What is the nervous system designed to do? Nerves make the arms and legs move. Nerves make the heart beat and the lungs breathe. Ultimately, the entire nervous system is designed to keep the body alive. That is its most primal function. If a lion is chasing, the body runs. If the hand touches something hot, it jerks away. Just like a built-in alarm system, this system of nerves will alert the body to danger and trigger automatic protective responses. Normally, this system works beautifully and life is preserved well into adulthood.
However, in some cases, this alarm system goes haywire. For example, some people are born with the inability to feel pain , a condition called the congenital insensitivity to pain . That condition is not a blessing, but a curse that leads to insurmountable body damage and a premature death. The nervous system can go haywire in other ways too. What happens if this alarm system is too sensitive? Now instead of feeling no pain, one is left to feel too muc...
Depression doesn't just happen, it happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is evident and sometimes it isn't. When we can't establish the reason, the temptation is to consider depression ‘endogenous' (from within) and we assume therefore it must be due to some chemical imbalance in the brain. But what comes first, the chemicals or the cognitions? Or is it more of an interchange where one affects or influences the other, and have we underestimated the capacity of the brain to heal itself?
Having briefly set the scene I'd like to side step briefly. Judy and Alfredo are regular HealthCentral contributors. When they commented on my post, why depression can make sense , two things emerged. The first was the notion that the way we think could influence our biology and the second was a question about the way our view of depression and other issues tends to be dominated by a particular model of thought. Their helpful contributions set the scene for this Sharepost.
Although Xyrem (sodium oxybate) failed to gain FDA approval for the treatment of fibromyalgia, it is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat the sleep problems that commonly accompany FM. Thus far, Xyrem only has FDA approval to reduce attacks of muscle weakness (cataplexy) and treat daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy.
This week the FDA reminded both healthcare professionals and patients that the combined use of Xyrem with alcohol or central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs can markedly impair consciousness and may lead to severe breathing problems (respiratory depression). The use of alcohol with Xyrem is a new contraindication added to the Xyrem label.
In addition to alcohol, medications that should be avoided when taking Xyrem include:
Sedating antidepressants or antipsychotics
The use of Xyrem along with these products or other CNS depressants increase...
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