How are older adults coping with the mental health effects of COVID-19? Analysis reveals resilience in many individuals and what factors may be driving it — ScienceDaily

Older adults are especially vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — with higher risks of severe complications and death, and potentially greater difficulties accessing care and adapting to technologies such as telemedicine. A viewpoint article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that there’s also a concern that isolation during the pandemic could be more difficult for older individuals, which could exacerbate existing mental health conditions. Information gathered over the past several months suggests a much more nuanced picture, however.

“Over the spring and summer of 2020, we were struck by a number of individual studies from all over the world that reported a consistent theme: Older adults, as a group, appeared to be withstanding the strains on mental health from the pandemic better than all other age groups,” said lead author Ipsit Vahia, MD, medical director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services and the

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Rapid rejuvenation of mental faculties in aged mice implicates reversible physiological ‘blockage’ behind age-related cognitive losses — ScienceDaily

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss, fight certain types of prostate cancer, and even enhance cognition in healthy animals.

In the new study, published December 1, 2020 in the open-access journal eLife, researchers showed rapid restoration of youthful cognitive abilities in aged mice, accompanied by a rejuvenation of brain and immune cells that could help explain improvements in brain function.

“ISRIB’s extremely rapid effects show for the first time that a significant component of age-related cognitive losses may be caused by a kind of reversible physiological ‘blockage’ rather than more permanent degradation,” said Susanna Rosi,

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Why spending a long time on your phone isn’t bad for mental health — ScienceDaily

General smartphone usage is a poor predictor of anxiety, depression or stress say researchers, who advise caution when it comes to digital detoxes.

The study published in Technology, Mind, and Behavior was led by Heather Shaw and Kristoffer Geyer from Lancaster University with Dr David Ellis and Dr Brittany Davidson from the University of Bath and Dr Fenja Ziegler and Alice Smith from the University of Lincoln.

They measured the time spent on smartphones by 199 iPhone users and 46 Android users for one week. Participants were also asked about their mental and physical health, completing clinical scales that measure anxiety and depression symptoms. They also completed a scale which measured how problematic they perceived their smartphone usage to be.

Surprisingly, the amount of time spent on the smartphone was not related to poor mental health.

Lead author Heather Shaw of Lancaster University’s Department of Psychology said: “A person’s daily

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As the pandemic shatters Americans’ mental health, the FDA, psychiatrists, and developers are betting on smartphone apps to treat them directly



a man holding a sign in front of a television: A woman seen walking past a charity's shopfront in Stoke-on-Trent, England, on October 28, 2020.


A woman seen walking past a charity’s shopfront in Stoke-on-Trent, England, on October 28, 2020.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the US mental-health crisis, with apps like Calm and Headspace booming as people try to cope.
  • Now, a new cohort of apps are working to directly treat mental illness, rather than just help people get by.
  • Three such companies told Business Insider their programs can drive similar results as medication, and said they believe in-person therapy is outdated.
  • The Food and Drug Administration has in recent months moved to help these mental-health apps become more available.
  • Experts at the FDA, National Institute of Mental Health, and American Psychiatric Association told Business Insider that evidence indicates the apps work, and that regulators are frantically playing catch up.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic has precipitated a universal mental-health crisis.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression are rising across

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Does air pollution affect mental health later in life? — ScienceDaily

In a study of women aged 80 years and older, living in locations with higher exposures to air pollution was associated with increased depressive symptoms. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

When looking at individual air pollutants, a team led by investigators from of the University of Southern California found that long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide or fine particulate air pollution was associated with increased depressive symptoms, but with only a small effect. Results also suggested that depressive symptoms might play a role in linking long-term air pollution exposure to memory decline more than 10 years after the exposure.

“This is the first study showing how air pollution exposures affect depressive symptoms as well as the interrelationship between the symptoms and subsequent memory decline that had not been found in older people aged less than 80 years,” said lead author Andrew Petkus, PhD.

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A regular dose of nature may improve mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic — ScienceDaily

A study published in Ecological Applications suggests that nature around one’s home may help mitigate some of the negative mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online questionnaire survey completed by 3,000 adults in in Tokyo, Japan, quantified the link between five mental-health outcomes (depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem, and loneliness) and two measures of nature experiences (frequency of greenspace use and green view through windows from home).

More frequent greenspace use and the existence of green window views from the home were associated with increased levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness, as well as decreased levels of depression and loneliness.

“Our results suggest that nearby nature can serve as a buffer in decreasing the adverse impacts of a very stressful event on humans,” said lead author Masashi Soga, PhD, of The University of Tokyo. “Protecting natural environments in urban areas is important not only for

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Study Suggests Video Games Can Help Mental Health | Business News

LONDON (AP) — Time spent playing video games can be good for mental health, according to a new study by researchers at Oxford University.

The finding comes as video game sales this year have boomed as more people are stuck at home because of the pandemic and many countries have once again imposed limits on public life.

The paper released Monday is based on survey responses from people who played two games, Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

In a first, the study used data provided by the game makers, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, on how much time the respondents spent playing, unlike previous research that relied on imprecise estimates from the players.

The researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute said they found the actual amount of time spent playing was a small but significant positive factor in people’s well-being.

The paper, which

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Virtual Reality and the COVID Mental Health Crisis

I am being challenged daily. As a frontline doctor, I find that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only tested my clinical abilities but also strained my capacity to bear witness to grievous suffering. This suffering extends well beyond the physical distress of hospitalized patients battling the virus. The pandemic has also spawned a mental health crisis beyond anything I have seen in 25 years of caring for patients. The statistics are overwhelming: CDC research indicates that 31 percent of Americans have reported anxiety and depression during the pandemic, and 11 percent have considered suicide. A national shortage in mental health clinicians existed before COVID-19. Now, health care organizations must decide how to rapidly scale and deploy behavioral health care to a geographically widespread and increasingly isolated populace. There is no time to wait for expansion of the mental health workforce.

Doctors are now turning to an unlikely solution: virtual reality

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Death, rehospitalization, and problems with basic activities, jobs, mental health and finances seen in many patients treated at 38 Michigan hospitals — ScienceDaily

Surviving a case of COVID-19 that’s bad enough to land you in the hospital is hard enough. But life after the hospital stay — and especially after an intensive care stay — is no bed of roses, either, according to a new study.

Within two months of leaving the hospital, nearly 7% of the patients had died, including more than 10% of the patients treated in an ICU. Fifteen percent had ended up back in the hospital. The data come from more than 1,250 patients treated in 38 hospitals across Michigan this spring and summer, when the state was one of the earliest to experience a peak in cases.

When researchers interviewed 488 of the surviving patients by phone around 60 days after their hospitalization, they heard a litany of health and life woes. They’ve published their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“These data suggest that the

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How Technology Is Revolutionizing Mental Health

By Nikolai Vassev, Founder of Mindleap a telehealth app that allows users to track their wellbeing & connect with mental health specialists.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen countless industries transformed by data. Across use cases like smart traffic lights, self-driving cars and AI for diagnosing skin disorders, our world is learning to harness the power of information technology to understand trends and make smarter decisions.

Yet, one area that has yet to be optimized is mental health. As destigmatized and important as the topic has become to modern society, we still rely on outdated systems of tracking, classification and prediction to diagnose and treat mental disorders. 

A New Frontier In Mental Healthcare

The biggest trend in recent years has been growth in “self-care” apps. According to Sensortower, the top 10 apps of this sort in 2019 grew to a valuation of $195 million. Just this week, Bloomberg

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