Research studies

Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance

By Depression, Research studiesNo Comments
 Professor Joanna Moncrieff and Dr Mark Horowitz (both UCL Psychiatry)

Writing in The Conversation, Professor Joanna Moncrieff and Dr Mark Horowitz (both UCL Psychiatry) report on their new research showing no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression.

This article is a clear and concise summary of the “old” thinking regarding serotonin, compared to the current research findings. A very good read.

“Although first proposed in the 1960s, the serotonin theory of depression started to be widely promoted by the pharmaceutical industry in the 1990s in association with its efforts to market a new range of antidepressants, known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. The idea was also endorsed by official institutions such as the American Psychiatric Association, which still tells the public that “differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression”.

“People accepted what they were told. And many started taking antidepressants because they believed they had something wrong with their brain that required an antidepressant to put right. In the period of this marketing push, antidepressant use climbed dramatically, and they are now prescribed to one in six of the adult population in England, for example.”

They refer to studies of depression allegedly due to chemical imbalances, transporter genes, gene variations ( study involved tens of thousands of subjects), placebos.

Their final paragraph says ” It is important that people know that the idea that depression results from a “chemical imbalance” is hypothetical. And we do not understand what temporarily elevating serotonin or other biochemical changes produced by antidepressants do to the brain. We conclude that it is impossible to say that taking SSRI antidepressants is worthwhile, or even completely safe. People need all this information to make informed decisions about whether or not to take antidepressants.”

This article originally appeared in The Conversation on 20 July 2022. To read the full article – click here

Medical Hypnotherapy heals bones faster

Can Medical Hypnosis heal Bone Fractures

By Research studiesNo Comments

Author: C S Ginandes 1D I Rosenthal

This is another clinical study looking at the results of using hypnosis within a clearly medical setting, with the intention of understanding if hypnosis does n fact make a different to physical healing and health improvements.

If we quote the authors, the intention of the study was to: “determine whether a hypnotic intervention accelerates bodily tissue healing using bone fracture healing as a site-specific test.”

The design of the study was a randomized controlled pilot study involving 12 healthy adult patients who presented to the orthopedic emergency department with bone fractures. They were divided into 2 groups and each received the normal physical care for their injury. The treatment group in addition to this had hypnotic interventions in the form of individual sessions and follow up audiotapes. The hypnotherapy was designed to specifically promote and support fracture healing.

From week 6 onward, those patients who had received hypnotic interventions, were showing a clear difference at their fracture edge and this trend continued through to week 9 after their injury. These patients had better healing, more ankle mobility, greater functional ability to move on uneven and ascending or descending surfaces. They also were using less analgesics.

Publication : The alternative Therapy Health Journal

Medical Hynosis improved wound healing rate

Does Medical Hypnosis improve post-surgical wound healing?

By Research studiesNo Comments

Authors: Carol Ginandes 1Patricia BrooksWilliam SandoChristopher JonesJohn Aker

Medical hypnosis has been researched for decades, although most of the studies have focused on various functional applications. For example: reducing anxiety pre medical procedure, pain reduction, introduction to anesthesia etc. However, these authors show there have been very few studies done on the role hypnosis may play on physical healing of patients. Hence the term, medical hypnosis.

The authors report on a small randomized clinical trial involving 18 healthy women who underwent a surgical intervention using the same surgical protocols and post operative care. The patients were divided into 2 random groups: one receiving normal care and the other group receiving normal care plus hypnosis targetting faster wound healing.

Both groups received the same post operative assessments by medical staff who were unaware of the study taking place, the patients wounds were documented and assessed as per normal.

those patients who had experienced the hypnotic interventions, showed their wound healing was signtiicantly greater than their other groups over the normal 7 week post operative period.

To quote the authors, “Results of this preliminary trial indicate that use of a targeted hypnotic intervention can accelerate postoperative wound healing and suggest that further tests of using hypnosis to augment physical healing are warranted.”

Publication: American Journal Clinical hypnosis

Authors Carol Ginandes 1Patricia BrooksWilliam SandoChristopher JonesJohn Aker

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