Three Ways to Enhance your Mental Wellness in the New Year
Did you know that neuroscience can enhance your emotional well-being?
We use this newsletter often to tell you what we know about depression. But the flip side of the coin is that research also teaches us a lot about mental wellness.
To kick off the New Year, we’re excited to announce a new e-newsletter series dedicated to your wellness. We’ll share with you the latest information about how positive life changes can lead to positive brain changes.
In the spirit of health and happiness for 2018, here are three ways* you can keep your brain healthy in the new year:
1) Regular Exercise
Just 15 minutes of exercise changes the electrical activity in your brain’s mood centers. Regular exercise makes your brain stronger and more resilient to stress by increasing nerve growth factors.
2) Better Sleep
Sleep cleanses your brain and enhances its function. Most people need about eight hours. Create a routine to wind down before going to bed; make your bedroom a work-free haven. No TV or computer screens!
3) Practicing Gratitude
Gratitude is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and increase the brain’s production of serotonin – an important neurostransmitter. Regardless of your life’s circumstances, the gratitude circuit in your brain can be strengthened. Make gratitude a daily part of your routine by taking a few minutes each day to write down three things you are grateful for.
We’ll start by saying we are grateful for you!
We appreciate your care and interest in the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. With your support, we’ll continue to make great progress in research in the year ahead.
Since 2012, the acclaimed researchers of HDRF’s Depression Task Force (DTF) have worked tirelessly to better understand the brain biology of depression in order to develop a new type of anti-depressant, one that works differently from the 20-plus drugs already on the market. Finding a new option is crucial, since 50% of patients do not respond fully to available anti-depressants.
We are delighted to announce that the Depression Task Force is closer than ever to achieving this bold goal: A recent major paper authored by the entire team reveals they have discovered novel, tangible approaches to new treatments, and they are ready to drive these discoveries from animal testing to clinical trials.
The article, “Treatment Resistant Depression: A Multi-scale, Systems Biology Approach,” appears online this month in the prestigious journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, and will soon be in print. Working together, the seven investigators of the DTF have found new candidate mechanisms for treatment in a relatively short amount of time. It is a brilliant example of collaboration across multiple laboratories and universities.
Here are the highlights:
To read the entire paper, please click here.
The publication marks an exciting five-year milestone for our research plan. The DTF is now preparing small, pilot clinical trials of potential therapies, entering into a more mature phase of drug discovery with a handful of promising molecular targets.
As clinical trials commence, the DTF will continue work to find a physical diagnosis for depression and identify different depression subtypes. It is not far-fetched to imagine that in the next decade we will see a whole new generation of treatments – be it drug, brain stimulation or psychotherapy — that work precisely where they are needed.
Yes, there is much hard work ahead. We can’t help but marvel at all that we’ve accomplished, and with your help, all that we will accomplish. Thank you as always for your support of our research mission.