Anxiety

medicine

Scientists identify brain cells that help drive bodily reaction to fear, anxiety — ScienceDaily

Strong emotions such as fear and anxiety tend to be accompanied and reinforced by measurable bodily changes including increased blood pressure, heart rate and respiration, and dilation of the eyes’ pupils. These so-called “physiological arousal responses” are often abnormally high or low in psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety disorders and depression. Now scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have identified a population of brain cells whose activity appears to drive such arousal responses.

The scientists, whose study is published in Cell Reports, found that artificially forcing the activity of these brain cells in mice produced an arousal response in the form of dilated pupils and faster heart rate, and worsened anxiety-like behaviors.

The finding helps illuminate the neural roots of emotions, and point to the possibility that the human-brain counterpart of the newly identified population of arousal-related neurons might be a target of future treatments for anxiety disorders and other illnesses involving abnormal arousal responses.

“Focusing on arousal responses might offer a new way to intervene in psychiatric disorders,” said first author Jose Rodríguez-Romaguera, PhD, assistant professor in the UNC Department of Psychiatry and member of the UNC Neuroscience Center, and co-director of the Carolina Stress Initiative at the UNC School of Medicine.

Rodríguez-Romaguera and co-first author Randall Ung, PhD, an MD-PhD student and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, led this study when they were members of the UNC laboratory of Garret Stuber, PhD, who is now at the University of Washington.

“This work not only identifies a new population of neurons implicated in arousal and anxiety, but also opens the door for future experiments to systematically examine how molecularly defined cell types contribute to complex emotional and physiological states,” Stuber said. “This will be critical going forward for developing new treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.”

Anxiety disorders, depression, and other disorders featuring abnormally high or low arousal responses affect a large fraction of the human population, including tens of millions of adults in the United States alone. Treatments may alleviate symptoms, but many have adverse side effects, and the root causes of these disorders generally remain obscure.

Untangling these roots amid the complexity of the brain has been an enormous challenge, one that laboratory technology has only recently begun to surmount.

Rodríguez-Romaguera, Ung, Stuber and colleagues examined a brain region within the amygdala called the BNST (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis), which has been linked in prior research to fear and anxiety-like behaviors in mice.

Increasingly, scientists view this region as a promising target for future psychiatric drugs. In this case, the researchers zeroed in on a set of BNST neurons that express a neurotransmitter gene, Pnoc, known to be linked to pain sensitivity and more recently to motivation.

The team used a relatively new technique called two-photon microscopy to directly image BNST Pnoc neurons in the brains of mice while the mice were presented with noxious or appealing odors — stimuli that reliably induce fear/anxiety and reward behaviors, respectively, along with the appropriate

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fitness

Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study

Researchers have found that people with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression.

Low fitness levels also predicted a 60 per cent greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

“Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise aimed at improving different types of fitness is not only good for your physical health, but may also have mental health benefits,” said study author Aaron Kandola from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

The study involved 152,978 participants aged between 40 and 69 years.

Their baseline aerobic fitness at the start of the study period was tested by using a stationary bike the increasing resistance, while their       muscular fitness was measured with a grip strength test.

They also completed a questionnaire gauging depression and anxiety  symptoms.

Seven years later they were tested again for       depression and anxiety    symptoms, and the researchers found that high aerobic and muscular fitness at the start of the study was associated with better mental health seven years later.

People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98 per cent higher odds of depression, 60 per cent higher odds of anxiety, and 81 per cent higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall   fitness.

“Our findings suggest that encouraging people to exercise more could have extensive public health benefits, improving not only our physical health but our mental health too,” said study author Joseph Hayes from UCL.

Improving fitness through a combination of cardio exercise and strength and resistance training appears to be more beneficial than just focusing on aerobic or muscular fitness, according to the study.

“Other studies have found that just a few weeks of regular intensive exercise can make substantial improvements to aerobic and muscular fitness, so we are hopeful that it may not take much time to make a big difference to your risk of mental illness,” the authors wrote.

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fitness

Low fitness linked to higher depression and anxiety risk

People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression, finds a new study led by UCL researchers.

Low fitness levels also predicted a 60% greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the findings published in BMC Medicine.

Lead author, PhD student Aaron Kandola (UCL Psychiatry) said: “Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise aimed at improving different types of fitness is not only good for your physical health, but may also have mental health benefits.”

The study involved 152,978 participants aged 40 to 69 of the UK Biobank study. Their baseline aerobic fitness at the start of the study period was tested by using a stationary bike with increasing resistance, while their muscular fitness was measured with a grip strength test. They also completed a questionnaire gauging depression and anxiety symptoms.

Seven years later they were tested again for depression and anxiety symptoms, and the researchers found that high aerobic and muscular fitness at the start of the study was associated with better mental health seven years later.

People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98% higher odds of depression, 60% higher odds of anxiety, and 81% higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall fitness.

The researchers accounted for potentially confounding factors at baseline such as diet, socioeconomic status, chronic illness, and mental illness symptoms.

Previous studies have found that people who exercise more are less likely to experience mental illnesses, but most studies rely on people self-reporting their activity levels, which can be less reliable than the objective physical fitness measures used here.

Senior author Dr Joseph Hayes (UCL Psychiatry and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust) said: “Our findings suggest that encouraging people to exercise more could have extensive public health benefits, improving not only our physical health but our mental health too. Improving fitness through a combination of cardio exercise and strength and resistance training appears to be more beneficial than just focusing on aerobic or muscular fitness.”

Aaron Kandola added: “Reports that people are not as active as they used to be are worrying, and even more so now that global lockdowns have closed gyms and limited how much time people are spending out of the house. Physical activity is an important part of our lives and can play a key role in preventing mental health disorders.

“Other studies have found that just a few weeks of regular intensive exercise can make substantial improvements to aerobic and muscular fitness, so we are hopeful that it may not take much time to make a big difference to your risk of mental illness.”

###

The research involved academics at UCL, King’s College London and Harvard University, and was supported by Wellcome, the Medical Research Council, the UK Department of Health, the Scottish government, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Welsh Assembly government, the

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health

Fear and anxiety spike in virus hot spots across US

Preslie Paur breaks down in tears when she thinks of her state’s refusal to mandate face masks.

The South Salt Lake City, Utah, woman can’t work at her special education job due to an autoimmune disease. Her husband, also a special ed teacher, recently quit because his school district would not allow him to work remotely to protect her and their 5-year-old son, who has asthma.

“I feel forgotten,” Paur said. “We’re living in a world we no longer fit in. We did everything right. We went to college, we got jobs, we tried to give back to our community, and now our community is not giving back to us. And I’m very scared.”


As President Donald Trump barnstorms the swing states, often downplaying the coronavirus pandemic before largely unmasked crowds, the nation continues to lurch toward what his opponent Joe Biden, citing health experts, warned will be a “dark winter” of disease and death.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday that “we’re not going to control the pandemic.” Asked why, he said it’s “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Vice President Mike Pence will continue campaigning despite his chief of staff testing positive for COVID-19. His office said Pence and his wife both tested negative for the virus Sunday.

About half of U.S. states have seen their highest daily infection numbers so far at some point in October, and the country as a whole came very close to back-to-back record daily infection rates on Friday and Saturday.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that 83,718 new cases were reported Saturday, just shy of the 83,757 infections reported Friday. Before that, the most cases reported in the United States on a single day had been 77,362, on July 16.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which federal health officials have used as a source for their pandemic projections, currently forecasts that the U.S. COVID-19 death toll could exceed 318,000 by Jan. 1.

As of Sunday, there were nearly 8.6 million confirmed infections in the U.S., with 224,906 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

At least seven states — Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma — saw record high infection levels Saturday. And some Northeastern states hit hard in the spring are seeing numbers bounce back; New Jersey’s toll of 1,909 new infections Saturday was the most it had seen in a day since early May.

The virus also is surging in the Mountain West, especially Idaho and Utah.

In Twin Falls, Idaho, new data suggest that 1 in 24 residents has contracted the coronavirus, said Dr. Joshua Kern, vice president of medical affairs at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center. Amid a crush of new cases, the hospital brought in nurses from Boise, scaled back elective surgery and, as of Friday, stopped admitting pediatric patients.

“It’s gotten kind of out of hand,” Kern told The Associated Press. “We’ve had

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medicine

Hestia Insight Inc. Begins Healthcare Operations; Treating Anxiety, Depression; Exploring Alternate Medicine

Las Vegas, NV – ( NewMediaWire ) – October 22, 2020 – Hestia Insight Inc. (OTC: HSTA) new subsidiary, HSTA Health Inc. (HHI), today announced that it has entered a business partnership with Noether Sciences and Technologies, Inc.   HHI will utilize Noether’s IP therapy to treat anxiety and depression and has licensing rights for the therapy throughout the U.S.

“These two most common diseases cause numerous societal problems.  We believe this innovative technology will provide excellent healthcare services and we look forward to marketing it to medical professionals,” said Edward C. Lee, Chairman and President of Hestia and President of HHI.

“We are coming out of a difficult period, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe there are many innovative technologies that should be introduced in the healthcare industry and commercialized,” Mr. Lee said.  “For instance, the alternative medicine market size, a multi-billion-dollar sector, continues to grow.  This includes yoga, meditation, magnetic intervention, acupuncture, and other wellness treatments.  HHI will work to lead and expand this sector.  We are exploring the establishments of clinics throughout the U.S. to provide better patient healthcare.”

Mr. Lee also stressed that:  “Healthcare companies with great products and technology have not been able to enter the marketplace in an effective way, often being unaware on how to communicate with healthcare industry professionals.  We look forward to assisting in this effort, a huge opportunity in a new dimension to make a better life for everyone.”

“After COVID-19 we believe consumers are ready to adapt to a new healthcare ecosystem. It will bring more hope to consumers,” concluded Mr. Lee. “The global healthcare market reached a value of nearly $8,452 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% since 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% to nearly $11,909 billion by 2022.”

ABOUT HESTIA INSIGHT INC.:  (www.hestiainsight.com) Hestia Insight Inc. is an advisory Company focused primarily on the great Healthcare and Biotech sectors. It also provides seed capital and mezzanine financing to its clients. Hestia Insight will make strategic acquisitions and mergers or joint ventures with emerging growth companies with intellectual properties. It provides sales and marketing guidance and capital market advice to increase the success of its clients.

(“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains or may contain forward-looking statements such as statements regarding the Company’s growth and profitability, growth strategy, liquidity and access to public markets, operating expense reduction, and trends in the industry in which the Company operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in the Company’s filings. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in risks, uncertainties or assumptions underlying or affecting such statements, or for prospective events that may have a retroactive effect.)

Contact: Paul Knopick

[email protected]

940.262.3584

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health

South Korea Tries to Quell Anxiety Over Flu Shots After 13 Unexplained Deaths

Then, earlier this month, 615,000 doses of a flu vaccine​ shipped by another company were also recalled after some of them were found to contain white particles, which the government described as being a harmless protein. Almost 18,000 people had received doses before they were recalled.

No serious harm had been reported from either those lots, though dozens of people who received those doses reported fevers or other minor complaints — which are common reactions to flu shots, officials said. None of nine people who died had received vaccines from those that had been recalled, they added.

After suspending the vaccination program for teenagers for three weeks, it resumed on Oct. 13. Three days later, a 17-year-old boy in Incheon, just west of Seoul, died after receiving his shot. On Tuesday, a 77-year-old woman was found dead at her home in Gochang, south of Seoul, after being vaccinated a day earlier. On the same day, an 82-year-old man who had also been inoculated died in the central city of Daejeon.

Four of the five people who died on Wednesday ranged in age from 53 to 89. Information about the two other people who died, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, has not been released.

Nine of those who died, all of whom had received flu shots in the past, received vaccines supplied by several different local drugmakers, officials said.

“Since most people who got flu shots with the same vaccines reported no major problems, we concluded that those vaccines do not contain toxic materials,” said Kim Joong-gon, ​a professor of medicine at Seoul National University who led a team of investigators. “We​ concluded that we can exclude ​the vaccine ​as a problem.”​

In general, flu vaccines have a good safety record. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that the body of scientific evidence over decades “overwhelmingly” supports their safety.

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health

South Korea Tries to Quell Anxiety Over Flu Shots After 9 Unexplained Deaths

​SEOUL​, South Korea — The South Korean authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of nine people after they had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza. And though officials said there was no clear link between the deaths and the vaccinations, there was worry that the cases could cause panic at a critical time for vaccination efforts.

The deaths happened over the past week, including five reported on Wednesday. Officials said that two of the deaths might have resulted from anaphylactic shock, a serious allergic reaction, but gave no further details. The other deaths are under investigation, but officials were quick to rule out the vaccines themselves — which they said were all from local drugmakers and not from lots for export — as the main cause.

They also vowed to step up a government flu-vaccination campaign to prevent the country’s health care system from being overloaded with flu patients amid the coronavirus pandemic, as both viruses have similar symptoms of early infection, like fever and cough.

“We have not found a direct connection between these deaths and vaccines, or a relationship between the deaths and adverse effects reported after flu shots,” said Jung Eun-kyeong, commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. “We don’t think that the situation calls for the suspending of the inoculation program.”

Ms. Jung convened a special news conference on Wednesday after the rapid series of deaths, starting with a teenager who died on Friday, grabbed headlines in South Korea. But with autopsies likely to take days, public anxiety is running high in a country with many anti-vaccination campaigners.

South Korea, and many other countries, have seen annual flu inoculation programs as critical to efforts to also deal with the coronavirus, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant women and medical personnel. Officials unveiled plans to procure 20 percent more flu vaccines for this winter than last year to inoculate up to 30 million people, more than half the country’s population.

But the campaign ran into trouble last month when it was discovered that some vaccines supplied by a local company, which needed to be refrigerated at all times, had been exposed to room temperature while being transported.​ A recall was ordered and officials said about 2,300 people had received doses from the faulty batch, which was meant mainly for young children and teenagers.

Still, officials said that alone should not have rendered the vaccines dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the concern about lack of temperature control is that it can render the vaccines ineffective, rather than toxic.

Then, earlier this month, 615,000 doses of a flu vaccine​ shipped by another company were also recalled after some of them were found to contain white particles, which the government described as being a harmless protein. Almost 18,000 people had received doses before they were recalled.

No serious harm had been reported from either those lots, though dozens of people who received those doses reported fevers or other minor complaints — which are common

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