IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health is linked to oral health, and vice versa. Good oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. Likewise, mental conditions can cause oral health issues. The connection between them is direct, cyclical and, when oral health is neglected, detrimental.

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DIABETES AND YOUR TEETH

Diabetes may cause serious problems with keeping your mouth healthy and having an attractive smile. The disease causes difficulties in the mouth, and problems in the mouth may cause trouble with diabetes. With diabetes, glucose is present in the saliva. When diabetes is not controlled, increased glucose in the saliva allows harmful bacteria to grow.   Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most widespread chronic inflammatory condition worldwide, says Dr. Wayne Aldredge.

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SMART APPS FOR DENTAL HEALTH CARE

Oral health is often taken for granted. The mouth is a window into the health of the entire body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases – those that affect the entire body – may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.   Regardless of age, oral health is very important. Positive oral health leads to improved overall health. More Americans today are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives.

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Better understanding of the type of depression a person experiences couldi mprove the effectiveness of treatment choices and the management of depressive symptoms. Depression is typically diagnosed based on verbalized symptoms patients experience. This relates to the way the symptoms are assessed and the accuracy of patient reporting.


Conor Liston, M.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, reports his research team, using brain scans, has identified four unique subtypes of clinical depression based on distinct patterns of abnormal brain connectivity. Their findings appear currently in Nature Medicine (December 2016).


“The four subtypes of depression that we discovered vary in terms of their clinical symptoms but, more importantly, they differ in their responses to treatment,” said Liston. For psychiatric care and treatment, using brain scans may assist mental health professionals in understanding the nature of a patient’s depression.


This collaborative study included 1,180 functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans of patients with clinical depression and healthy controls from across the country. Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine and seven other institutions analyzed the scans and identified biomarkers linked with depression by assigning statistical weights

CURRENT RESEARCH REVEALS FOUR DEPRESSION SUBTYPES

to abnormal brain connections. They then predicted the probability the abnormal connections belonged to a particular subtype versus another. The study showed distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain differentiated among the four subtypes and were linked with specific symptoms. Reduced connectivity in the brain region that regulates fear-related behavior and reappraisal of negative emotional stimuli, for example, was most severe in two of the four subtypes, which demonstrated increased anxiety. The researchers believe their findings may be useful for identifying patients most likely to benefit from targeted neuro-stimulation therapies. In the past, efforts to characterize depression by looking at groups of verbalized symptoms that tend to co-occur and then testing neurophysiological links have produced inconsistent results.


Sources and Resources:


•  Drysdale, A.T., Grosenick, L., Downar, J., et al. (2016) Resting-state connectivity biomarkers define neurophysiological subtypes of depression. Nature Medicine, 2016 December 5.

•  Neuroimaging categorizes for depression subtypes. Weill Cornell Medicine press release, Dec. 5, 2016.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller