Mental Health, Prevention, Social Determinants of Health

Mental Health Care Must Promote Wellness, Not Just Treat Illness

The nation’s mental health care system is currently focused almost exclusively on preventing and treating mental illness — conditions like depression, anxiety, and personality disorder that adversely affect a person’s mood and behavior. Although these are critical factors in mental health, so too are the components of life that are associated with feeling good, finding happiness and meaning, connecting with others, and feeling engaged — qualities that can be collectively described as positive mental health, or mental wellness.

Electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19
Coronavirus, COVID, Infectious Disease

Three in five long COVID patients have organ damage a year after infection

From this first set of scans, we found 331 participants (62%) had organ damage. Impairment of the liver, pancreas, heart and kidneys were most common (affecting 29%, 20%, 19% and 15% of participants respectively). These 331 participants were followed up six months later with a further MRI scan.

We found that three in five of the original study participants (59%) had impairment in at least one organ a year after infection, while just over one in four (27%) had impairment in two or more organs. So, for the vast majority of participants who had organ damage at six months, it was sustained until at least 12 months.

While in some cases participants with organ damage were no longer experiencing symptoms, organ impairment was associated with a higher likelihood of persistent symptoms and reduced function at 12 months.

Aging, Genetics, Social Determinants of Health

Epigenetic and social factors both predict aging and health – but new research suggests one might be stronger

For years, researchers have been using clinical factors normally collected at physicals, like hypertension, cholesterol and weight, as indicators to predict aging. The idea was that these measures could determine whether someone is a fast or slow ager at any point in their life cycle. But more recently, researchers have theorized that there are other biological markers that reflect aging at the molecular and cellular level. This includes modifications to a person’s genetic material itself, or epigenetics.

Depression, Drugs, Mental Health

Use of psychedelics to treat PTSD, OCD, depression and chronic pain – a researcher discusses recent trials, possible risks

So it’s important to keep that in mind when we look at the results from some of these recent trials that these are not drugs that are being administered in isolation. You are not taking home a bottle of pills and taking those twice a day as you would, say, an antidepressant. These are administered in a very particular way.