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Bipolar News

January 28, 2006

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New Reports Link Mental Ill-health To Changing Diets

Bipolar Disorder - Western Psychiatric Institute And Clinic Seeking Parents For Research Study

Don't Get SAD In The Winter - Brighten Your Mood With Full Spectrum Lighting

Popular Antidepressants May Also Affect Human Immune System

New Program Puts The Brakes On Depression Roundabout

Bipolar Disorder More Common in Teens Than Thought
Title: Bipolar Disorder More Common in Teens Than Thought Category: Health News Created: 12/31/2005 1:59:00 AM Last Editorial Review: 12/31/2005
1:58:38 AM

Judge Derides Mass. Aid for Mentally Ill
AP via Yahoo! News
Massachusetts is needlessly forcing thousands of mentally ill youngsters to live away from home because of "woefully inadequate" health care assessments, a federal judge found.

More Smokers Successfully Quit On a Whim
Health Scout
Spontaneous decision might beat planning, study finds.

9.5% of Americans battle depression
The Charlotte Observer
About 18.8 million American adults, or 9.5 percent of the population, suffer from a depressive order, including major depression and bipolar disorder. And about 10 percent of adult women and 4 percent of men take antidepressants.

Victim upset, says attackers got off too easy
Daily Record
Two men diagnosed with bipolar disorders were sentenced Friday to long prison terms for breaking into the Rockaway Township home of a 72-year-old, who survived a crowbar attack to drive himself -- bloody and dazed -- to the police department.

Fatal police shooting brings new focus to training
The Daily Reflector
Additional training procedures are being developed in Pitt County that will help prevent tragedies like Thursday's shooting death of a Greenville man with bipolar disorder, a local mental health official said Friday.

Dr. Phil Provides Cutting-Edge Brain Imaging for Guests with Neurological and Behavioral Disorders.

Business Wire; 1/26/2006

DENVER -- Dr. Phil McGraw said, "I think one of the things that we can and should do, is to do this brain imaging and find out exactly what's going on with you...," Dr. Phil told guests, who eagerly agreed to have a cutting-edge brain scan at a Brain Matters Imaging Center.

The nationally televised Dr. Phil Show on Tuesday last week covered a topic relating to "extreme neurological disorders," including Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome.

"What we're learning now with brain that most of these problems (neurological disorders) have a (biological) brain basis, a neurological basis," shared S. Gregory Hipskind, MD, PhD, who is Senior Medical Advisor for Brain Matters in Denver and Los Angeles.

"If someone had a problem with their leg, you would certainly want to take an x-ray. Similarly, our philosophy is that most of these problems have as the organ of interest the brain. These are brain problems and they have a biological basis," noted Dr. Hipskind.

"Your expertise in this goes well beyond probably anybody in the country, as a matter of fact...," proclaimed Dr. Phil when describing the extensive experience of Dr. Hipskind.

Brain Matters Imaging Centers provide sophisticated Brain SPECT imaging that details blood flow in specific regions of the brain that correlates directly with brain function. This advanced technology identifies brain-based conditions such as: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); Seizures; Stroke; Alzheimer's and other dementia processes; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Depression; Bipolar Disorder; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Anxiety; Tourette's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

For more information visit

COPYRIGHT 2006 Business Wire

Scientists: Gains May Shape Competition

AP Online; 1/26/2006; PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer

Dateline: DAVOS, Switzerland
Memory enhancement, IQ boosters and drugs designed to attack genetic weaknesses may increase competition in the future and create a playing field that is far from equal, scientists at the World Economic Forum said Wednesday.

But alongside such ethically complex issues, other forms of human enhancement _ organ replacement, drug therapy and genetic mapping _ could make the difference between life and death as well.

As science edges closer to allowing parents to choose the gender of their child and drugs are able to dull or enhance memories, some on the sidelines of the annual meeting at the Swiss Alpine ski resort of Davos questioned the economics of human enhancement and the ethics of progress.

"One of the big worries is over genetic discrimination," said Francis Collins, director of National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and a leader on the Human Genome Project, a 13-year effort to identify the 20,000 to 25,000 genes in human DNA.

Within a decade, many common illnesses such as cancer are likely to be pinpointed according to their genetic variables, and some others that have been difficult to crack _ such as autism and bipolar disorder _ might be better understood, Collins said. Also on the horizon is technology that will allow people to know their genetic make-up for about $1,000, he said.

"The question is if we do collect a lot of genetic material from people ... are you going to see those people then injured when their health provider or employer uses that information to take away opportunities," Collins told The Associated Press. "At the moment, in the United States particularly, those protections are not in place at a federal level."

Mapping the genome _ or the blueprint of genetic instructions for making an organism _ has been just one part of human enhancement, scientists say, but other technologies are making a leap from what was once considered science fiction to reality.

One of those areas is cosmetic neurology, says Olaf Blanke, director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience in Switzerland.

Drugs are already being used to boost the memories of people suffering from Alzheimers. Other drugs, such as common antidepressants, have been found to soften unpleasant memories.

"You can imagine if this continues what we will see are advances that are much more targeted and more selective," Blanke told AP.

The advances raise a multitude of ethical questions, including whether there should be a worldwide body to establish guidelines and regulations.

Debate erupted last month after a South Korean veterinarian Hwang Woo-suk's claim that he cloned 11 human embryos to produce stem cells turned out to be false, providing another set-back in the field of stem cell research.

Stem cells are created in the first days after conception and mature into every cell in the human body. Scientists hope to use stem cells as replacement parts for failing organs and to treat diabetes, Parkinson's and other diseases.

The field has drawn controversy _ particularly in the United States where opponents say the process destroys human life because the embryos are destroyed.

Some of the fears over human enhancement are rooted in the idea of eugenics, or using selective breeding to improve the genetic quality of a species. Some of these programs were seen under the Nazis and even in North Carolina where about 7,600 people were sterilized between 1929 and 1974 _ some of whom were sterilized against their will with labels of "feeble-mindedness."

Outside the big questions of whether humans should be enhanced and at whose and what cost is the perhaps bigger question of whether enhancement brings happiness, says Richard Matthieu, co-director of the Schechen Buddhist Monastery in Nepal and a molecular geneticist who also serves as an interpreter for the Dalai Lama.

Most recently he's looked at how the brain changes when people meditate.

"Happiness can be enhanced but isn't just about genomes," he said. "It's about the mind, which I think is vastly underestimated and underused."

Copyright 2006, AP News All Rights Reserved

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