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How Is Autism Diagnosed?

According to the advocacy group Autism Speaks, one in every 36 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Early diagnosis is crucial to helping to treat the condition, but how is a diagnosis done?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<...

1 in 5 People Who Attempt Suicide Have No Prior Mental Illness

One out of every five adults who attempt suicide never met the criteria for a mental illness by the time the attempt happened, new research shows.

“This finding challenges clinical notions of who is at risk for suicidal behavior and raises questions about the safety of limiting suicide risk screening to psychiatric populations,” concluded a team led by

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 27, 2024
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  • Firsthand Experience of Climate Change Disasters Is Stressing Teens

    Weather disasters driven by climate change are stressing out U.S. teenagers, a new study warns.

    Teens with the most firsthand experience of events like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, droughts and wildfires were more likely to show signs of mental distress than peers who hadn't been confronted with the effects of climate change, researchers report.

    “We know that climate change has ...

    Mental Health Issues a Prime Driver of Deaths for New Moms: Study

    Data from dozens of studies supports the notion that mental health crises are a big factor behind rising rates of maternal deaths during and around pregnancy in the United States.

    “We need to bring this to the attention of the public and policymakers to demand action to address the mental health crisis that is contributing to the demise of mothers in America," said

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 26, 2024
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  • Grief Affects the Body, Not Just the Mind

    Of course grief can ravage your mind, but science shows it can also weaken your body, leaving you open to illness.

    “As humans, we are strongly motivated to seek out social bonds that are warm, dependable, friendly and supportive,” explained George Slavich. He directs the Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Res...

    Hormone Replacement Therapy Could Ease Depression Around Menopause

    Hormone replacement therapy might help women avoid depression as they go through menopause, a new study finds.

    Women treated with hormone therapy at a menopause clinic in Ontario, Canada, experienced a reduction in their symptoms of depression, researchers report Feb. 21 in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 26, 2024
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  • Food-Focused Toddlers at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders as Teens

    Toddlers who are really into their food might have a higher risk of developing an eating disorder once they enter adolescence, a new study shows.

    Kids ages 4 and 5 with a strong urge to eat when teased with tasty food appear more likely to report a range of eating disorder symptoms by ages 12 to 14, researchers report Feb. 20 in

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 23, 2024
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  • Wendy Williams Diagnosed With Frontotemporal Dementia

    Former talk show host Wendy Williams has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia, her representatives announced in a statement on Thursday.

    The conditions are the same diagnoses actor Bruce Willis received in 2022...

    Recognize the Signs of Burnout in Yourself and Others

    Burnout: It's a common enough concept, but how do you know if you're experiencing it at work and at home?

    According to experts at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, a myriad of daily pressures placed on individuals can culminate in burnout.

    “Burnout is not a result of one singular thing,” explained Dr. Eric Storch...

    Anger Won't Help You Get Ahead in the Workplace

    Being an angry hard-charger won't win you any points in the workplace, new research has found.

    Prior evidence had suggested that workers who express anger are judged to be competent and hold a higher status, the researchers noted.

    But the new studies refute those earlier findings, according to researchers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Princeton University.

    "We found ...

    Patients With Depression Face Highest Risk for Suicide in Days After Hospital Discharge

    People treated at psychiatric hospitals are at highest risk of committing suicide immediately after their discharge if they suffer from depression, a new study reports.

    Patients hospitalized for depression are hundreds of times more likely to commit suicide within the first three days of discharge, compared to the suicide rate of the general population, results show.

    “Although we ...

    Anorexia Can Hit Boys and Men, Too

    Anorexia isn't solely a disease that strikes women and girls, Canadian experts say, so they want to raise awareness that the illness can also be serious for boys and men.

    "Early identification and prompt treatment are essential," wrote a team led by Dr. Basil Kadoura. He's a specialist in adolescent health at British Columbia Children's Hospita...

    Parenting Style Could Influence ADHD Severity in Kids

    A shift in parenting early in a child's development might help curb the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research suggests.

    When a preschooler exhibits an "excitable or exuberant" temperament, dialing down a "controlling" style of parenting in favor of what's known as "directive" parenting could mean milder ADHD symptoms as a child ages, Canadian researche...

    When Grandparents Support Mom, Antidepressant Use Drops: Study

    When grandparents can lend a hand with little ones, moms are less likely to battle depression.

    And, in turn, they are less likely to take antidepressants, Finnish researchers report in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Population Studies.

    Based on a study that tracked 488,000 mothers of young children in Finland, use of antidepressants was highest in moms whose parents and i...

    Being Bullied in Childhood More Than Triples Risk of Mental Health Struggles Later

    When bullies destroy a young victim's trust, mental health problems are likely to follow them into adulthood, a new study warns.

    "There are few public health topics more important than youth mental health right now," said senior study author George Slavich, director of UCLA Health's Laboratory for Stress Assessment ...

    Blood Test to Predict Schizophrenia Shows Promise

    Researchers say they have developed a blood test for schizophrenia.

    More than 3 million people in the United States have schizophrenia, a disorder marked by hallucinations and delusions, or a related psychotic illness. 

    The new test, which is expected to be available later this year from MindX Sciences, identifies markers in the blood that objectively measure a person's risk fo...

    Is Marriage a Prescription for Happiness? Poll Says Yes

    While marriage can be hard work, a new survey suggests it can also be a powerful elixir for happiness.

    Adults who are married report being more satisfied with their lives than those in any other type of relationship, the Gallup poll showed.

    “Any way you analyze those data, we see a fairly...

    Dementia Care Costs Can Quickly Burn Through People's Savings: Study

    Dementia care can eat through the savings of cash-strapped seniors, a new study warns.

    The average senior with dementia in non-nursing residential care facilities spent 97% of their monthly income on long-term care, researchers found. Meanwhile, those living in nursing homes spend nearly 83% of their monthly income on their care, results show.

    “Because dementia is such an expensiv...

    Medical Tourism in Mexico Led to Deadly Fungal Illness for Americans

    Medical tourism to Mexico for cosmetic procedures exposed Americans to a deadly fungal infection last year, a new report shows.

    An outbreak of Fusarium solani meningitis occurred at two clinics in Matamoros specializing in elective cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts.

    The new report, published Feb. 8 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 9, 2024
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  • During Grief and Loss, Simple Steps Can Help You Cope

    Filling the day with simple activities could be the key to improving mood and well-being after a person has suffered the loss of a loved one, a new study finds.

    These “uplifts” -- activities that can improve a person's mood -- helped ease grief on a day-to-day basis, researchers reported recently in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 9, 2024
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  • Survey Shows Transgender, Nonbinary People Suffer Financial Strife, Stigma

    Preliminary data from the largest survey examining the quality of life for transgender and nonbinary Americans show they suffer high levels of unemployment and harassment.

    In the early findings, released Wednesday, the National Center for Transgender Equality gathered responses on 600 questions from more than 92,000 transgender and nonbinary Americ...

    Cutting U.S. Homelessness by 25% Could Prevent 2,000 Opioid Deaths Each Year

    Reducing homelessness by 25% could save nearly 2,000 lives lost each year to opioid overdoses, a new study estimates.

    It also could save 850 lives from alcohol poisoning and 540 from cocaine overdoses, researchers from the University of Georgia estimate.

    This is the first study to suggest that homelessness contributes to deaths from substance use, the researchers said.

    “One ...

    Late-Life Divorce May Be Mentally Tougher on Women Than Men

    Divorce later in life might be harder on women than on men, based on patterns of antidepressant use in a new study of people aged 50 or older.

    Both sexes tended to increase their antidepressant use when going through a divorce, break-up or the death of a partner, researchers found.

    But women's use of these drugs was greater than men's, results show.

    Antidepressant use increase...

    Music Hath Charms to Boost Mental Health: Poll

    Music may be good medicine for older adults, boosting both their mental and physical health, a new survey finds.

    Virtually all people between the ages of 50 and 80 (98%) say they benefit in at least one health-related way from engaging with music, according to results from the latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

    ...

    Body Temperature Rises in People Battling Depression

    Depression and a rise in body temperature appear linked, although researchers say it's not yet clear which causes which.

    Still, the findings offer a hint that manipulating body temperature might be a new form of therapy against depression.

    “To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date to examine the association between body temperature -- assessed using both self-report me...

    Could Bullying Raise a Teen's Odds for Psychosis?

    The Pearl Jam song “Jeremy” tells the story of a boy driven mad by bullies who commits suicide in front of his classroom.

    The song might reflect a real and ongoing threat to teens' mental health, new research suggests.

    Teens being bullied face a greater risk of early-stage psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or paranoia, according to findings published recently in the jou...

    Veterans' Study Shows Effectiveness of Ketamine Against Depression

    The former 'party drug' ketamine has gotten some good press recently, with clinical trials suggesting it might be a powerful and fast-acting antidepressant.

    Now, one of the first "real-world" studies of ketamine against depression appears to support those findings.

    Researchers at the University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System say that almost half of 215 veter...

    Is Money Needed for Happiness? Tribes Study Suggests Otherwise

    They say money can't buy happiness – and now a new study of Indigenous peoples around the world backs up that assertion.

    People living in small-scale societies on the fringes of the modern world lead lives as happy and satisfying as folks from wealthy, technologically advanced nations, researchers report Feb. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    "Surp...

    Black Americans Lose Sleep After High-Profile Police Killings

    Police killings of unarmed Black people are robbing the Black community of a precious commodity – sleep.

    Black adults across the United States suffer from sleep problems after they're exposed to news of killings that occur during police encounters, a new study published Feb. 5 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds.

    Specifically, Black adults experienced increases i...

    Hearing Troubles Can Affect the Mind, Too

    If you're over 65, you likely struggle sometimes to hear conversations clearly, but ignoring that may prompt even more serious health problems, experts say.

    If left unchecked, hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression -- two conditions known to raise dementia risk, said Dr. Leah Ross, a physician in the Di...

    Need Mental Health Services Via Telehealth? Many Clinics Still Don't Offer It

    Accessing mental health care via telehealth boomed during the pandemic, and it continues to be a valuable resource for patients.

    However, it could still be tough to find, depending on the clinics available in your area, new research finds.

    “We found considerable variation in the types of services telehealth offered by mental health clinics across the U.S.,” said study author

    Loneliness Is Plaguing Americans in 2024: Poll

    Americans are terribly lonely, a new poll reveals.

    Among U.S. adults, about one in three said they feel lonely at least once a week. Worse, one in 10 Americans say they feel lonely every day, results show.

    Younger people are more likely to experience loneliness, which is defined as a lack of meaningful or close relationships or sense of belonging, according to the American Psychiatr...

    How Walking in Nature Sharpens the Mind

    A walk in the woods appears to sharpen the mind better than an urban asphalt amble, a new brain scan study finds.

    People strolling through an arboretum at the University of Utah performed better on brain function tests than those who walked around an asphalt-laden medical campus, according to findings published recently in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 1, 2024
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  • Long-Acting Injected Antipsychotics Help People With Schizophrenia Stay Out of Hospital

    For people with schizophrenia hospitalized after a psychotic episode, getting a long-acting antipsychotic injection works far better than pills to keep them from returning to hospital care.

    That's the finding of a new study from researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

    They found that injected antipsychotic meds -- which provide continuous treatment from two weeks u...

    Folks Often Hide Infectious Illness at Work, Socializing

    A disturbing number of people sick with an infectious disease conceal their illness to avoid missing work, travel or social events, new research reveals.

    About three in four people (75%) had either hidden an infectious illness from others at least once or might do so in the future.

    These folks reported boarding planes, going on dates and engaging in other social activities while sic...

    High School Kids Who Use Weed, Alcohol Face Higher Risks for Suicidal Thoughts

    High school students who smoke, drink or use weed are more likely to be emotionally troubled and have suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

    Teens who turn to nicotine, alcohol or marijuana are more likely to think about suicide, feel depressed or anxious, have psychotic episodes and exhibit inattention or hyperactivity, researchers report Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

    Leaving Pets Behind Adds to Trauma, Danger for People in Crisis

    Imagine being subjected to domestic violence in your home, wanting to escape -- but there's no place you can go that will accept a beloved pet.

    That's the gut-wrenching situation facing too many victims of domestic abuse, according to a new data review spanning 27 years.

    “In a lot of cases of domestic violence, there is evidence to suggest that people will delay leaving their rel...

    Practice 'Self-Compassion' to Help Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

    It's not easy to lose weight, especially when facing a world filled with the temptation of tasty treats and rich, delicious meals.

    But being kind to yourself can make the difference when it comes to sticking to a diet, a new study reports.

    Dieters who practice self-compassion -- showing themselves the same care and kindness they'd show loved ones -- are better able to get past an ov...

    Playing Music Hits a High Note for Brain Health

    Stuart Douglas, 78, has played the accordion all his long life.

    “I learned to play the accordion as a boy living in a mining village in Fife and carried on throughout my career in the police force and beyond,” said Douglas, of Cornwall, England. “These days I still play regularly, and playing in the band also keeps my calendar full, as we often perform in public.”

    Douglas' p...

    Social Withdrawal in Kids, Teens May Signal Higher Suicide Risk Later: Study

    If your preteen or teen skips school activities and social events, it may be more than the typically moody behavior of adolescence, new research warns.

    Being socially withdrawn and having physical discomforts such as headaches, nausea or stomachaches as a preteen may boost the risk of having suicidal thoughts by age 16, researchers report.

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 26, 2024
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  • Common Heart Drug Might Lower Anxiety in Kids With Autism

    Could a blood pressure drug thats been around since the 1960s help ease anxiety in people with autism?

    That's the main finding from a small study where 69 people between the ages of 7 and 24 who had autism were given the drug, called propranolol.

    “The findings show that propranolol could serve as a helpful intervention for reduc...

    AA Programs Turn Lives Around, But Most Members Are White: Study

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a key means by which millions of Americans deal with drinking problems.

    However, white Americans are much more likely to engage in the trusted “12-step” program than Black of Hispanic drinkers, a new study finds.

    Black and Hispanic alcoholics are about 40% less likely to have ever attended an AA meeting, compared to white drinkers, according to analysis o...

    Looking for a Good Therapist? Experts Offer Guidance

    If you decide to see a therapist, finding one who's right for you presents one of the biggest early hurdles.

    “The field of psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy has advanced over the years, and one of the ways it has advanced is by learning that certain therapies may work best for certain problems,” said Eric Storch,...

    Treating Loneliness in the Obese May Lower Risk of Early Death

    Loneliness can be a killer, but it can be particularly deadly for obese people, who are markedly more likely to experience social isolation.

    Luckily, a new study shows that addressing it may lower the risk of health complications and an early death for these folks.

    “To date, dietary and lifestyle factors are the major focus in preventing obesity-related illness,” study author <...

    Is Your Kid Gambling Online? Poll Shows Most Parents Wouldn't Know

    Think your kid is safe from exposure to gambling?

    Don't bet on it.

    "Teens and young adults may have a difficult time going into a casino unnoticed but they have easy access to a variety of betting and gambling options," said Sarah Clark, co-director of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's ...

    Depression Can Strike Patients With Heart Failure, But Two Therapies Help

    Depression affects half of the 6 million Americans who struggle with debilitating heart failure.

    Now, research shows that two leading modes of treatment -- antidepressants and an approach called behavioral activation psychotherapy -- work equally well to ease depression among these patients.

    Behavioral activation psychotherapy works by promoting involvement in activities that the p...

    Quick Withdrawal From Antidepressants Can Take Emotional, Cognitive Toll

    People coming off antidepressants often struggle with emotional and social turmoil, especially if they quit their meds cold turkey, a new study reports.

    Challenges reported by patients quitting antidepressants included feeling overwhelmed by their emotions, finding social situations less enjoyable, and feeling detached and less empathetic towards others.

    “Some symptoms were so sev...

    These Traits Help Keep College Kids Happy

    College freshmen who are more outgoing and agreeable -- and less moody -- are more likely to feel a sense of belonging at their new school, new research has found.

    Those personality traits could result in better academic performance and better mental health during college, the study authors concluded.

    However, two other important personality traits -- conscientiousness and openness ...

    Dopamine Hit Could Drive Mental Boost From Exercise

    TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2024 (HeathDay News) -- Folks often feel more alert and savvy after a great workout, and dopamine might be the reason why.

    A small, new study by British and Japanese researchers found higher levels of the "feel good" brain neurotransmitter were released by men during exercise.

    In turn, that seemed tied to better performance on thinking tests, the researchers said....

    MRI-Guided Brain Zaps Ease Severe Depression for 6 Months

    Magnetic zaps to the brain can significantly help people with severe depression, if the procedure is guided using MRI brain scans, a new clinical trial has concluded.

    On average, patients showed substantial improvements in depression, anxiety, cognition and quality of life for at least six months after undergoing MRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), results show.

    One-...

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