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So far drnealranen has created 30 blog entries.

DNA and Depression

Specific genetic variations have recently been shown to correlate with risk for depression. As mentioned before, serotonin is an important chemical messenger in the brain associated with mood (see June 27, 2010 blog). The length of the gene for the serotonin transporter appears to be associated with depression risk. This gene essentially comes in two [...]

By |July 29th, 2010|News|0 Comments

I Just Can’t Get Those Worries Out of My Head!

Recurring, intrusive, disproportionate worries are a common component of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). These worries are typically experienced as uncontrollable. In the brain, OCD represents the inability of circuits or pathways to shut off, leading to these repetitive and difficult to control thoughts and worries. The failure of the loop to shut off prevents the mind [...]

By |July 20th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Why am I taking a Headache Medication for My Depression?

A medication tends to retain the category name given to it based on the condition for which it was first used. This can be confusing when the medication comes to be used for another condition, or perhaps several other conditions. The reason the same medication may work for a variety of conditions is because medications [...]

By |July 19th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Anxiety and the Fight or Flight Response

The Fight or Flight response, which is the body's hard-wired way of reacting to immediate danger, plays a role in clinical anxiety. It is characterized by a release of adrenalin, causing heightened alertness and vigilance, a feeling of being on guard, and a number of physical changes including increased heart rate and breathing rate. Apropos [...]

By |July 11th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Is One Type of Diet Better than Another?

No! At least according to a well-designed study in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/360/9/859). In that study, the only important factor was eating less (consuming fewer calories) overall . The study compared 4 different diets that mirrored popular approaches including High-Protein, Low-Fat, and Low-Carbohydrate varieties. In the end, there was no difference in [...]

By |July 10th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Depression: Is it Bipolar or Unipolar Depression

There are two main types of mood disorders that cause Depression: Unipolar Depression (or "regular" or "plain" Depression) and Bipolar Depression. There are other conditions that are also associated with depression such as Adjustment Disorder, PTSD, ADD, etc... but I will be limiting the discussion here to Unipolar vs. Bipolar Depression because this is often [...]

By |July 5th, 2010|News|0 Comments


Many people wonder about the difference between ADHD, which is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and ADD. which is Attention Deficit Disorder. The answer is that they are variations of the same condition. And it's not necessarily an all-or-none situation; people with Attention Deficit are either relatively more or less hyperactive. At its root, Attention Deficit [...]

By |July 3rd, 2010|News|0 Comments

SSRIs and SNRIs — the Re-uptake Inhibitors

One of the ways to boost the activity of chemical messengers in the brain is to keep them around longer by preventing them from being taken back into the releasing brain cell (also called a neuron).  This process of chemical messengers, also called neurotransmitters, being shuttled back into the brain cell is termed re-uptake. There [...]

By |June 27th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Chocolate and Mood

I thought I would use my first post to tie in two of my major interests: mood disorders and weight management. As if we didn't know, a recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that people who are depressed eat more chocolate. What isn't clear is what causes this association. Are people who [...]

By |June 2nd, 2010|News|0 Comments


Terms of Use Agreement This Terms of Use Agreement (this “Agreement”) is entered into by and between Neal G Ranen, M.D.  – Baltimore, P.C. (the “Author”) and “you,” the user of this web blog, also known as the “drnealranenbaltimorepsychiatrist.com – Blog” (the “Site”). Access to, use of and/or browsing of the Site is provided subject [...]

By |May 11th, 2010|Disclaimer|0 Comments