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The diet that could reduce the risk of depression

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A new study has provided further evidence that a healthful diet is good for the mind as well as the body, after finding that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help to lower the risk of depression.

Researchers have found that people with closer adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) were less likely to have depression over 6.5 years than people with lower adherence to the diet.

Study co-author Dr. Laurel Cherian, of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and colleagues are due to present their findings at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting next month, which will be held in Los Angeles, CA.

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It is estimated that around 16.2 million adults in the United States — or approximately 6.7 percent of the country’s adult population — had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, making it one of the most common mental health conditions.

People with depression may experience persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or irritability, and they may lose interest in once pleasurable activities, have difficulty sleeping, and even have suicidal thoughts.

A family history of depression, traumatic or stressful experiences, and physical illness are among the risk factors for depression. But a new study suggests that we may be able to lower our risk of the condition simply by eating better.

The study included 964 adults who were an average age of 81, and they were followed for an average of 6.5 years.

At study baseline, all subjects were asked to complete dietary questionnaires. The researchers assessed these to establish adherence to various diets, including the Western diet, the Mediterranean diet, and the DASH diet.

The DASH diet is an eating plan that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but low in foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats. It was created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute as a way to lower blood pressure.

The study participants were also assessed for symptoms of depression during the follow-up period.

Compared with subjects who had the lowest adherence to the DASH diet, those who had the highest adherence were found to be 11 percent less likely to develop depression.

But a Western diet was found to have the opposite effect, and the closer the subjects’ adherence to this diet — which is high in saturated fats and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — the greater their risk of developing depression.

Dr. Cherian notes that this study only shows an association between the DASH diet and lower depression risk, so it is unable to prove cause and effect.

That said, she and her colleagues say that further research is warranted to determine whether this eating plan could help to prevent one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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Health & Lifestyle

Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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