Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just a little breast-feeding in infancy 'lowers the risk' of a child suffering from depression in adulthood

Retrospective self-report data and a small sample of ill people.  Thin grounds for generalization

Adults are less likely to suffer from depression if they were breast-fed as infants, according to scientists.  However, the amount of time a person was breast-fed has no bearing on the severity of later depression.

German researchers studied 52 people with an average age of 44 who were being treated for severe depression at an inpatient facility.

The patients were considered to have been breast-fed if they, or their mothers, stated that they been nursed for more than two weeks.

They then contrasted these results with those gathered from 106 people without mental health problems.

The study revealed that some 73 per cent of those who didn't suffer from depression had been breast-fed, compared to just 46 per cent of people with depression.

Despite these results, the scientists said that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between breast-feeding, or lack thereof, and depression, reports MyHealthNewsDaily.

Firstly, a mother who breastfeeds might be more likely to go on to provide her child with a more loving environment growing up, thus lowering the chance of a child suffering from depression in adulthood.

Secondly, breastfeeding could be linked to an increase in the hormone oxytocin being released in mothers, which protects against stress.

Thirdly, the researchers said, breast milk could contain components that help prevent against depression.

Lastly, breast-feeding may lower the risk for diseases, like hypertension, which have been shown to be associated with an increased risk for depression.

The study is published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Its authors claim it is the first report showing an association between breast-feeding and the occurrence of depression later on in adulthood. However, they admit that the limited sample size and the inevitably retrospective nature of this analysis are limitations.


Another Stilnox/Ambien miracle

I take the stuff myself as a mild sleeping pill and have no problems with it

A South African man who had been in a coma for seven years was 'woken up' after being given a sleeping pill.

Ayanda Nqinana, from Johannseburg, was left with severe brain injuries after his car crashed along an Eastern Cape road in 2005.   His doctors said the father-of-one would most likely never recover.

But his wife Nomfundo recently read a newspaper article about other long-term coma patients who had woken up after being fed sleeping pill Stilnox.

She insisted her husband be given the tablets and, just five days later, Mr Nqinana was awake and able to talk.

He even recognised relatives, including his son Ayavuya, and could recall conversations from before his crash.

Mrs Nqinana told 'Ayavuya was so excited that he kept running to me saying: "Mum! Daddy knows my name."   'I will never forget the day Ayanda woke up; it was the happiest day of my life.

Stilnox, also known as Ambien, is a prescription medicine used to treat insomnia by initiating sleep.

It contains Zolpidem, which studies have found increases blood flow in the brain, particularly in areas involved in language comprehension - allowing improved function.

Studies into the connection between stroke rehabilitation and Stilnox are ongoing.

John White at Moss Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia is leading a study into the connection.

So far he has found that fewer than 10 per cent of stroke victims respond to the drug.  'We’re not able to yet advise families on how to use this drug clinically because the research is in the very early stages,' he said last year.

'The very first request he made was to see his son, and that moved me.'

Although Mr Nqinana is unable to hold a proper conversation, he can say the odd word and respond using sign language such as a thumbs-up gesture.

But his doctor, Siyabulela Bungana, remains unconvinced about Stilnox's ability to rouse patients out of a coma. He said: 'He has not spoken to me. I have not seen any evidence of improvement.'

The case is not the first time that Stilnox has woken up somebody in a coma.

Last December, it is believed to have roused Sam Goddard, 23, after he suffered a series of strokes that left him in a coma.

Mr Goddard, from Brisbane, Australia, was playing football in February 2010 when his head began to pound so severely he screamed for an ambulance.  Doctors told his fiancĂ©e Sally Jane Nielson that he had suffered a staggering eight strokes, leaving him with permanent brain damage, and would never be able to walk, talk or recognise his loved ones, and would likely be blind.

But after 45 days in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Royal Brisbane Hospital – where he also contracted pneumonia – Mr Goddard woke up and began making slow progress after he was given Stilnox.


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