Category Archives: Mental health

Categories Mental health

How to be happy!

It turns out that happiness is actually a habit that can be cultivated by developing a few habits that take only about five minutes to do.  By themselves none of these will change your life but each one will give you a little dopamine (the happiness neurotransmitter) boost that will add up with each successive practice.

There are scads of methods but here are 7 that I find to be most simple and most effective.

1) Do something for someone else.

Do what my colleague Adam Grant calls a “five-minute favor” for someone. Five-minute favors are selfless giving acts, without asking for anything in return from the people that you help. Examples of five-minute favors include: sharing knowledge, making an introduction, serving as a reference for a person, product, or service, or recommending someone on LinkedIn, Yelp, or another social place. It simply feels good to do something for someone else!
2) Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathy and compassion are things you can develop, and it starts with thinking about other people’s circumstances, understanding their pains and frustrations, and knowing that those emotions are every bit as real as our own. This helps you develop perspective, and opens you up to helping others, which also enhances your sense of gratitude.
3) Look at people in the eye, smile, and say hello.

We live in such a fear-driven and insulated culture that we don’t even look people in the eye when we’re walking down the street, sitting in subway trains, or even when making our way through office hallways. Just for today, think of strangers as being a little more like you, and treat them with the kindness and respect they deserve: Look them softly in the eye, smile, and give a warm greeting. I live in a very urban area and the last couple of years I’ve made it a practice to say “hi” to most people I walk by. Some ignore me but most look surprised and smile and say “hi” back. I’ve gotten to know people on a casual basis that I otherwise never would and it has made my neighborhood feel much warmer and homey.
4) Be the first to reach out after an argument.

The tendency for many is to let resentment fester after an argument or misunderstanding, and then cut off the person from our lives until he or she reaches out to us with an apology. It’s convenient. But it’s also just plain dumb. How uncomfortable is it to be in your home while you and your partner or kids are barely acknowledging one another? Outside the home you could lose a friendship, a family relationship, or great work connection because your ego has to have it’s way and you have to “win” or prove some point. Instead, be the first to reach out to make amends, even if you’re the one that has to apologize. That humble act will do wonders; the other person will soften, apologize, and allow you back into his or her life.
5) Journal about three new things you are grateful for.

For survival purposes your brain is built to remember negative or painful things much more readily than positive things. This works great for survival but not so great for a happy life. Research has shown that simply writing three things that you are grateful for every day teaches your brain to more readily tune into the good things in your life. This will greatly enhance your mood and overall sense of happiness and well being.6) Exercise for 15 minutes.

Research has shown that just 15 minutes of fun cardio activity is the equivalent of taking an antidepressant, but with a 30 percent lower relapse rate! If you don’t have a routine in place there are apps that you can download to your phone that will lead you through simple but fun routines that only take anywhere from 8 – 20 minutes to do. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like exercise routines get out and throw a Frisbee or ball around with your kids or partner. Dance, play with your dog, go for a very fast paced walk. It doesn’t have to be exercise in the traditional sense – just move your body in a way that works best for you!!7) Find something or someone that will make you laugh.

Laughter releases endorphins into the body—a chemical 10 times more powerful than morphine—with the same exhilarating effect as an intense workout at the gym. Try putting a comedy channel on the radio when you’re in the car. If you don’t have satellite radio there are comedy channels on Spotify, iTunes and virtually every other music platform available. If you’re working or doing chores around the house put on a stand up routine for you to listen to in the background.  Even if you’re not able to focus on it the sound of laughter in the background will enhance your mood and make you feel better. Try it, it really works!

 

Categories Health, Mental health

Depression Memory Loss Treatment

MAO-B-Inhibiting Nutrients and the drug Deprenyl

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is an enzyme involved in the degradation process for various monoamines released by neurons and glial cells, including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (NE).

 

All of which are crucial to brain function in various ways.

There are two types of MAO, Type A and Type B. Type B inhibition is what is used for anxiety, ADHD, depression, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

MAO-B levels and activity are highly correlated and increase after chronic stress hormone exposure.

The enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) serves a function in youth by keeping neurotransmitter levels from elevating too high.  As we age past 45 years, however, MAO-B levels begin a steady rise that results the depletion in dopamine seen in elderly individuals.

MAO-B also may inflict toxic damage to brain cells via several well-defined mechanisms.

Excess MAO-B not only deprives us of our youthful emotions by depleting dopamine, but also impairs cognitive functions by decreasing acetylcholine while simultaneously accelerating brain aging.

People today should take steps to suppress MAO-B levels as they age past 45 years

Monoamine Neurotransmitters Include:

  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin
  • Adrenaline
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • Melatonin
  • Noradrenalin
  • B-phenylethylamine (PEA)
  • Benzylamine

Natural Products Screening for the Identification of Selective Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors:

1. Amur Cork Tree (Phellodendron Amurense)

MAO-B Inhibition Very High (IC50 <.07 mg/ml)

Amur cork tree is one of the 50 fundamental Chinese herbs. It’s commonly used for it’s sedative, muscle relaxant, antiarrhythmic, positive inotropic, hypotensive, and antibacterial actions. 

 Phellodendron amurense (aka Amur cork tree; family Rutaceae) is a meagerly investigated Chinese medicinal plant. In our study, its bark ethanolic extract clearly was a selective hMAO-BI as its potent inhibition was previously spectrophotometrically confirmed [].

The plant constituted alkaloids such as phellodendron, palmatine, jatrorrhizine, and berberine [,] where the later displayed safe antidepressant-like activities in mice by the possible mechanism MAO-A inhibition and increasing DA, NE and serotonin brain levels [,].

PAB is high in the flavone tetramethyl-o-scutellarin, and the triterpenoids limonoids []. Limonoid obacunone was found neuroprotective in glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in vitro [].

In clinical studies, PAB extract supplement safely reduced cortisol [], and relieved mild anxiety in women []. Also, PAB inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokines [,] and protected from prostate tumors progression [], property found in some MAO-AIs [].

Based on our results and literature, there is a lack of knowledge on MAO-B inhibition and selectivity benefits of PAB extracts and phytochemicals. Further studies on PABEE as MAO-BI source for PD are highly recommended.

 
2. Gan Cao (Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Root)

MAO-B Inhibition Very High (IC50 <.07 mg/ml)

Gan Cao is a type of licorice (same genus), and is used in much the same way. Its traditional uses involves female disorders, digestive disorders, ulcers, and heart arrythmias. One of the most interesting sue of this plant, is as a “harmonizer” of other medicinal plants.

In Chinese traditional medicine this is one of the main herbs used in formulas for its ability to improve the outcomes of other plants.

The roots of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (aka Chinese licorice; family Leguminosae) is another commonly used medicinal plant in traditional Chinese and natural medicine. Our new finding that GUREE inhibits hMAO-B selectively is supported by our previous finding for its hMAO-B inhibition [].

Interestingly, GUR was more selective than Glycyrrhiza glabra in our screen. Reported Glycyrrhiza uralensis different active constituents from other Glycyrrhiza genuses may influence its MAO-B selective inhibition []. GUR contains unique phytochemicals including isoprenylated phenolics [] flavonoids, chalcones, and triterpene saponins [].

Chalcone isoliquiritigenin, is an inhibitor for MAO-B [] with multifunctional anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cytoprotective [] cellular detoxification system activator [] and anti-apoptotic [] anti-amyloid-β toxicity [] neuroprotective properties. GUR total flavonoid extracts showed neurogenesis protective effect in depressed rats model [].

The flavonoid liquiritin showed antioxidant and antiapoptotic neuroprotective effects in mice [] and ameliorated depression in rat model []. Its benzopyran dehydroglyasperin-C also showed neuroprotection []. Xiao Yao San, a traditional herb combination containing GUR for chronic depression, was effective in both animal models and clinical trials [,].

Other multifunctional properties of GUR constituents included reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation [], and mitochondrial impairment []. Interestingly, GUREE reports covered its chemopreventive [] and anti-diabetic properties []. Therefore, specifically investigating GUREE as a selective MAO-BI could be beneficial.

 
3. Psoralea Fruit Babchi (Psoralea Corylifolia)

MAO-B Inhibition Very High (IC50 <.07 mg/ml)

Psoralea fruit is a lesser known Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicinal plant species. It was used in the past for conditions like vitiligo and other skin related conditions. Recently it has received a lot of attention for its MAO inhibiting properties, and is suggested to be a norepinephrine, re-uptake inhibitor.  

In addition, the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia (aka, Bu Gu Zhi or Babchi; family Leguminosae) are important in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines []. PCSEE was one of the most potent and selective hMAO-BI using our fluorometric screening assay.

Our PCS findings are supported by our previous investigations on its hMAO-B inhibitory potency tested spectrophotometrically [], and its selectivity for hMAO-B using a luminescence assay [].

Previous PCS screened extracts for active constituents revealed that the ethanolic extract composes more medically active compounds than some other PCS extracts, which makes it a better candidate for novel phytomedicines [].

PSCEE is rich in benzopyrone structure constituents including coumarins and flavonoids. PCS furocoumarins psoralen and isopsoralen showed rat MAOs activities inhibitions [], which were supported by total furocoumarins potent antidepressant effects on mice []. PCS also contains isoflavones, which have been used as dietary supplements in various diseases, including osteoporosis, cognitive dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation [], which are close to PCS multifaceted properties [].

We previously investigated bavachinin and genistein flavonoids constituents of PCS. Bavachinin exhibited a selective hMAO-B inhibition [] while isoflavone genistein was similarly potent but less selective against hMAO-B [].

Moreover, PCSEE contains monoterpenes that protected against the MAO-B substrate 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) SN cell damage and MPTP-induced motor deficits in PD model [], inhibited DA and norepinephrine (NE) transporters [], and showed antidepressant effects with catecholamine neurotransmitters regulation [,].

The PCS extracts were also neuroprotective against the MPTP precursor MPP+ [] and the nitropropionic acid (3-NP) induced cytotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction [].

Although the seeds are used in dermatological disorders health supplements [] and increasingly investigated on in vitro and animal models, the extract and its phytochemicals clinical effects on degenerative diseases are yet to be clinically considered.

From our results, the observed association between PCS constituents MAO-B inhibitions and the extracts neuroprotection in the previous reports suggests more investigations for potential beneficial PCS phytochemicals for PD.

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4. Ferula assafoetida roots

MAO-B Inhibition Very High (IC50 <0.07 mg/ml)

This resin has been used as a spice and a phytomedicine around the globe for centuries. In the folklore medicine, it is mostly used in asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, and neuronal disorders [].

In recent reports, the resin improved memory and learning in rats [], and exhibited neuroprotection and nerve stimulation in mice peripheral neuropathy [], and anticonvulsant properties [].

FAR contains bioactive phytochemicals such as polysulfides, sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpene-coumarins, diterpenes, phenolics, and flavonoids [,]. Its coumarin umbelliprenin showed anti-inflammatory properties [], while ferulic acid showed anti-atherosclerotic, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties [] and became a candidate for AD [].

Therefore, investigations on the resin concerning PD need to be considered.

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Natural Products Screening for the Identification of Selective Monoamine Oxidase-B Inhibitors

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898948/

 

DEPRENYL

The video below explains Deprenyl a VERY safe pharmaceutical drug with hardly any side effects that inhibits MAO-B.  

 

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The Most Sought-After Anti-Aging Drug

February 2016

By William Faloon

William Faloon
William Faloon

In the 1980s-1990s, published studies in Europe showed remarkable life span increases in animals given a drug called deprenyl.

In elderly rats treated with deprenyl, remaining life span doubled in response to the drug. Aged dogs given deprenyl had twice the survival rate compared with placebo-treated dogs.  Mice that were immune-suppressed lived up to about 200% longer on deprenyl. (Most elderly humans suffer immune suppression).

Not only were life spans lengthened, but some deprenyl-supplemented animals displayed more youthful energy levels, as related to sexual activity.

This outpour of scientific data from Europe had aging Americans clamoring to get their hands on deprenyl. It started being used in Europe to treat Parkinson’s disease in the 1970s, but the FDA did not approve deprenyl until 1989.

When deprenyl was finally approved, it cost Americans 4 times more money than what Europeans were paying for the identical drug. Unwilling to pay this extortionist price, Americans began ordering personal-use supplies from Europe.

The FDA struck back and launched criminal investigations against those seeking to make deprenyl more affordable. The FDA did this at the behest of the drug company that owned the patent on deprenyl.

One individual made a liquid form of deprenyl that sold quite well until he was arrested by the FDA and sent to prison for almost 13 years. Back in those days, deprenyl was the most sought-after anti-aging drug.

Some of our supporters still use deprenyl, though getting a physician to prescribe it for anti-aging purposes is sometimes impossible. This article will describe how Americans can now derive the anti-aging mechanism of deprenyl in a low-cost nutrient.

Deprenyl is a drug the FDA approved to treat early-stage Parkinson’s disease. It was enthusiastically greeted by neurologists when first approved in the United States, but its therapeutic effect on advanced Parkinson’s patients was disappointing.

That’s because a significant drop in dopamine occurs before symptoms of Parkinson’s disease become evident. Therefore, most Parkinson’s patients have already lost so many dopamine-producing neurons that deprenyl is of little value.

Deprenyl enhances the anti-Parkinson effects of standard drugs.  Its primary mechanism is to inhibit an enzyme in the brain that destroys dopamine.

Longevity enthusiasts realized 30 years ago that if low-dose deprenyl is initiated before the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, the brain might be protected against Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

By inhibiting this dopamine-degrading enzyme, it was theorized, people might not only live longer, but behave younger.

This same enzyme (MAO-B) may be involved in the destruction of dopamine-producing neurons.

Dopamine Levels in the Brain

Prior to age 45 in people, dopamine levels remain fairly stable.  After that, dopamine in the human brain decreases by about 13% each decade.

When the dopamine-producing neuron content in the brain reaches about 30% of normal, Parkinson’s symptoms may be present.

When dopamine levels reach 10% of normal, death ensues.

This has led to the hypothesis that if we live long enough, we will all develop Parkinson’s symptoms due to dopamine depletion in our brains.

How Deprenyl Works in the Brain

How Deprenyl Works in the Brain  

Monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) is an enzyme in the brain that degrades neurotransmitters like dopamine.

As humans age, MAO-B levels begin to increase and degrade precious dopamine and other neurotransmitters.

Deprenyl is a selective inhibitor of MAO-B.  As little as 5 mg twice a week of deprenyl is all aging humans may need to maintain their dopamine at youthful levels.

Parkinson’s patients were prescribed 10 mg a day of deprenyl. The inventor of the drug (Dr. Joseph Knoll) believed this dose was too high.

It was long ago hypothesized that low-dose deprenyl might help prevent degenerative brain diseases and improve the quality of life. This is evidenced by increased “mounting frequency” in old male rats treated with deprenyl compared to untreated controls.

Dopamine is a primary “feel-good” neurotransmitter that progressively depletes as humans age. By restoring dopamine and other neurotransmitter levels using low-dose deprenyl, aging humans may regain some of their youthful sense of well-being.

Deprenyl has demonstrated intriguing anti-aging properties. Animals given relatively low doses of the drug live much longer than control groups not receiving deprenyl.

Need to Suppress MAO-B in Aging Brains

The enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) serves a function in youth by keeping neurotransmitter levels from elevating too high.  As we age past 45 years, however, MAO-B levels begin a steady rise that results the depletion in dopamine seen in elderly individuals.

MAO-B also may inflict toxic damage to brain cells via several well-defined mechanisms.

Excess MAO-B not only deprives us of our youthful emotions by depleting dopamine, but also impairs cognitive functions by decreasing acetylcholine while simultaneously accelerating brain aging.

People today should take steps to suppress MAO-B levels as they age past 45 years. Those who are already taking low-dose deprenyl (5 mg twice a week) may be deriving enormous benefits by protecting against MAO-B toxicity.

The problem is that most doctors will not prescribe deprenyl to non-Parkinson’s patients. Insurance companies are unlikely pay for “off-label” use.

 

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Depression and anxiety
Categories Health, Mental health

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression

It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or depressed occasionally, especially in response to life’s stressors. However, when these feelings become prolonged, disproportionate or apparent for no significant reason, they need to be addressed.

 

Thankfully diagnosis and treatment methods have come a long way, with many public health campaigns working towards bringing mental illness ‘out of the shadows’.

 

The co-occurrence of anxiety and depression is a noted feature of these disorders. While behavioral and emotional symptoms may differ within the two, the fact remains they are both an unnatural and unwelcome state of mental health.

 

Characterized by a constant overwhelming state of fear or worry, anxiety can be debilitating in its physical manifestations too. The symptoms of depression may be similar with unrelenting feelings of sadness or despair.

 

Best Methods of Treating Anxiety and Depression

Latest research has shown that all anxiety and depression is caused by chronic low grade inflammation.

 

Our understanding of mental illness has evolved over time, yet it still presents certain difficulties. Diagnostically speaking, depression and anxiety primarily affects the way an individual thinks and feels, and in most cases subsequently behaves; therefore we generally rely upon patients to identify these changes themselves and seek help.

 

In some case family members or close friends may be able to identify vulnerable individuals and assist in requesting attention. Once diagnosed however, treatment can be quite successful using a variety of approaches; the most common of which are psychological therapies or ‘talking therapies’.   But addressing the low grade inflammation is proving to be the best treatment.

 

Such therapies are generally administered by a qualified psychologist and involve either behavior modification (Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT) or examination of intrapersonal and interpersonal patterns and behaviors.

 

Generally, work will be done to identify and address key triggers and ways of managing future events. Such therapies are often combined with a focus on improving nutrition and encouraging regular exercise, which itself can actively promote a healthy mental state.

 

Indeed, a safe and effective first step towards self-empowerment is taking control over one’s diet. The benefits are both psychological and physiological. Reducing or eliminating spikes caused by sugar-laden foods and stimulants, such as excess coffee, cigarettes, etc., will help in reducing the debilitating feelings associated with general anxiety.

 

Children and Adults Can be Affected

Early life stress plays a major part in how well one can handle stress and if one has mental health issues later in life

 

Young people and children unfortunately are just as vulnerable to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. While often harder to detect, once diagnosed, applied therapies specifically designed for children can usually assist the child in living a happier and more fulfilling childhood. 

 

A happier childhood better prepares the child for dealing with the stresses of teen years and young adulthood. The healthy and safe transition of young adulthood enables the individual to prepare for and live a life feeling in control, empowered and able to deal with everyday challenges.

 

As in any medical case, treatment is ideally specifically tailored to suit the individual, based on a thorough study of personal history of symptoms, responses and environment.

 

Lowering the low grade inflammation with fish oil has shown to help alleviate anxiety and depression.  Also making sure your gut is in optimal condition is very important.

 

Anxiety and Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES)

Those caught in the cycle know all too well how anxiety impacts on every aspect of their life. Unchecked, it renders you ineffective and can easily segue into depression, and insomnia.

CES offers an effective drug-free way to end the vicious cycle of anxiety. It provides effective relief with none of the unpleasant side effects of prescription drugs. For a public increasingly concerned with the effects of stress on physical health and emotional well being, CES provides a way of addressing that stress in a safe and effective manner.

CES directly reduces anxiety. Many experience this immediately in the course of treatment; others, hours, or several days after. CES leaves you feeling both relaxed and alert. The effect differs from pharmaceutical treatments in that people report their body as feeling lighter and more relaxed and their mind, more alert and clearer. Results are cumulative and lasting.

CES is not only for those with a diagnosed condition but those simply coping with the stresses of an everyday existence. Whether you are a student under pressure in preparing for an exam, an athlete dealing with pre-competition anxiety, a businessman dealing with the stresses accompanying his work, or a housewife juggling her many responsibilities, CES can help you lead a more balanced and productive life.

Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation has been used in many clinical trials with great results. 

CES balances your brain’s chemistry, allowing you to be at peace with yourself again. Many patients report feeling relief the very first time they use the CES Ultra. And unlike drugs, CES has no negative side effects. It is non-addictive and you can use it safely as often as you like. Use the CES Ultra at a set time each day as your schedule allows as well as when those moments of panic strike during the course of the day — when you literally lose it. Stop and use your CES ultra to round that anxiety off and feel yourself once again. 

 

 

 

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