Electrical stimulation of the brain can ‘significantly’ improve mood, depression

New research shows that deep brain stimulation can tackle treatment-resistant depression. Stimulating a brain area called the orbitofrontal cortex led to "significant" improvements in mood for people with moderate to severe depression. Major depressive disorder affects over 16 million adults per year in the United States and is the "leading cause of disability worldwide." A significant proportion of people who are living with major depression do not get any relief from existing treatments. In fact, up to 30 percent of those affected by depression have an intractable form of the condition. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a potential therapy that may succeed where other treatments have failed. In DBS, specialists surgically implant stimulating electrodes in the brain to send electrical currents to targeted areas. ...

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Children who start school a year early more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, study shows

Could a child's birthday put them at risk for an ADHD misdiagnosis? The answer appears to be yes, at least among children born in August who start school in states with a Sept. 1 cutoff enrollment date, according to a new study led by Harvard Medical School researchers. The findings, published Nov. 28 in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that children born in August in those states are 30 percent more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis, compared with their slightly older peers enrolled in the same grade. The rate of ADHD diagnoses among children has risen dramatically over the past 20 years. In 2016 alone, more than 5 percent of U.S. children were being actively treated with medication for ADHD. Experts believe the rise is fueled by a combination of factors, including a greater recognition of the...

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Fearing fear itself

Once parents felt children needed a little fear to grow up well. Today they are desperately protective. What went wrong? How much fear, anxiety and risk can children handle? Until the late 19th century, most people thought that the answer was quite a lot. Aristotle himself said that education might be defined as teaching us to fear aright. It was widely believed that a sense of fear made a positive contribution to the formation of a child's character. That fear was regarded as essential for the education of children was spelled out by the Church Missionary Society in 1819, when it stated that 'it is necessary, that children fear the Schoolmasters'. Children's experience of fear was sometimes portrayed as essential for developing their powers of imagination and creativity. For example in 1848, the Christian Register advised parents that a 'child...

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SOTT FOCUS: The Health & Wellness Show: Chronic pain: Is it all in your head?

Do you have low back pain? Do your joints ache? Do you experience the persistent pins and needles feeling of neuropathy? Or maybe you have fibromyalgia and hurt all over? If you do, you're one of the 39 million Americans who suffer from persistent pain. Being on the pain train is bad enough without the added insult of being told that it's 'all in your head'. But what if it is -- at least partly? There are some types of pain that are obviously linked to an actual physical insult and other types that cannot be traced to an easily identifiable medical condition. Research is now showing us that some pain really is in the brain. Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we'll discuss different types of pain and their co-factors, treatment modalities, the...

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Ian Stevenson: Birthmarks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on deceased persons

Abstract Almost nothing is known about why pigmented birthmarks (moles or nevi) occur in particular locations of the skin. The causes of most birth defects are also unknown. About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. The cases of 210 such children have been investigated. The birthmarks were usually areas of hairless, puckered skin; some were areas of little or no pigmentation (hypopigmented macules); others were areas of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmented nevi). The birth defects were nearly always of rare types. In cases in which a deceased person was identified the details of whose life unmistakably matched the child's statements, a close correspondence was nearly always found between the birthmarks and/or birth defects on the child and...

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