Sunday, 27 November 2011

Alcohol and depression

I have thought a lot about the recent events in my life and it made me understand the following: wise are those who learn from their's earlier mistakes. Today I would like to share my experience with alcohol and explain what is actually wrong with us when we decide to use it as a relief from stress.

I said what is wrong with us not with alcohol. This means I will not pose the latter one as root of all evil, which is the simplest thing to do. It is we who decide to drink it thus we shall carry responsibility. The same statement works with other things like drugs that we take, or guns that we shoot. In reality devils are in our minds only and they don't posess things as they do in horror movies.

Back to alcohol. The main mistake is to drink it when you feel bad. Alcohol is a depressant which slows brain activity down. Most people feel relaxed after a couple of shots however more alcohol may cause depression, anxiety and/or aggression. Let me explain it in details.

- The first effect of alcohol as it reaches the outer brain is euphoria, a sense of pleasure as it lowers your inhibition. You seem to relief from stress and feel relaxed.

- With more alcohol your coordination and perception are affected, you can have memory blackouts or have difficulty moving.

- As the alcohol reaches your mid-brain, reflexes diminish, you experience confusion, stupor, and may lapse into a coma.

Depressive/agressive behaviour apears on the second stage. If you felt good before taking alcohol your mood may worsen or change into aggressive. This varies from person to person and depends on many different factors. However, if you are already depressed as you drink chances are you will feel worse. There are more chances that you'd like to self-harm and there are many cases of attempted suicide people commited in drunk state.

To sum this up: when you are depressed and feel that you need to release from stress by drinking some - remember that you will have this relief only for a small period of time and will feel worse afterwards. Remember that and decide what is good for you and what is not. Remember that you're making your own choice whether it is choice to recover or to freak yourself out.

Take care and have a nice weekend!


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Let the sunshine in

Good things come and go while bad ones tend to stick in a memory and sometimes even good things pass by unnoticed. This is why a depressed mind spend sleepless nights recollecting the worst events in one's life. This used to happen to me for a long time and only recently have I understood it (thanks to my husband a lot) and would like to change things into a positive way.

There are 3 things I'll keep doing until I achieve positive results:

1. Pause every time as I notice something good even a small thing and enjoy the moment. Not just pass by. My camera helped me a lot last year although I did not fully understand it. I captured wonderful treasures of nature and enjoyed every bit of them. I still recollect last spring and summer with a smile because these are memories of the best moments in my life.

2. Create good things for myself. There are so many pleasures in life: good meal, long bubble bath, nice books, colorful pictures, interesting movies. Self-indulgence is great if you add sense to it.

3. Find positive moments even in bad events. This one is the hardes one for me. See when depressed I usually become a paranoid downer who finds bad sides in almost any event. If something good happens sooner or later I'll have a thought that it'll finish soon and the next is obviously something drastic. Being very touchy I would react to a tiniest bad event as if it is a drama of my whole life. But since this time I will do my best to evaluate every event and make my mind clear.

I will let the sunshine in so it could warm me up these days and advice you to do the same. Here is a song which title I took for this post. Take care!



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To my readers...

Dear all who reads my blog, I write tips and advice here which you may find useful. However I would like to be honest and tell you the story which happened to me on this weekend.

Just before I start here is some info you need to know. I was asked in comments whether I am a psychologist or a therapist of sime kind. In fact I'm neither of that. I'm a former cutter and used to suffer depression for about 4 years, tried to commit suicide in 2005. After an antidepressant and self-help therapy I seemed to recover. I started this blog to help those who suffers depression and to share my experience so that someone can find it useful.

Now the story. On Saturday night when me and my husband met our friends I tried to commit suicide. All I remember is 3 things: First: I sat with my husband by the fire and felt wery peaceful. The next is I lay in dirt feeling real bad. The third one is my husband and one of our friends catch a taxi to drive me home.

As we came back home I was told the following: First I sat by the fire with one of our friends ans try to woo him. My husband took me aside so we could speak privately, when a ran psychotic. I screamed bloody murder for about 2 hours, I tried to throw myself before a car for about 10 times scaring the hell out of my husband. I told him that I spoil his life, that he has a writer's block because of me and that I want to die.

I still don't remember a thing. And I doubt if I have a right to advice something about depression after that day. I am ashamed of what I've done but don't want to blame alcohol for it because noone forced me to drink so much. And I'm very scared. My husband got cold real bad when he carried me, and stopped my suicide attempts. He still is very nervous. So bad that his arms and jaws become physically numb from time to time.

I don't know if I will be able to write here and if I have a right to write here. I will think about it.

Take care.


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Personality Disorder Information

An exceptionally good test. Although the results are never precise in any of such test because usually people tend to exaggerate or downgrade certain traits of theirs. Anyway what really drew my attention is the following brief personality disorder Information:

Paranoid
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with this disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and abilities and usually avoid close relationships with others. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others. They are quick to challenge the loyalties of friends and loved ones and often appear cold and distant to others. They usually shift blame to others and tend to carry long grudges.

Schizoid
People with schizoid personality disorder avoid relationships and do not show much emotion. They genuinely prefer to be alone and do not secretly wish for popularity. They tend to seek jobs that require little social contact. Their social skills are often weak and they do not show a need for attention or acceptance. They are perceived as humorless and distant and often are termed "loners."

Schizotypal
Many believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They sometimes believe to have extra sensory ability or that unrelated events relate to them in some important way. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow.

Antisocial
A common misconception is that antisocial personality disorder refers to people who have poor social skills. The opposite is often the case. Instead, antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a lack of conscience. People with this disorder are prone to criminal behavior, believing that their victims are weak and deserving of being taken advantage of. They tend to lie and steal. Often, they are careless with money and take action without thinking about consequences. They are often agressive and are much more concerned with their own needs than the needs of others.

Borderline
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by mood instability and poor self-image. People with this disorder are prone to constant mood swings and bouts of anger. Often, they will take their anger out on themselves, causing themselves injury. Suicidal threats and actions are not uncommon. They think in very black and white terms and often form intense, conflict-ridden relationships. They are quick to anger when their expectations are not met.

Histrionic
People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. They also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.

Narcissistic
Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by self-centeredness. Like histrionic disorder, people with this disorder seek attention and praise. They exaggerate their achievements, expecting others to recongize them as being superior. They tend to be choosy about picking friends, since they believe that not just anyone is worthy of being their friend. They tend to make good first impressions, yet have difficulty maintaining long-lasting relationships. They are generally uninterested in the feelings of others and may take advantage of them.

Avoidant
Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by extreme social anxiety. People with this disorder often feel inadequate, avoid social situations, and seek out jobs with little contact with others. They are fearful of being rejected and worry about embarassing themselves in front of others. They exaggerate the potential difficulties of new situations to rationalize avoiding them. Often, they will create fantasy worlds to substitute for the real one. Unlike schizoid personality disorder, avoidant people yearn for social relations yet feel they are unable to obtain them. They are frequently depressed and have low self-confidence.

Dependent
Dependent personality disorder is characterized by a need to be taken care of. People with this disorder tend to cling to people and fear losing them. They may become suicidal when a break-up is imminent. They tend to let others make important decisions for them and often jump from relationship to relationship. They often remain in abusive relationships. They are overly sensitive to disapproval. They often feel helpless and depressed.

Obsessive-Compulsive
Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder is similar to obsessive-compulsive anxiety disorder. People with this disorder are overly focused on orderliness and perfection. Their need to do everything "right" often interferes with their productivity. They tend to get caught up in the details and miss the bigger picture. They set unreasonably high standards for themselves and others, and tend to be very critical of others when they do not live up to these high standards. They avoid working in teams, believing others to be too careless or incompetent. They avoid making decisions because they fear making mistakes and are rarely generous with their time or money. They often have difficulty expressing emotion.

Here's the source of this info and I hope you've found it interesting.


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Improving Self-Esteem

Below I am posting tips on how to learn to estemate yourself higher.

"1. Make a List of Strengths and Positive Attributes

Sit down with a pen and paper and list all the strengths that you have as well as all the positive things that you can say about yourself. This could include skills that you may have (e.g. cooking) or attributes that you possess (e.g. pretty eyes, a lovely voice).

Include in this list all the positive things that you have ever heard people say about you. These do not need to be things with which you necessarily agree. For example, if someone has told you that you have attractive handwriting, but you don't agree - include it on the list. After all, the opinions of others are just as valid as yours, aren't they?

It is also a good idea to go to close friends, colleagues, and relatives and ask them to name three positive things about you - include these on the list as well.

Take a few days to do this exercise. You will be surprised at what you will come up with!
Some people find it hard to make a list of positive things about themselves. If this happens to you, it probably has its root in your childhood. Many people are taught that it is conceited and 'bad' to say anything positive about themselves. If it makes you uncomfortable to write down complimentary things about yourself, there is all the more reason to work at it. Do it even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

2. Learn to Accept Compliments

Are you the sort of person who feels awkward when other people compliment you? Do you find it difficult to know what to say in response to a compliment?

If you are, begin to practice receiving compliments graciously. If some one compliments you, say 'Thank you' and smile at them. Do not try and discredit the other person's words by pointing out negative things about yourself, like 'It's just an old dress', 'I was just lucky', 'I usually mess up'. Receive the compliment and learn to take pleasure in it. This may be difficult at first, but if you practice it will become easier.

If you allow other people to compliment you, you will help yourself to feel more positive and may even begin to like yourself more.

3. Don't Keep Putting Yourself Down!

People with low self-esteem often say negative things about themselves and may even go out of their way to put themselves down in company and point out their faults when it is not necessary to do so.

Pay attention to how you speak about yourself. Do you say negative things about yourself and your abilities? 'I can't......', or ‘I'm not good at .....', or 'I always make mistakes .....’? Do you deliberately point out your perceived faults or imperfections?

If you recognize this tendency, begin to work on avoiding negative references to yourself. Ask friends and family to remind you when you do so and correct yourself. Change 'I can't' to 'It's difficult, but I can try'. Find positive things to say about yourself rather than criticism. Practice this as much as you can.

4. Stop Apologizing!

Are you always saying 'I'm sorry'? People with low self-esteem often have a habit of apologizing for themselves all the time. If they meet someone in a passage, they say 'I'm sorry'. If they want to speak to someone, they say 'I'm sorry'. Whenever they have to get someone's attention, they say 'I'm sorry'.

Sorry for what? For existing?

Stop apologizing and recognize that you have a right to be around and to be heard. Instead of saying 'I'm sorry' all the time, begin smiling at people - it is much more positive!

5. Try New Things

If your self-esteem is low, the chances are that you avoid trying new things and meeting new people. This only reinforces your negative perception of yourself. What you need to do is to provide yourself with the opportunity to experience success and pleasure in what you do. This will increase your self-esteem and will make you more confident to try even more new things.

So take up a new hobby, begin a sport, sign up for gym membership or join a hiking club or dance class. Do things that you have never done before like go for a massage or a facial. Buy a cookbook and try out new recipes. Invite some friends around for dinner. The list is endless!

6. Spend Time with People who Help You to Feel Good about Yourself

This is an important one! People with low self-esteem will often allow themselves to be used, bullied and abused. Sometimes they behave like doormats and allow other people to order them around and take advantage of them. They may also seek out people who are negative about life and have difficulty seeing the positive in anything.

If you are being pushed around and feel unappreciated, learn to say 'NO' when you feel like you want to! Choose to spend time with people whose company you enjoy and spend less time with people who do not contribute to your sense of well being. If you are in an abusive or destructive relationship, get out of it or seek professional help. Do an 'audit' of your relationships and stop spending time and energy on people who bring nothing positive to your life. The longer you allow yourself to be unappreciated and taken advantage of, the worse you will feel about yourself. You can change that!

7. Treat Yourself with Respect and Consideration

If you do not respect yourself and see your needs as important, then no one else will do so either. Learn not to always put yourself last and be in touch with your needs.
Look after your physical self. Have your hair cut, dress in clothes that you like and take care of your grooming and your health. Spoil yourself with things that you enjoy like bubble baths and special treats. Do things that help you to feel good.

Look after your environment. Keep your home tidy and spend time and energy making your environment beautiful. Polish a table, buy yourself some flowers, use scented oils in your bedroom, open the curtains and let the sun come in. Organize your work space and personalize it to express your personality. All these things are important ways of showing yourself that you are worth caring for. If you do them often, you will be surprised to find other people beginning to do them for you as well!

8. Smile at Other People and Look Them in the Eye

People who lack confidence often avoid eye contact and spend their time looking down at the ground.

Stop looking down! Look up and greet people. Look them in the eye and smile. Say 'Hi!' Most people will smile back and the friendly response will feel good. This may seem like a small thing, but it will also help you to feel more positive about yourself.

9. Be Aware of your Body Language

Stand up straight! Put your shoulders back and your head up. Posture plays a more important role than we realize in how we feel about ourselves. Stooping and making your body less noticeable is a subconscious way of communicating that you are not worthy to take up space in your surroundings and conveys a message of subjugation and humility to others - an 'I'm not good enough' message.

Help yourself to feel better and more confident by standing straight and tall!

10. If Nothing Changes, Get Help

These are all practical exercises that you can do to help yourself to feel more confident and to increase your sense of self worth. Obviously you cannot expect to change overnight and old habits and perceptions are hard to break.

However, if you have really tried to change the way that you feel about yourself and find that you are fighting a loosing battle, don't give up and feel that you can never change. An experienced counselor can help you to change the negative ways that you relate to yourself and help you to develop a more positive sense of self-esteem. It is well worth the investment in time and money to work on your self-esteem. One of the great joys of being a therapist is seeing people's lives change drastically for the better once they begin to see themselves in a more positive light!"

Taken from Self-Esteem - eBooklet


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How antidepressants work. PART 3

Here is the last part of the material about Antidepressants and it is actually about them. After 2 long and sweet parts of a preface here is the last one which describes depression build-up process.
People with depression usually have problems with poor sleep, low mood and appetite, loss of energy and interest or pleasure etc. It is a common illness, affecting 3% of the population per year. The main theory about why this happens is the so-called "monoamine hypothesis".

We know that serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain are involved with control of sleep/wake, emotions, mood, arousal, emotion, drive, temperature regulation, feeding etc. Thus, if a person has too little serotonin and noradrenaline in the part of the brain that controls mood, this will produce too little activity, and that part of the brain become slower and less effective. This will lower mood.

In depression, it is known that there are reduced levels of serotonin and noradrenaline. These reduced levels lead to a lowering of mood. The full reasons are not fully known but stress may well play a part in causing this.


"Normal" communication between cells:

"Reduced" nerve activity e.g. as in depression:

There are lots of other theories about how depression occurs e.g. genetics, how the brain develops, stress etc. There may in fact be many causes and in each person there may be a combination of these. Stress may in fact cause changes in the brain which then result in reduced levels of serotonin and noradrenaline. Transmitters other than much serotonin and noradrenaline are probably also involved.


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Don't get stuck in a swamp with your friends


This is the answer to comment from Joi:
"Realizing that we have more power than we give ourselves credit for helps a lot. Sometimes we just have to switch people OFF the way we do our television or radio when they annoy us!"
It is obvious that usually we communicate with people who we like and avoid those we don't. However, there are situations when we think we have to stand annoying persons for some reason. I will not go deeply into relations with strangers or acquaintances this time. Just a short notice:

You have almost all possible ways to avoid communication with strangers that bother you. Just don't let guilt or underconfidence stop you. You can behave in a same way with aquaintances unless you don't want to break with them off completelly. In this case you can tell them you're either not interested in (or even hate) the particular topic or don't have time for it. In any way remember that you have no obligation to communicate with either of them.

Friends and relatives are a different case. The hardest part here is to actually understand that some of them make you feel sad or depressed. It is a common thing that there are successful people who walk the walk and those who are stuck in a swamp and try to suck as many people with them as possible. Let me explain.

Say you have some idea. You share it with a person and s/he finds tons of reasons why you shouldn't even bother with that. S/he'll tell you the stories of those who tried smth similar and failed, warns you about those difficulties here and there.

In the second case the person agrees with you that it is a great idea and is eager to join you in its realization. But he cannot spare a minute today. Tomorrow perhaps or the next week or well later. Just a little bit later. You wait for him ask him what's the progress and s/he is still eager to participate. S/he will discuss all the tiny details with you, show you their interest yet do nothing practical... Untill you burn out and leave your idea for good.

Now I may be saying a harsh thing, still: these people are loosers. But not just that. They make you become a looser too! They are stuck im their swamp of routine and fears and suck everyone who gets close to them.

A golden rule of all sucessful people is not to communicate with loosers. Never listen to advices of loosers. How dare they advice you something if they cannot improve even their own life! And what kind of advices do they tell you: "don't do this and that because I know it'll make you no good". The fact is they won't see any good in whatever you do. But they do so not because they are bad.

I used to have two friends who were nice people by all means. We loved to dine together, visited each other often, enjoyed speaking about different things. But when it came to something more important like joint business one of them started complaining like "what if we fail" without even starting, and the other one gave hope by joining me, gave 1000 and 1 advice on how to work out some details of little importance but never did a thing.

Now if you realize that someone makes you feel bad in some way - choose between friendship and your sanity. Don't let them imbog you. Switch them off.


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Step 3b: Get rid of trigges

Get rid of triggesLet us continue dealing with triggers. In the previous post I tried to explain what to do with memory triggers and annoying things. (And if you're new here - here is the beginning of my self-help steps series).

Today let us face web triggers and sensual triggers.

Web triggers

Web triggers are those sites, blogs or communities which somehow worsen your mood. And if you decided to improve your mood and your state try

- not to visit sites which bring you sad memories (i.e. your ex's blog)
- not to visit sites where people share their pain

About the second one: depressed people tend to visit depressive sites and share stories on how bad they feel. However most of the times they feel worse after reading these things. Why? Because consciously or not they try on the others' problems and find correlations with their own. Just like the following way: "John writes that after [some event] he felt so sad. Yeah I usually feel sad after such things too! Like yesterday (...) " - and the damage is done. You read further and further and soak in the depressive environment. Instead visit those pages that either help dealing with problems or where people share success stories.

Sensual triggers

Different people react differently to various sounds, smells or colors and it may seem difficult to control physical reactions to sudden triggers of this kind. However, even autistic people (who have very delicate senses as well as unstable mood patterns) can learn to deal with loud / unpleasant sounds or dazzle lights. Here are some ways to reduce annoyance from sounds, colors and smells.

Sounds

Before I start writing about external sounds let me first ask, what kind of music do you usually listen when feeling sad? L-o-t-s of people (including myself) enjoy listening to depressive music when they're sad. The reason is simple: when you're depressed you pity yourself over and over again, and you LOVE the way it feels and can't get enough of your sorrow. BUT if you want to live withou depression and feel happines because of positive emotions you should stop pitying yourself. Means stop listening to depressive music.

Now external stuff. The best way to reduce annoyance from loud or unpleasant sounds is to actually use ipod or mp3-player which will block external sounds. Just be careful when crossing the street etc! And make sure you have backup batteries or charged accumulators (because I know how annoying it is to have your batteries dead in the middle of your favorite track!).

Colors

There can be some colors in the street that you hate or you can have some ugly-colored things in your surroundings. The simplest tool that will help you to deal with first ones is sunglasses. You can find tons of sunglasses of different styles and colors. Choose whichever you like and make them a part of your image! Have as many sunglasses as you want. Not only will they protect you from dazzling lights and disturbant colors, but they will also make you feel safer. Just accept a small advice: if it is possible take off the glasses when speaking to people important to you because eye contact is a very important part of communication. It can also work perfectly vice versa: you will feel more confident when speaking to an unpleasant person with your glasses on.

What about things you posess or that you have around at home / work - see previous step. In short: try to get rid of these things or ask the person who posesses them to replace these things if it is possible.

Smells

What to do when a gas-helmet is unavailable? Try these tips:

- Bypass the source of unpleasant smell or try to escape it as fast as possible. Hold your breath if needed and if it reminds you something sad - force yourself to think about something else. Or multiply numbers.

- If you cannot bypass the annoying smell but can remove it - do it! The more active you are - the better. The worst thing you can do is to suffer quietly when you can make a positive change.

- If you cannot remove the smell but know that someone can - ask her/him to do so

That's all for this part it seems. And that's all with external disturbants. We dealt with ourselves, people, things and senses. Now it's time for everyday practice. Make changes everyday untill you tick every point in your to-do list. I am sure that you will feel better when have less triggers that worsen your mood.


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Special populations and depression therapy

Today I would like to start speaking about antidepressant therapy as the most common depression cure method. However, before listing different medications in-depth I'll begin with short advices for the below-mentioned groups:

"When deciding on therapy, some clinically depressed patients require special considerations:

Bipolar disorder -- these patients have extreme mood swings (periods of excessive high spirits followed by severe depressive episodes). Typically, the antidepressants are augmented with mood stabilizers.

Children/adolescents -- The SSRI fluoxetine is the only effective (and approved) antidepressant for this age group. There have been reports that children on antidepressants are more likely to commit suicide than those who are not on antidepressants; while some data suggest that this may be true, it has not been proven conclusively. Primary care providers need to weigh the risks of antidepressant therapy versus untreated depression. Most often, treatment carries fewer risks of suicide than non-treatment.

Pregnant/postpartum women -- Depression can be a common symptom during pregnancy and postpartum -- it usually corrects itself, but sometimes severe depression must be treated (in about 10 percent of pregnant/postpartum women). Antidepressants can pass to the fetus and through breast milk. The effects of antidepressants on the developing fetus and newborn are not well known. Therefore, doctors should carefully consider the risks and benefits of treatment.

Treatment for depression is not a short-term process but a long-term project with specific goals of remission and maintenance. Multiple approaches of medication, psychotherapy and patient education are most effective in the treatment of MDD. Close consultation with a physician and/or psychiatrist can provide the best treatment options".

Source

Now good luck and you can now proceed to:

- Noradrenergic and Specific Serotonin Antidepressants (NaSSA)
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI)
- Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI)
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)


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Step 2: Accept people as they are (but don't let them upset you)

In step 1 you learnt to accept yourself as you are with all the good and bad sides of your personality (well I hope you did). Now what about other people. They are annoying, they are rude, they are.. they are what they are and most of the times you can do nothing about it. When a person does not want to change - it is almost impossible to to change her/him.

Having read the above you can go sit in the corner and mourn about the unjust way of life. Which of course won't help you. Or you can get furious with the whole world and treat people the bastards they are no matter who. That won't help too.

What will help is an attempt to gain control over every situation. Have you made a list of people who stress you over and over again? Time to deal with each of them depending on every single detail. You know that people are all different. Not everyone who annoys you really means it. They may just never know you're annoyed or sad because of them untill you explain them in a proper way. So if someone disturbs you - don't close yourself, try not to go mad right away - just tell the person that you are not comfortable with what they did and ask not to do that anymore. Try to find some compromise together - it is available in the most of situations unless one of the sides is too stubborn to accept it.

If you are sure that normal dialog is impossible then don't be a victim! Why is it you who should always suffer because of others? Tell the person that you are uncomfortable (if you don't - nothing will change!) make them understand that you're a person and you have an opinion.

It is not always necessary to be rude. In my opinion it is always better not to raise your voice, but if someone tries to interrupt you - just keep talking. When I practiced the things I describe here my usually silent voice turned into strong and 'metallic'. Strong voice means a strong person - practice your voice and tone. When talking to the person also be in a strong position: ask questions and try not to sound guilty or apologetic. It is you who was disturbed than it is a disturbant who is meant to apologize.

Later on after a single succesful dialog you will be proud of yourself. Remeber it! Remember each your success. You will need these memories for self-help. Done? Let's move on to Step 3!


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10 Tips to help someone with depression

10 Tips to help someone with depressionSometimes it is hard to find the right words. Sometimes even the best intentions may hurt. This post is dedicated to people who know someone with depression.

So what to do if one of your friends or relatives is depressed. You feel that you need to comfort her/him. Here are the things to know. Before you start here is the rule you should remember:

First do no harm. Whatever you decide to tell the depressed person, be sure to estimate all pro and contra before saying a thing. Be careful with your words, gestures, mimics.

1. Don't ask what happened. If you lack information about the causes of the person's depression, let her/him be the last who you ask about it. A single memory of some sad thing may trigger a person and make her/his state even worse. Leave these "are you ok" and "what's wrong" things to movie characters.

2. Offer help not pity. If all you want is to say sorry - better make sure to also offer comfort. The depressed person already pities her/himself so again don't make things worse. Sometimes it is as painful to listen someone sorry you as to think about some sad things that trigger bad mood. But:

3. Offer help only if you can actually help. This is the must. If you promised something - do it. Imagine how will your depressed friend or relative feel when s/he realizes that waited for nothing.

4. Tell the depressed person how important he/she is to you. When depressed people tend to think that noone cares about them. Tell them what you love about them, show that you really care. Offer them all your support.

5. Remind them of their positive traits. Depressed person may often think about their bad attributes only and forget about the good ones. Be the one to point out their good side, treat them the jewels they are.

6. Gently encourage the person to do something. I say gently. Don't force them do something if they don't want to. Offer them to go out with you or do something together. The best thing you can do is to get them truly interested with something.

7. Listen when the person wants to talk. A chance to speak out things that worry oneself can be a relief. Sad emotions can burn from the inside untill the person speak them or writes them down.

8. Don't take their pessimism personally. If the depressed person ignores or declines your advice, - don't get frustrated. Depressed person may often think there is no way out. This is just a symptome of their illness. Also don't view someone else's depression as your own fault.

9. Be a good model of positive behaviour. Environment plays a great role in one's mood. So do friends and relatives. Don't multiply sadnes. Influence your dear one to become more healthy by becoming more healthy yourself.

10. The last but not the least don't overdo. Too much concern may be as annoying as loneliness.


View the original article here

How MAOI Antidepressants work

Now let us look carefully at different types of antidepressants. But before doing this, I'd strongly recommens you to read the preface (Parts 1, 2, 3) before you continue to specific types of medicines.

As we understood from the preface,"There are many chemical messengers (or "neurotransmitters") called "monoamines" which occur naturally in the body. One of the effects that monoamines have is on mood. If the levels of monoamines in the body are high we may feel 'high', and if they are low we may feel 'low'. MAOIs stop the breakdown of these monoamines. They block the monoamine oxidase enzyme which breaks down the transmitter, so the next time an impulse comes along, there is more transmitter, a stronger message is passed, and activity in that part of the brain is increased. By stopping the breakdown of these, the MAOIs may bring back the amounts of monoamines to normal. This helps to improve mood in people who are feeling low or depressed.""Reduced" nerve activity but with (mono-amine oxidase) enzyme blocked (or inhibited), and increased messages passed:

Side-effects:
Some antidepressants e.g. the tricyclics, block the reuptake of serotonin and noradrenaline. Others mainly block the reuptake of just serotonin e.g. the SSRIs. The MAOIs block the monoamine enzyme which breaks down noradrenaline, serotonin and some other transmitters. They are Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors.
Unfortunately, the MAOIs also block an enzyme in the body which breaks down other compounds. One of these is an amino acid called tyramine. Tyramine is an essential compound which the body needs, and is found in many foods. However, if you have too much tyramine in the body, it can make your blood pressure rise. Foods such as cheese, yeast and meat extracts etc contain lots of tyramine. If you eat any of these foods while taking an MAOI, your body can not break down (or metabolise) the tyramine. You then get an excess of tyramine in the body, which increases your blood pressure very quickly. This can at cause headaches initially but can be very dangerous and has caused many deaths.
The MAOIs also affect other transmitters which are broken down by the MAO enzyme.
- Affecting your noradrenaline may also sometimes upset your blood pressure e.g. you may feel dizzy when you stand up etc.

Source.


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When depression really starts?

The depression doesn't start from nowhere. There are usually life experiences that are the cause. Here is the theory I found useful in self-help treatment. It helps to deal with some repeating patterns of your behavior that you may not like and also it may help you to find out what really causes your depression.In the following theory there are 3 types of states:- Conscious - things that happen to you and around you that you aware of (you are aware that you're reading this text).- Subconscious (while reading this text you're also seeing the tip of your nose though after I wrote it the knowledge of the fact that you see it too jumped to your consciousness) - some things that happen to you right now but your mind isn't occupied with them - same with walking or eating - you don't need to think about each your next move - you just put one leg in front of the other or manipulate your fork and knife and food.- Unconscious. This is going to be a bit long but I hope to explain it. Please ask questions if you find something confusing.Let's say there's a person who's constantly late to his job. No matter what he does to avoid being late in some way or another he slows down. He blames himself and starts overeating because this helps him feel better. After awhile he realizes he's overweight and blames himself again and promises himself to stop overeating. This causes stress too. He becomes annoyed and starts yelling at his family members and later on he hates this behavior of his too etc etc etc the poor man becomes a time bomb. What he should think about is why he actually was always late to his job. The reason is not obvious. Let's now return to what unconscious state is.When we're young our mind registers all the incoming signals and tries to classify them. Like our ancestors tried to classify predator/lightning/darkness/... things into dangerous and fire/apples/fresh water/sex into safe things. In a baby's mind mother is in good things because she means safety. On the other hand a dog that scared him will be in bad things. But not just that particular dog but any dog = danger. Let's imagine this child and his parents drove somewhere and suddenly got into a car crash. What would he feel and see? He'll probably feel dizziness and maybe itching in his belly, he'll see his crying mother and also the sun shining and reflecting in a nearby puddle. He'll hear the birds singing. The kid grows up and some day he may go down the street and see a crying woman. He has just had lunch and his belly itches. The day is bright and the sun shines and sun-rays reflect in a puddle and the birds are singing in the nearby park. Suddenly for no obvious reason the man suffers panic attack and runs away. Why? Because just now he's experienced the things that his mind long ago considered linked to danger. This is what his unconscious mind told him.Now let's get back to the guy who's always late. When he was a kid his mother gave him sweets every day. He had a girlfriend who he always gave half of his sweets because he wanted her to like him and be his friend. One day the little girl was late and the kid was hungry so he waited and waited for her but then ate all sweets. When the girl came and found that out she first burst in tears and then went to the boy's mother and told her he's the one who broke the window. The mother was angry and spanked her son. He never told a girl a thing just stopped seeing her. Now he's a grown up man who forgot this story and now works in the office. He used to be friends with one of his colleagues but once he found out that this colleague has told their boss that the man doesn't pay enough attention to his work. What is the man's reaction? You're right. Each time he goes to job he unconsciously wants to avoid it and that makes him always be late.Now what should be done in order to break this circle? First of all if you have some behavior of yours that you don't like first of all try to register all the feelings you're having: itchiness, crying spells, etc. Then close your eyes and try to think about your feelings and find any association that comes to your mind. Don't try to seek for it just relax and let your mind show you an answer. If you remembered some situation try to live it again - to feel it. Don't fight your tears or angriness or whatever feelings you have. Express them in the way you should in that situation of long ago. This may make you want to reconsider your feelings about some present situations and thus change the program. Understand that whatever happens to you is not your fault. It is your unconscious mind that dictates your reactions. However now you've realized why and now the things from the unconscious moved to consciousness means you can control them!

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Childhood ADHD Prevalence Rises By 28% In Ten Years In USA

Over a ten-year period, the prevalence of children diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) rose from 7% to 9% of all children, an increase of 28%, according to a report issued by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC. The period studied was from 1998-2000 through 2007-2009...

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Regular 'Green Time' Linked To Milder Symptoms In ADHD,

A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has found a link between the children's routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report...

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Performance Linked To Changes In Human Brain Structure Function: Findings Explore Complexities Of How The Brain Learns, Stores, And Recalls Info

New research just released provides insight into one of neuroscience's most intriguing mysteries: how the human brain learns and remembers...

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ADHD Drug Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate (LDX) Shows Promise For Children And Adolescents

Shire plc presented positive top-level results of their first European phase III study of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX), designed for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). LDX is administered once daily and is the first chemically formulated long-acting, prodrug of dexamfetamine for treating ADHD...

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Discovery Of How Gene Variant Linked To ADHD Could Operate May Lead To New Medications

A study using mice provides insight into how a specific receptor subtype in the brain could play a role in increasing a person's risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)...

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FDA Says ADHD Medications Are OK

Good news for parents with over active children, the FDA confirmed that a study, which included more than one million children and young adults (2-24 years), showed that cardiovascular problems are not associated with ADHD medications. Looking at a total of more than 2...

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ADHD Drug Prescribing Grew Steadily Over 12 Years, USA

The number of children aged 4 to 17 years being prescribed ADHD medications in the USA has been steadily rising since 1996, researchers from the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) have reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry...

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Children's ADHD Drug Response Depends On Specific Dopamine Gene Variants

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with certain dopamine system gene variants have an improved response to methylphenidate (Ritalin) - the most commonly prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)...

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Increase In Prescribed Stimulant Use For ADHD

The prescribed use of stimulant medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rose slowly but steadily from 1996 to 2008, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The study was published online ahead of prin in the American Journal of Psychiatry...

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Intestinal Protein May Have Role In ADHD, Other Neurological Disorders

A biochemical pathway long associated with diarrhea and intestinal function may provide a new therapeutic target for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) other neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a team of scientists from China and the United States reporting Aug. 11 in Science...

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Improvements Needed To Enhance Accuracy In Gene-By-Environment Interaction Studies

A new study from McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado concludes that genetic research drawing correlations between specific genes, environmental variables and the combined impact they have on the development of some psychiatric illnesses needs additional scrutiny and replication before being accepted as true...

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Inattention Linked To Academic Failure, Rather Than Hyperactivity

Failure to finish high school education is often associated with inattention rather than hyperactivity according to a new study from the University of Montreal. For almost 20 years, lead author of the study, Dr...

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Ritalin's Affects On Attention Revealed By Brain Scans

Scientists have developed a way to evaluate new treatments for some forms of attention deficit disorder. Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that they can use brain scans to quickly test whether drugs increase levels of a brain chemical known as dopamine...

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Parent Training Is Low Risk And Effective For Treating Preschoolers With ADHD

A new report from the U.S...

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Operation Of Gene Variant Linked To ADHD Shown By Scientists

A multinational collaboration between researchers from Spain, Mexico and Argentina revealed, that mice could provide an insight into how specific receptor subtypes in the brain could be responsible in increasing a person's risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and help explaining how stimulants work to treat symptoms of ADHD...

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Ages For Diagnosis And Treatment Of ADHD In Children Expanded By AAP

Updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offer new information on diagnosing and treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in younger children and in adolescents. Emerging evidence makes it possible to diagnose and manage ADHD in children from ages 4 to 18 (the previous AAP guidelines, from 2000 and 2001, covered children ages 6 to 12)...

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Training Parents Effective For Treating Young Children With ADHD

Formal training in parenting strategies is a low-risk, effective method for improving behavior in preschool-age children at risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while there is less evidence supporting the use of medications for children younger than 6 years old, according to a new report from the U.S...

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ADHD Raises Risk Of Written Language Disorder

Children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) have a higher chance of having WLD (written language disorder). Although the risk is greater for both sexes with ADHD, girls with ADHD have a higher chance of having WLD together with reading difficulties than boys with ADHD, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn...

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Inattention, Not Hyperactivity, Is Associated With Educational Failure: School Support For ADHD Children May Be Missing The Mark

New research from the University of Montreal shows that inattention, rather than hyperactivity, is the most important indicator when it comes to finishing a high school education. "Children with attention problems need preventative intervention early in their development," explained lead author Dr...

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How Impulsiveness Is Controlled By The Brain

How the brain controls impulsive behavior may be significantly different than psychologists have thought for the last 40 years. That is the unexpected conclusion of a study by an international team of neuroscientists published in the Aug. 31 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience...

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ADHD Drug More Effective In Children With Certain Dopamine System Gene Variants

Children with certain dopamine system gene variants have an improved response to methylphenidate - the most commonly prescribed medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - in a finding that could help eliminate the guesswork from prescribing effective medications for children with ADHD...

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ADHD Doubles The Risk Of Injury In Grade-School Kids

Injury kills more 11-year-olds in the United States than all other causes combined, and a new study from University of Alabama at Birmingham reveals ADHD almost doubles the risk of serious injury among this age group...

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Brain Chemistry Directly Altered By Parasite

A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 per cent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messenger in the brain. Their findings are the first to demonstrate that a parasite found in the brain of mammals can affect dopamine levels...

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Women Need ADHD Meds As Well ...

ADHD is usually thought of as a predominantly male problem, but a new report from Medco Health Solutions shows the number of women taking medication for ADHD is rising rapidly. Researchers studied trends in the use of mental health medications among about 2.5 million insured Americans and found that the number of women aged 20 to 44 on ADHD medicines shot up 250% from 2001 to 2010...

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ADHD Can Be Diagnosed In Kids From Age 4, Says American Academy Of Pediatrics

New treatment guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics say that Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be diagnosed in kids as young as four years of age, down from six years in its previous guidelines. The new guidelines were released today both in the journal Pediatrics and at the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) annual meeting in Boston, also today...

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Takeda Submits New Drug Application In The U.S. For Investigational Type 2 Diabetes Therapy, Fixed-Dose Combination Alogliptin/Metformin

Takeda Submits New Drug Application In The U.S. For Investigational Type 2 Diabetes Therapy, Fixed-Dose Combination Alogliptin/Metformin@import "/css/pagelayout.css";@import "/css/default.css";@import "/css/defaultnews.css";Medical News Today Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterOur RSS feedsYour MNT
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Also Included In: Regulatory Affairs / Drug Approvals;  Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry
Article Date: 27 Nov 2011 - 1:00 PST

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc., U.S., submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fixed-dose combination therapy alogliptin/metformin, which combines alogliptin with metformin in a single tablet. The FDA is expected to review the NDA submission within the next ten months, the standard review period for a new application.

"This NDA submission further extends Takeda's commitment to offering patients with type 2 diabetes a range of therapeutic options to help them manage their condition," noted Thomas Strack, M.D., vice president, clinical science, Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc., U.S. "The worldwide incidence of type 2 diabetes continues to expand at a rapid rate and we continue our research into additional medications to treat these patients."

Alogliptin is a selective dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitor (DPP-4i) under investigation in the U.S. for the treatment of type 2 diabetes as an adjunct to diet and exercise. Discovered by Takeda San Diego, Inc., alogliptin is designed to slow the inactivation of incretin hormones GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide), which play roles in regulating blood glucose levels. Metformin is a widely used diabetes medication that acts primarily by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. These medications work in combination to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their blood glucose levels.

Common adverse reactions reported in greater than or equal to 5 percent of patients treated with co-administration of alogliptin with metformin were: upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, creatinine renal clearance decreased, diarrhea, headache, hypertension, and urinary tract infection.

About Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and has reached epidemic proportions globally. More than 23 million Americans currently live with type 2 diabetes, and at least seven million are unaware that they have it. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive and chronic condition, and patients should work with a health care professional to manage and monitor their disease. In addition to diet and exercise, patients often need to take medication in order to help manage glucose control. The global health care expenditures to treat diabetes and prevent its complications were estimated at $376 billion in 2010. By 2030, this number is projected to exceed $490 billion.

About Alogliptin and Alogliptin/Pioglitazone

Alogliptin is a DPP-4i being investigated, as an adjunct to diet and exercise, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. DPP-4 inhibitors address insulin deficiency by slowing the inactivation of incretin hormones GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) and GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide). As a result, an increased amount of active incretins enables the pancreas to secrete insulin in a glucose-dependent manner, thereby assisting in the management of blood glucose levels. An NDA for alogliptin was approved in April 2010 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and the therapy is currently available under the brand name NESINA in this market.

Alogliptin/pioglitazone is a fixed-dose combination therapy in development for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, which combines alogliptin and pioglitazone in a single tablet. Pioglitazone is a thiazolidinedione that directly targets insulin resistance, a condition in which the body does not efficiently use the insulin it produces to control blood glucose levels. It is approved in adults for the treatment of type 2 diabetes as an adjunct to diet and exercise. An NDA for the alogliptin/pioglitazone fixed-dose combination was approved in July 2011 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and the therapy is currently available under the brand name LIOVEL in this market.

Additional References Citations Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Source: Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
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27 Nov. 2011. APA
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Ziehm Imaging Presents Innovative Mobile C-Arms For Virtually Unlimited Imaging

Ziehm Imaging Presents Innovative Mobile C-Arms For Virtually Unlimited Imaging@import "/css/pagelayout.css";@import "/css/default.css";@import "/css/defaultnews.css";Medical News Today Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterOur RSS feedsYour MNT
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Article Date: 27 Nov 2011 - 1:00 PST

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Ziehm Imaging, leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of mobile C-arms, presents its innovative, award-winning product portfolio at RSNA 2011. Latest market analyst reports (GIA[1]) predict substantial growth for the fluoroscopy and mobile C-arm market segments that will be substantially driven by the growing number of minimally invasive procedures. By 2017, the market might reach a volume of 1.4 billion US$. With long-year experience in the mobile C-arm business and a broad product portfolio, Ziehm Imaging is ideally positioned to benefit from this growth potential. "One of our highlights at this year's RSNA is Ziehm Vision RFD hybrid edition that opens up hybrid room applications for physicians working in interdisciplinary environments," says Nelson Mendes, President & CEO Ziehm Imaging Inc. The innovative mobile C-arm offers a cost-efficient alternative solution to fixed installed systems without reducing the imaging capabilities.

Ziehm Vision RFD hybrid edition: high-quality images for complex interventions

The hybrid edition features the innovative flat-panel technology and delivers high-resolution images with over 16,000 shades of gray and a resolution of 1.5k x 1.5k pixels. The detector is not affected by magnetic fields making it ideal for interventional radiologic procedures; it delivers distortion-free, high-resolution images even when close to MR scanners. The squared display format creates a significantly larger visible area with up to 60 percent more information per X-ray than conventional image intensifiers.

"The image quality is comparable to many fixed imaging systems. Very often, I forget that I am using a mobile system," says Grayson H. Wheatley III, MD from Arizona Heart Institute. "I perform percutaneous or catheter-based interventions, on complex aortic problems, such as aortic aneurysms. One of the more innovative procedures I perform are called 'hybrid' procedures and combine the advantages of traditional open surgery with image-guided, catheter-based interventions."

The Ziehm Vision RFD is exactly tailored to hybrid OR use criteria. With up to 25 images per second, its powerful monoblock generator also produces high-quality X-rays of moving objects such as beating hearts. The C-arm features a user-friendly touchscreen interface that is mounted to the sterile OR table, an injector interface that synchronizes contrast media with the imaging process, and an interface for external displays. The large C-arm opening enables easier positioning and patient access during the intervention.

New vascular surgery workflow

This next-generation C-arm also comes with the new software SmartVascular, which enables surgeons to create a digital subtraction angiography at any time without having to use the touchscreen. It automates all process steps from DSA to roadmapping, allowing vascular procedures to be planned with minimum amounts of contrast media and shorter fluoroscopy times.

Unlimited performance for every budget

The powerful 20 kW monoblock generator with a liquid cooling system that enables almost unlimited fluoroscopy time is now also available for the Ziehm Vision R. This innovative technology allows for completely new imaging possibilities for mobile C-arms with image intensifier in vascular surgery. With its rotating anode, the generator uses a variable pulse width of 4 and 50 ms to produce crystal-clear images. Up to 25 frames per second enable high-quality X-rays of vascular structures with optimum contrast. The Advanced Active Cooling system keeps the operating temperature steady, prevents the system from overheating and ensures uninterrupted imaging. Grayson H. Wheatley III, MD from Arizona Heart Institute confirms that "the C-arm is often used for long and complex cases in the OR which can take hours to complete. The Ziehm Imaging system holds up quite well and has never shut down due to inadequate heat management. This is critical since the last thing we want to worry about when treating a patient is the C-arm shutting down because of overheating."

Visit Ziehm Imaging at Booth 7113, Expo Hall B, North Building.

(1) Global Industry Analysts 11/8/2011

Additional References Citations Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Source: Ziehm Imaging
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