Depakote tied to major birth defects, statins linked to depression, and self-care in a toxic world: Thursday news and blogs

  • Major birth defects tied to common epilepsy drug (commonly used as mood-stabilizer DEPAKOTE) — Reuters Earlier research had shown that taking Depakote (valproate) during pregnancy might lower the baby’s IQ and lead to deformities in up to one in ten cases. (See Reuters Health story April 16, 2009.) Scientists have long known about one of these malformations, called spina bifida, in which the fetus’ spinal column doesn’t close properly. But it was unclear whether the drug was linked to other birth defects, such as heart problems or extra short limbs. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, European researchers report an increased risk of six different birth defects in babies whose mothers took Depakote during their first trimester of pregnancy.

  • New insights into link between anti-cholesterol statin drugs and depression — ScienceDaily — Scientists are reporting a possible explanation for the symptoms of anxiety and depression that occur in some patients taking the popular statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs, and reported by some individuals on low-cholesterol diets. These symptoms could result from long-term, low levels of cholesterol in the brain, the report suggests. Lots of bad adverse reactions to statins and their use is highly suspect pretty much always. More info here.
  • Self-care in a toxic world | Psychology Today — Self-care is different than self-indulgence. Self-care means choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing yoga or meditation or relaxation techniques, abstaining from substance abuse, pursuing creative outlets, engaging in psychotherapy. Also essential to self-care is learning to self-soothe or calm our physical and emotional distress. Remember your mother teaching you to blow on the scrape on your knee? This was an early lesson in self-soothing but the majority of adults haven’t the foggiest notion how to constructively soothe themselves.

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