Delaware Bill Expanding Medical Pot Program Stalls in Senate

A bill expanding the permissible uses for medical marijuana in Delaware has stalled in the state Senate.

The bill failed to win Senate passage Tuesday after several lawmakers noted that they were told after a committee hearing last month that it would be amended to address concerns from the medical industry about some of its provisions. No amendment was added, however.

The bill adds debilitating anxiety to the list of conditions and illnesses for which medical marijuana can be prescribed. The anxiety definition includes generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety.

The bill also removes the requirement for a psychiatrist to sign an application for someone seeking to use medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder. Instead, any physician would be allowed to verify the application.

Despite the setback, Delaware lawmakers are still rolling out legislation that could make recreational cannabis legal for adults over the age of 21. The House Revenue and Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved a plan last week to legalize adult-use marijuana. House Bill 110 will likely move to a full house vote sometime next month.

 

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Gov. John Carney has remained silent on the issue, but invited advocates and patients to a roundtable discussion in April. He told those present that he was “there to listen” and will carefully consider all perspectives before making any decision on pursuing recreational cannabis legislation.

All of this could be in question, however, after President Donald Trump appeared to backpedal on his support for medical marijuana, which he touted during the presidential campaign season.

In a signing statement issued earlier this month, Trump objected to a provision that prohibits the federal government from interfering in state-run medicinal cannabis programs.

States were essentially given autonomy to enforce their own pot laws in a memorandum issued by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013. The memo shifted enforcement priorities from the federal level to local law enforcement.

But current Attorney General Jeff Sessions is already taking the opposite approach. He instructed federal prosecutors to crack down on drug offenses and created a task force to toughen up on enforcement.

OCD Action groups and communities manager Keira Bartlett in the charity’s office at Merchant’s Place, Cromer …

PUBLISHED: 23:29 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 23:29 15 May 2017

OCD Action groups and communities manager Keira Bartlett in the charity's office at Merchant's Place, Cromer. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

OCD Action groups and communities manager Keira Bartlett in the charity’s office at Merchant’s Place, Cromer. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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Kiera Barlett as Miss Cromer, with TV comedian Jimmy Cricket and her fellow carnival royal family members. Picture: supplied

But, behind her sunny smile, the 18-year-old former Cromer High School student hid a secret illness that had blighted her life for more than ten years.

It affected her relationships, had a huge impact on her self-esteem and led to her spending hours every day carrying out seemingly pointless tasks and fighting off terrifying intrusive thoughts. Although she didn’t receive a diagnosis until 12 years later, Keira was suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a widely misunderstood condition affecting less than 2pc of the population.

“People think that it is all about hand-washing or checking the front door is locked,” she said. “But, actually, people with severe OCD are seriously ill and, to be blunt, it can lead to some people simply not wanting to carry on living.”

Keira Bartlett (left, with brothers Serle and Elliot) pictured around the time she first began showing signs of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Picture: supplied

Mum-of-three Keira, 41, remembers being plagued by intrusive thoughts for the first time as a six-year-old, when she lived in constant fear of being chased by the police.

“There was just an overwhelming feeling that something bad was going to happen, I had even planned my escape route,” she explained.

By the age of ten, the illness had escalated and, with her obsessions focusing around contamination, she began secretly hand washing her bedding and school uniform, before drying them on the radiator in her bedroom.

Keira Bartlett as an 18-year-old Miss Cromer in 1992. Picture: supplied

Over the years, Keira’s OCD has “morphed” many times, with her obsessions taking the form of fears that something terrible will happen to those closest to her and her compulsions leading to her carrying out “neutralising” actions in multiples of four.

If, after carrying out these compulsions, the fears are not allayed, or she is distracted, she will repeat the actions until she feels they have been done “properly”.

“It’s like sitting someone down and asking them who means the most to them and what is the worst thing that could happen to them,” she explained.

“For me, after I became a mum the thoughts were around my children – that they would get attacked, stabbed or even decapitated, or, worse, that I would do something to harm them myself.”

Because OCD is an anxiety-based illness, Keira’s symptoms become more severe at times of stress, but while her rituals have changed over the years, her morning routine of spending up to two hours bathing – often to the point of making ears or arms bleed – has been a constant for as long as she can remember.

Reactions from family, friends and acquaintances range from sympathy and concern, to disbelief and flippant remarks such as, “I’m a bit OCD myself.”

“It is hard for people to understand, even for people who are close to you,” she said.

For Keira, who lives at Cromer, a turning point came when she decided to set up a local support group for people with OCD and related conditions, eventually going on to become vice-chairman of Norfolk OCD Support.

“It was my way of coping and I think my recovery started once I set the group up and I began to recognise when I’m slipping and to know what to do to stop it,” she explained.

After attending an event run by national charity OCD Action, she was asked to become a trustee and was given the task of working with other organisations to create a charter for the charity’s 80 UK support groups.

She was then taken on as groups and communities manager and, in 2013, launched the lottery-funded project Better Together, which works in partnership with other groups to provide support, signposting services and peer supervision.

The scheme has since won further funding, with Keira and her team giving practical advice and emotional support to group leaders all over the UK, as well as running 16 online groups accessed by sufferers from as far afield as France, Brazil and Australia.

While Keira still struggles with her condition on a daily basis, she says she has “turned a negative into a positive” and, despite her battles, wouldn’t change the way she is.

“Although I feel sad about how much time OCD has taken from me, especially precious time I could have spent with my children, if there was a magic cure, I really don’t think I’d take it,” she said.

“Those horrible moments give me drive and passion to help others and give me an edge in what I do as, when someone with OCD makes contact, I totally ‘get it’.”

A daily struggle

From the moment she gets up each morning, Keira wages a constant battle with her OCD.

After taking a bath, when she washes each part of her body four times and washes, rinses and conditions her hair four times, she repeats the process in the shower, then dresses and sets off to work at Merchant’s Place, Cromer.

Here, her intrusive thoughts are on a continual roll and she will regularly have to carry out rituals – tapping her desk four times or repeating a word four times to “neutralise” intrusive thoughts.

Talking on the phone, or to office visitors, she is afraid she will say something offensive, and driving home over a bump in the road she might convince herself she has hit a pedestrian and have to get out to check.

Shopping, Keira will often buy things in fours and, if she stubs her toe, she has to hit her other foot to “even it out”.

At bedtime, she kisses her children four times or, if she is not with them, kisses the air.

What is OCD?

OCD is listed as one of the top ten debilitating disorders by the World Health Organisation.

It is characterised by obsessions – including fear of contamination, concerns about symmetry and order and fear of causing or failing to prevent harm – and compulsions, which include checking actions, rituals, washing and cleaning, repetition of phrases or actions such as counting, and seeking constant reassurance.

It is usually treated by a combination of medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

For more information, log on to the following website: www.ocdaction.org.uk or phone the Cromer office on 0303 040 1112.

Keira will be taking part in the Westminster British 10k run with son Kye, friends David and Laurenne Goldstone and colleagues Carol McKean and Connor Simmonds on July 9 to raise funds for OCD Action. To sponsor them, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ocdactionteamcromer

The ‘Gravity blanket’ raised $3 million with a claim to treat anxiety …

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“Gravity blanket” on Kickstarter that claimed to use cozy pressure to treat anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions has been taking the internet by storm, raising more than $3 million. But on Thursday, the company quietly deleted the bold medical claims on its crowdfunding site — language that violated Kickstarter policy and went against FDA recommendations — after STAT inquired about its promotional statements.

The creators of Gravity call their product a “premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket” intended to treat psychiatric illnesses. People quickly snuggled up to the idea: More than 15,000 donors contributed to the Kickstarter campaign to help get the blanket to the market, where it’s projected to sell for as much as $279.

A slew of publications have touted the product with headlines such as, “I Want This Anti-Anxiety Blanket and You Will Too.” But the science behind the blanket’s claims is scarce— as STAT found by reviewing the studies the manufacturer cites as evidence for its claims.

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The Kickstarter campaign made big promises: “The science behind Gravity reveals that it can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as circumstantial stress and prolonged anxiety.”

But on Thursday afternoon, that language was swapped to say the blanket could be “used” for those conditions, rather than treat them. Then, the section disappeared entirely. The makers haven’t posted an update about the changes for their buyers.

The blanket’s creators didn’t respond to a request for comment. After STAT inquired about the campaign with Kickstarter, the site said it asked the Gravity team to change the language because it wasn’t in line with their rules on health claims.

A screen capture of the Gravity Kickstarter page before the language was changed.

Gravity isn’t the type of product regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, FDA recommendations released in July 2016 laid out clear guidelines for promoting wellness products, which are low-risk items designed to support a healthy lifestyle.

They can be marketed as supporting people who live with anxiety. They shouldn’t claim that a product can treat an anxiety disorder.

The marketing language also appeared to violate Kickstarter’s rules. The crowdfunding site prohibits campaigns for “any item claiming to cure, treat, or prevent an illness or condition.” Kickstarter has previously said that the rule was developed out of concern that medical claims could have “harmful consequences” for consumers.

Regardless of how it’s promoted, the evidence behind the product is scarce.

It’s not a miracle therapy,” said Dr. Khalid Ismail, a sleep medicine researcher at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “I don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet.”

Weighted blankets simulate the feeling of a big hug. The creators say it’s similar to swaddling a newborn baby, but with a much higher price tag. They claim that the increased weight — also known as deep touch pressure stimulation — can increase serotonin and melatonin levels while driving down cortisol, a stress hormone, “all without filling a prescription.”

It’s not a novel concept: Weighted blankets have been used in children with autism and elderly individuals with dementia. You can even buy them with a lower price tag from home goods stores.

What’s new is that they’re trying to broaden the indication for its use,” said Ismail. 

But the research they cite falls short of the hype.

One study looked at the use of weighted blankets, among other products, in a “sensory room” in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The researchers studied 75 people who used that room and concluded that those who tried the blanket reported a decrease in their anxiety and distress. But there was also a decrease in those symptoms among people who didn’t get under the blanket. And the study wasn’t blinded, so people might’ve reported positive effects because they were led to expect the blanket would have a positive effect.

Another study touted by Gravity’s creators found that 63 percent of individuals who used a 30-pound weighted blanket had reduced symptoms of anxiety. But the research included only 32 adults and no control group.

The creators of the blanket did not respond to a request for comment.

Ismail said it isn’t clear who, exactly, the blanket would benefit. Many cases of sleeplessness result from poor sleep hygiene, like being glued to a phone before bed; others result from underlying psychiatric disorders that require treatment.

It might have a role, but in a very, very small subset of patients,” Ismail said, “and I don’t think we’ve identified that subset of patients with a really good randomized controlled trial.” 

The campaign says it expects to start shipping blankets in October.

This post has been updated with information about new changes to the Kickstarter page.

The ‘Gravity blanket’ raised $3 million online with a claim to treat anxiety. Then that promise was deleted

A

“Gravity blanket” on Kickstarter that claimed to use cozy pressure to treat anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions has been taking the internet by storm, raising more than $3 million. But on Thursday, the company quietly deleted the bold medical claims on its crowdfunding site — language that violated Kickstarter policy and went against FDA recommendations — after STAT inquired about its promotional statements.

The creators of Gravity call their product a “premium-grade, therapeutic weighted blanket” intended to treat psychiatric illnesses. People quickly snuggled up to the idea: More than 15,000 donors contributed to the Kickstarter campaign to help get the blanket to the market, where it’s projected to sell for as much as $279.

A slew of publications have touted the product with headlines such as, “I Want This Anti-Anxiety Blanket and You Will Too.” But the science behind the blanket’s claims is scarce— as STAT found by reviewing the studies the manufacturer cites as evidence for its claims.

advertisement

The Kickstarter campaign made big promises: “The science behind Gravity reveals that it can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as circumstantial stress and prolonged anxiety.”

But on Thursday afternoon, that language was swapped to say the blanket could be “used” for those conditions, rather than treat them. Then, the section disappeared entirely. The makers haven’t posted an update about the changes for their buyers.

The blanket’s creators didn’t respond to a request for comment. After STAT inquired about the campaign with Kickstarter, the site said it asked the Gravity team to change the language because it wasn’t in line with their rules on health claims.

A screen capture of the Gravity Kickstarter page before the language was changed.

Gravity isn’t the type of product regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, FDA recommendations released in July 2016 laid out clear guidelines for promoting wellness products, which are low-risk items designed to support a healthy lifestyle.

They can be marketed as supporting people who live with anxiety. They shouldn’t claim that a product can treat an anxiety disorder.

The marketing language also appeared to violate Kickstarter’s rules. The crowdfunding site prohibits campaigns for “any item claiming to cure, treat, or prevent an illness or condition.” Kickstarter has previously said that the rule was developed out of concern that medical claims could have “harmful consequences” for consumers.

Regardless of how it’s promoted, the evidence behind the product is scarce.

It’s not a miracle therapy,” said Dr. Khalid Ismail, a sleep medicine researcher at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “I don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet.”

Weighted blankets simulate the feeling of a big hug. The creators say it’s similar to swaddling a newborn baby, but with a much higher price tag. They claim that the increased weight — also known as deep touch pressure stimulation — can increase serotonin and melatonin levels while driving down cortisol, a stress hormone, “all without filling a prescription.”

It’s not a novel concept: Weighted blankets have been used in children with autism and elderly individuals with dementia. You can even buy them with a lower price tag from home goods stores.

What’s new is that they’re trying to broaden the indication for its use,” said Ismail. 

But the research they cite falls short of the hype.

One study looked at the use of weighted blankets, among other products, in a “sensory room” in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The researchers studied 75 people who used that room and concluded that those who tried the blanket reported a decrease in their anxiety and distress. But there was also a decrease in those symptoms among people who didn’t get under the blanket. And the study wasn’t blinded, so people might’ve reported positive effects because they were led to expect the blanket would have a positive effect.

Another study touted by Gravity’s creators found that 63 percent of individuals who used a 30-pound weighted blanket had reduced symptoms of anxiety. But the research included only 32 adults and no control group.

The creators of the blanket did not respond to a request for comment.

Ismail said it isn’t clear who, exactly, the blanket would benefit. Many cases of sleeplessness result from poor sleep hygiene, like being glued to a phone before bed; others result from underlying psychiatric disorders that require treatment.

It might have a role, but in a very, very small subset of patients,” Ismail said, “and I don’t think we’ve identified that subset of patients with a really good randomized controlled trial.” 

The campaign says it expects to start shipping blankets in October.

This post has been updated with information about new changes to the Kickstarter page.

What is anxiety, which celebrities suffer from it, what are the causes and how can you help someone with anxiety?

ANXIETY disorders are very common – with celebrities including Zayn Malik, Peter Andre and Olly Murs sharing their experiences of the condition.

As This Morning continue their important discussion, these are the symptoms of anxiety – and how to get help.

Peter Andre confessed that he would struggle to go to certain showbiz events due to his anxiety

Peter Andre confessed that he would struggle to go to certain showbiz events due to his anxiety

 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal feeling, also known as the “fight or flight” response.

When presented with stress or danger, the body pumps adrenalin through to body – allowing it to cope with the situation at hand.

However, anxiety can become a problem when this response occurs unnecessarily – either because the danger is not that severe, or there isn’t actually any danger at all.

Anxiety disorders can develop as a result of a number of factors, including stress, genetics and childhood environment.

Zayn Malik is one of a number of stars to share their experiences of anxiety

Zayn Malik is one of a number of stars to share their experiences of anxiety

There are also a number of different types of anxiety disorder, from generalised anxiety to specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorders.

Some people may suffer from more than one type of anxiety disorder – for example, people with a specific phobia might experience panic as a result.

Which celebrities have spoken out about it?

Pop stars Zayn and Olly are part of a wider trend of celebrities challenging taboos around mental illness by speaking out about their experiences.

Will Young has spoken of his struggles with anxiety, which was reportedly the reason behind him quitting Strictly this year.

While Peter Andre has thanked Loose Women for allowing him to understand his own social anxiety.

YouTube star Zoella revealed how her crippling anxiety made her turn down the chance to meet Prince Harry.

Selena Gomez bravely discussed the topic of anxiety during a speech at the AMAs

Selena Gomez bravely discussed the topic of anxiety during a speech at the AMAs

Selena Gomez has also spoken powerfully living with mental health problems, bringing the American Music Awards crowd to their feet with a moving speech.

And Celebrity Big Brother star Nicola McLean was forced to see a doctor and threatened to quit the reality show after a series of rows with Kim Woodburn reignited her anxiety.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

According to Anxiety UK, the signs of anxiety can be divided into physical and psychological symptoms.

You may not experience all of them, but physical symptoms include:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Dry mouth
  • Butterflies in stomach
  • Nausea
  • Urge to pass urine/empty bowels
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Pins and needles

Meanwhile, the psychological symptoms include:

  • Inner tension
  • Agitation
  • Fear of losing control
  • Dread that something catastrophic is going to happen (such as blackout, seizure, heart attack or death)
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of detachment

The symptoms of panic attacks can feel similar to a heart attack – as they often involve rapid breathing, chest pains and pins and needles.

How is anxiety treated?

There are a number of approaches to treating anxiety

There are a number of approaches to treating anxiety

If you think you may be suffering from anxiety, your GP should be your first port of call.

Doctors usually advise treating anxiety with psychological treatments before prescribing medicine.

Self-help techniques, lifestyle changes such as exercise and avoiding caffeine, and cognitive behavioural therapy can all help.

However, in cases where medication is deemed necessary, your doctor may offer you types of antidepressant medication to ease your symptoms.

If they aren’t suitable, your GP may offer pregabalin instead – which is usually used to treat epilepsy, but can be helpful for anxiety too.

Meanwhile, for short term relief of anxiety, benzodiazepines such as diazepam can be offered – but are not prescribed for long periods due to the risk of addiction.

Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda Field addresses his crippling anxiety

World Maternal Mental Health Week: Post-natal depression, perinatal anxiety, psychosis, PTSD and others

World Maternal Mental Health Week: Post-natal depression, anxiety, psychosis and PTSD
(Picture: Ella Byworth)

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week with focus on raising awareness of perinatal mental health problems.

metro illustrationsHalf of us wouldn’t be comfortable talking about mental health at work

While post-natal depression is fairly well known, there are a number of other pregnancy-related conditions that aren’t spoken about as much.

These include perinatal anxiety, perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum psychosis, PTSD and birth trauma.

If not addressed in the right way, these can have long-standing affects on a child’s emotional, social and cognitive development, according to NHS England.

Perinatal mental health problems are being taken much more seriously these days with around £365 million in funding pledged to the NHS to fund specialist care and help early diagnosis and treatments.

Perinatal anxiety: what is it, symptoms and treatment

World Maternal Mental Health Week: Post-natal depression, anxiety, psychosis and PTSD
(Picture: PA)

This can occur both before and after the baby is born.

Many women have a fear of giving birth, known as tokophobia, but worries after the birth can take hold as well such as feeling like your baby would be better off without you.

Symptoms can be both physical and mental. Physical signs include tense muscles, headaches, pin and needles, feeling light-headed, faster breathing, hot flushes, sweating, fast heartbeat, raised blood pressure, sleep problems, needing the toilet more often, churning pit of stomach and panic attacks.

Mental signs include a feeling of dread, feeling nervous, feeling like the world is speeding up, feeling like your mind is busy with your thoughts, dwelling negative experiences again and again (rumination), feeling numb and unable to concentrate.

Treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy, self-help resources including mood gym, physical activity, breathing exercises and trying to shift your focus, as well as medication. Speak to a doctor for more information or look at the Mind website.

Perinatal OCD: What is it, symptoms and treatment

World Maternal Mental Health Week: Post-natal depression, anxiety, psychosis and PTSD
(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler/metro.co.uk)

Perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder that occurs either during pregnancy or after giving birth.

Common symptoms include having obsessions such as thinking about the same thing over and over again.

For example feeling like you have been contaminated by germs or dirt or worrying someone might get hurt. This often plays out with compulsive behaviour such as washing something over and over again to ensure it is clean. However, any relief from carrying out the compulsive behaviour is often short-lived and carrying out the compulsion can itself become distressing.

One mother described watching her baby 24/7 because she became so worried that someone would take her baby away – including not sleeping.

Treatment for perinatal OCD include cognitive behavioural therapy and medication. See the Mind website for more information here.

Postpartum psychosis: What is it, symptoms and treatment

metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Postpartum psychosis is rare but is thought to occur in around one in 1,000 births.

Symptoms include depression, mania and psychosis. which can include delusions and hallucinations. Delusions can include believing you are related to someone famous when you do not share any relatives, that you are able to control the weather or that someone is trying to kill you.

Hallucinations meanwhile are when you see, hear, taste, smell or other sensations thing that aren’t actually around you.

It is believed that people at risk from developing postpartum psychosis include those with a family history of mental health problems, those who suffer from bipolar disorder and if the birth or pregnancy is traumatic.

Treatments include any psychotic drugs and antidepressants or electroconvulsive therapy if symptoms are very severe.

More information can be found on the Mind website here.

Birth trauma and PTSD: What is it, symptoms and treatment

World Maternal Mental Health Week: Post-natal depression, anxiety, psychosis and PTSD
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Anyone who has gone through a traumatic birth is at risk of developing PTSD or birth trauma.

This might be due to a difficult labour with a long and painful delivery, an unplanned caesarean, emergency treatment and other unexpected shocks during the birth.

Birth trauma is often underestimated with many assuming that the baby is adequate compensation for that.

Instead many may feel disappointed that childbirth was not the experience they expected and angry at medical staff about the delivery.

With PTSD you can develop unwanted flashback too and relive the trauma of the birth.

Symptoms include vivid flashbacks, nightmares, alertness or feeling on edge, avoiding feelings or memories by keeping busy, being unable to express affection, irritability and aggressive behaviour, recklessness, physical sensations such as sweating, nausea and trembling.

Treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. medication isn’t usually offered.

More information on the Mind website here.

What is Maternal Mental Health Week all about?

Maternal Mental Health Week runs from May 1 until May 7 with the focus on ensuring women, family and friends know where they can get support for perinatal mental health matters.

The week is also about raising awareness of postnatal depression, the symptoms and getting treatment.

People will be tweeting through-out the week with the hashtag #maternalMHmatters as well as there being a daily #PNDHour between 8pm and 9pm on Twitter.

There are also a number of events and activities through the week – especially on Maternal Mental Health Day which this year was on May 3.

More information about events here.

MORE: Being chronically ill as a child is linked to experiencing mental health problems as an adult

MORE: World Maternal Mental Health Day: 12 ways you can support someone with postnatal depression

Green tea compound can help treat Down syndrome

Islamabad

A compound found in green tea has shown promise for the treatment of Down syndrome, according to a new study.

A green tea compound called Epigallocatechin Gallate could benefit cognitive functioning for people with Down syndrome.

Study co-leader Dr Mara Dierssen, of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues reveal how the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) improved the cognitive function of individuals with the condition.

According to the researchers, their study represents the first time a treatment has shown some improvement in cognitive skills for people with Down syndrome.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, around 1 in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, and there are more than 400,000 Americans living with the condition.

Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition in the US, occurring when an individual has a partial or full additional copy of chromosome 21, meaning they have three copies of this chromosome, rather than the normal two.

This extra chromosome leads to over expression of genes, which can cause a number of physical symptoms, including reduced muscle tone, a small head, ears, and mouth, a flattened facial profile, and upward-slanting eyes.

Individuals with Down syndrome may also experience problems with cognitive function, such as delayed language and speech development, learning and memory impairments, and poor concentration.

According to Dr Dierssen and colleagues, research has shown that such cognitive impairments are down to over expression of a gene called DYRK1A, and studies in mice have suggested the compound EGCG could reduce DYRK1A over expression.

Now, the new study indicates that the compound could do the same for people with Down syndrome, achieving an improvement in cognitive function. Meanwhile a new research into anxiety disorders has reported that women and adults under the age of 35 are more likely to experience anxiety than other groups.

The researchers found that women, young adults, and people with other medical conditions were most at risk for anxiety disorders.

In particular, the researchers state that women are almost twice as likely to be affected as men. This difference did not change over time.

The aim of the review was to understand the prevalence of anxiety disorders in both the general public as well as among specific groups of people.

“Anxiety disorders can make life extremely difficult for some people and it is important for our health services to understand how common they are and which groups of people are at greatest risk,” explains first author Olivia Remes, of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorders present in the general population. Examples of anxiety disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder.

The CDC estimates that the lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders is more than 15 percent.

Typical symptoms of anxiety disorders include increased worrying, tension, tiredness, and fear. These symptoms can prevent people from keeping to their everyday routines. The study authors report that the annual cost of these disorders to the United States is estimated to be $42.3 billion.

Many more scientific reviews have examined the effects of depression than the effects of anxiety, despite this impact on society. The new review, published in Brain and Behaviour, aims to shed further light on this area of research.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-May-2017 here.

Lena Dunham Opens Up About Battle with Anxiety & OCD – People

 

Lena Dunham feels no stigma surrounding her struggle with anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. 

Teaming up for a new campaign with the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit that works with children struggling with mental health and learning disorders, the Girls star says she feels fortunate her parents encouraged her to seek treatment for her mental health issues.

“I’m a writer, director, an actor and I have obsessive compulsive disorder and a generalized anxiety disorder that often leads to dissociative anxiety,” she shares in the video exclusive for PEOPLE.

“I feel so lucky that my parents were people who were comfortable with therapy with medication and conversations about anxiety. I would tell my younger self that there’s no shame in asking a teacher for help, telling a friend that you’re uncomfortable and that it’s just the same as falling down and scraping your knee,” she continued.

Dunham, 30, goes on to say what coping mechanisms have worked for her in the past.

“I would tell my younger self to squeeze my dog tightly and to read a book and to meditate and breathe,” she added. “And to understand that I’m not alone that there are so many other kids like me who are suffering this way and the greatest thing I can do for them and myself is to be honest.”

Dunham’s video is part of a larger series the Child Mind Institute is launching in which celebrities including Emma StoneMichael PhelpsElizabeth Vargas talk about their personal experience with mental illness.

May highlights ‘National Mental Health Awareness’

There are 80,000 children who suffer from Mental Health issues in Bexar County and only 20 percent receive treatment, stated CGC’s advocacy campaign “One In Five Minds.” (Photo, One in Five Minds)

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and Clarity Child Guidance Center (CGC) is participating in breaking down the stigma that mental health carries in the community.

Michele Brown, director of development at Clarity CGC, expounded that the organization’s mission is to not only raise awareness in May, but to have the opportunity to give information to the community to spread awareness all year round.

“The month of May is really big for us, and we make a push on people becoming aware of it not only this month, but every month,” Brown told La Prensa. “Our goal is to take the next step to use dialog, education then spreading the word about mental health.”

There are 80,000 children who suffer from Mental Health issues in Bexar County and only 20 percent receive treatment, stated CGC’s advocacy campaign “One In Five Minds.” In the United States, 6.9 percent of adults (16 million) had at least one major depressive episode in the last year, while 1.1 percent of adults lived with schizophrenia and 2.6 percent of adults in the lived with bipolar disorder, stated the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

It was also reported that 18.1 percent of adults in the country experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias. In an effort to increase services to those who suffer from mental health, Clarity CGC joined forces with The Ecumenical Center, an independent organization.

Earlier in the spring, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission awarded a $1.6 million state grant to the Ecumenical Center. The grant provides counseling services for active duty military, veterans and their families in San Antonio and Bexar County.

The “One in Five Minds” campaign, sponsored by Clarity CGC, is on a mission to start the conversation about mental illness and make sure that all children in Bexar County who need treatment are able to access it regardless of funds.

“One in Five Minds” strives to educate the community, parents, professionals and leaders about mental illness. Many also have the opportunity to take the pledge online to make a change and share it with your community.

Raising awareness during the month of May is ultimately helpful for one to learn the causes, effects and the next step for treatment. Brown assures that it can happen anyone at anytime and anywhere.

“Mental Illness is not necessarily a reflection of parenting and it can hit anyone, no matter what age, family income, or if they are a good or bad student in school,” continued Brown. “It does not discriminate, so just because your child is doing well in school or has a group of friends, doesn’t mean that they are doing great. It is great to have these conversations with them at an early age for them to be aware of the signs.”

To help kick-off National Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the organization partnered with Kendra Scott stores and the local Vogue School of Cosmetology to create the sold-out event, “Maynicures” and support those who suffer from mental illness.

At the “Maynicures” launch party, held on April 30, guests will have the opportunity to choose two paint colors, then on each hand, four nails are painted in one color and one nail in the other to signify the one in five children with mental health illness.

For more information, please visit www.1in5minds.org and www.claritycgc.org.