Can You Hear Your Good Health?

Everybody has the sounds they love and the ones they don’t enjoy. A favorite song, the natural sounds of nature, and soothing music can all capture a person and take them to a better place mentally. On the other hand, a neighbor’s loud music coming through the wall, horns honking beyond the window, and the buzz of the dishwasher in the background all make you want to climb the walls. Continue reading

More News about this Life-Changing Chinese Medicine

Qigong, the subject of this series in Doctors Health Press, is a mainstay of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is an amazing performance of slow, simple movements and postures that wind up being so good for you. Qigong combines movement with meditation. There are at least 1,000 types, all involving either a simple routine of calisthenics, or a complex set of exercises intended Continue reading

New Biomarker Can Bring Rapid Relief from Major Depression

LOS ANGELES – Scientists from University of California have identified a biomarker that can help accurately predict whether a particular drug will be effective in treating major depression.

During the study, the researchers measured changes in brain-wave patterns using quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), a non-invasive, computerized measurement that recognizes specific alterations in brain-wave activity.

These changes precede improvement in mood by many weeks and appear to serve as a biomarker that accurately predicts how effective a given medication will be.

The new non-invasive test would help predict within a week whether a particular drug will be effective.

The added benefit of the biomarker test is that it ispainless and fast – about 15 minutes – and only involves the placement of six electrodes around the forehead and on the earlobes.

The researchers recruited a total of 375 people who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and prescribed the antidepressant escitalopram, commonly known as Lexapro.

Then they examined a biomarker called the antidepressant treatment response (ATR) index – a specific change in brain-wave patterns.

The study showed that the ATR predicted both response and remission with an accuracy rate of 74 percent, much higher than any other method available.

The researchers also found that they could predict whether subjects were more likely to respond to a different antidepressant, bupropion, also known as Wellbutrin XL.

“Until now, other than waiting, there has been no reliable method for predicting whether a medication would lead to a good response or remission,” said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and lead author of the study.

“And that wait can be as long as 14 weeks. So these are very exciting findings for the patient suffering from depression,” said Leuchter.

The study results appear in the journal Psychiatry Research.