human literature suggests that dysfunction of the serotonin system or dopamine system in the brain may be associated with developing binge-like eating behavior. However, mechanistically, there’s no direct evidence to show how this system affects behavior.”

Binge eating is a big problem, and the dopamine system in the brain is associated with this disorder but the processes involved are not yet clear. The research study was published in the Biological Psychiatry journal, and researchers managed to identify a neural circuit which involves serotonin neurons which project to dopamine neurons and cause these receptors to become activated. In the research study the mice experienced inhibition in binge eating when this circuit was activated. Identifying the specific receptors and circuits involved is an important first step to determining the causes of binge eating and developing effective treatments. The serotonin 2C receptor plays a role in preventing binge eating, that much researchers have identified, but there are also a number of other variables involved that need to be examined as well.

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