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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Can depression and panic disorder be affected by level of lead in blood

Depression is apparently known to be found in young adults quite frequently due to the high-stress life they often live.
But recent studies also suggest the discovery of other factors that could augment depression and panic disorders
Lead is omnipresent in air, soil, dust and water. While the elimination of lead from gasoline has dramatically decreased average lead levels, populations remain exposed though several sources including dust from
old paints, select cooking pottery and water that is contaminated
through old piping and industrial processes,” commented, Dr. Maryse F. Bouchard, a researcher at the Universit√© de Montreal Department of Environmental and Occupational
Health in Canada and the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.

Dr. Bouchard and her team examined the information from around 1,987 young American adults who were between 20 to 39 years, who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The subjects apparently supplied blood samples and finished an analytic questioning to detect any mental disorder.

It was seen that around 6.7 percent of the participants appeared to have a major depressive disorder. Approximately 2.2 percent suffered from panic disorder and about 2.4 percent seemed to be having generalized anxiety disorder.

It was also noted that the average blood lead levels were apparently 1.61 micrograms per deciliter. Roughly one-fifth of subjects seemed to have lead levels of 2.11 micrograms per deciliter, which supposedly made them 2.3 times more likely of suffering from major depressive disorder. They also had 4.9 times more chances to develop panic disorder as opposed to other subjects.

Dr. Bouchard remarked, “Combined with recent reports of adverse behavioral outcomes in children with similarly low blood lead levels as participants of our study, our findings accentuate the need to further reduce sources of environmental lead exposures.Even low lead exposure could presumably disturb brain processes like the neurotransmitters, catecholamine and serotonin linked to depression and panic disorders. In people inclined to develop mental disorders, lead exposure could set off occurrences, augment acuteness and diminish treatment response.
The study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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