HealthWise at 5 From 5.21 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/21/02

HealthWise at 5 From 5.21

  • Pregnancy and Depression

If you think every woman is blissful and glowing during pregnancy, a new study says that's just a myth because as many as one in five are feeling the symptoms of depression and very few are getting help. That's according to researchers at the University of Illinois after screening more than 3,400 pregnant women.
They found women with a history of depression were at highest risk. But that those who were unemployed, without a partner, or who drank or smoke during pregnancy were also more likely to be depressed. The study also showed that many women who were on anti-depressants stopped taking the medicine when they conceived, unaware that there is a newer class of antidepressants called SSRI's that have been approved as safe during pregnancy.
So, if you're pregnant and feeling some depression, talk to your doctor about it. There is safe treatment for that even during pregnancy. The study was conducted at the University of Michigan and is published in the May 22 in the Journal of Women's Health.

  • Seizure Drug for Alcoholics

New research finds a drug used to calm seizures in epileptics may also help alcoholics stay sober. The study of 103 alcoholics divided the group into half taking the drug Topiramate with the other half taking a sugar pill. After three months, thirteen in the group taking Topiramate stayed off alcohol for a straight month, compared to just two among the sugar pill group who were able to give up alcohol. Researchers believe Topiramate curbs alcohol cravings by inhibiting the alcohol-related release of Dopamine in the brain.
The drug is sold under the prescription name Topamax. The study is in the Lancet Medical Journal. Patients in the study had already been through treatment in alcoholics anonymous, psychotherapy, rehab clinics and had taken anti-alcoholism medications. All study volunteers received regular counseling throughout the study period.
This research was conducted by scientists at the University of Texas. It is published in the Lancet Medical Journal.

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