An analysis by Oxford University psychiatrists has shown that serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years – which represents a loss of years that’s equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking.
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Source: University of Oxford
Photo Credit: Creative Commons (KellyB.)
A study of older Canadian adults found that past benzodiazepine use for three months or more was linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia. NHS guidelines say the drugs should be used for eight to 12 weeks at most. The French-Canadian team says while the link is not definitive, it is another warning that treatments should not exceed three months. “Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” lead researcher, Sophie Billioti de Gage of the University of Bordeaux, France, and colleagues wrote in the BMJ.
“This study shows an apparent link between the use of benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s disease although it’s hard to know the underlying reason behind the link.” Dr Eric KarranAlzheimer’s Research UK
“Unwarranted long-term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern.” The study involved about 2,000 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in adults aged over 66 living in Quebec. All had been prescribed benzodiazepines. They were compared with about 7,000 healthy people of the same age living in the same community. While an increased risk was found in those on benzodiazepines, the nature of the link was unclear.
Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This study shows an apparent link between the use of benzodiazepines and Alzheimer’s disease although it’s hard to know the underlying reason behind the link. “One limitation of this study is that benzodiazepines treat symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbance, which may also be early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Prof Guy Goodwin, president of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, said the findings “could mean that the drugs cause the disease, but is more likely to mean that the drugs are being given to people who are already ill”.
Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said with 1.5 million people in the UK being prescribed benzodiazepines at any one time, “evidence that their long-term use increases the risk of dementia is significant, and raises questions about their use”. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety disorders and insomnia. Despite published guidance on their appropriate use for short-term management, inappropriate prescribing of the drugs is still a concern. Experts are calling for better monitoring of side-effects, particularly in older adults. Source: BBC Health News
Older adults suffering from sleep disturbances are more likely to die by suicide than well-rested adults, according to a study. “This is important because sleep disturbances are highly treatable, yet arguably less stigmatizing than many other suicide risk factors,” noted the lead author of the study.
“This is important because sleep disturbances are highly treatable, yet arguably less stigmatizing than many other suicide risk factors,” said Rebecca Bernert, PhD, lead author of the study. Bernert is an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Suicide Prevention Research Laboratory at Stanford.
Bernert said older adults have disproportionately higher rates of suicide risk compared to other age groups, making suicide prevention in elderly populations a pressing public health challenge. Using data from an epidemiological study of 14,456 adults aged 65 and older, Bernert and her colleagues compared the sleep quality of 20 who died by suicide with the sleep patterns of 400 similar individuals over a 10-year period. They found that participants reporting poor sleep had a 1.4 times greater chance of death by suicide within a 10-year period than participants who reported sleeping well.
The study confirmed the relationship between depression and suicide risk, while also assessing poor sleep as an independent risk factor. “Our findings suggest that poor sleep quality may serve as a stand-alone risk factor for late-life suicide,” Bernert said. Surprisingly, the study found that, when comparing the two risk factors, poor sleep predicted risk better than depressive symptoms. The combination of poor sleep and depressed mood was the strongest predictor of suicide risk. “Suicide is the outcome of multiple, often interacting biological, psychological and social risk factors,” Bernert said. “Disturbed sleep stands apart as a risk factor and warning sign in that it may be undone, which highlights its importance as a screening tool and potential treatment target in suicide prevention. “Suicide is preventable,” she added. “Yet interventions for suicide prevention are alarmingly scarce.”
Bernert has two studies now underway testing the effectiveness of an insomnia treatment for the prevention of depression and suicidal behaviors. Most of the study’s suicide decedents were white men, which reflects a group at heightened risk for suicide in the general population, Bernert said, noting that additional research is needed to see if the correlation between disturbed sleep and suicide risk extends to women, minorities and younger adults or teenagers.
Caution: This talk contains direct and straightforward language
Check out also Cameron Russell`s talk on: “Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.”
“When we let our inner pilot light radiate we heal from the inside out and it`s more powerful than anything that medicine can give you from the outside.”
Lissa Ranking is coming to an interesting conclusion about the true underlying cause of most of our health problems today. Even though we from ENAD do not endorse every point made in this TED-talk, we find it worth watching how brilliant people more and more come to the conclusion that there has to be something more out there to achieve complete healing, than the mere conventional approach to health.
As Christians we know what that “inner pilot light” is, that Dr Rankin is referring to. May God by the indwelling power of his Holy Spirit grant you exactly that healing that you were longing for so long.