Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Micronutrients could reduce psychological disorders

Adding micronutrients to people's diet could reduce psychological disorders

November 20, 2012

A University of Canterbury (UC) lecturer believes research into changing diets might help treat mental illness and psychological disorders.

Associate Professor Julia Rucklidge said 47 percent of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and / or an addiction at some time in their lives, according to an earlier New Zealand mental health survey.

One in five people Kiwis are affected by mental illness within one year and NZ rates of mental illness are some of highest in the developed world, she said.

``Younger people have a higher prevalence of mental disorders. Prevalence of disorder is higher for those economically disadvantaged and for Maori and Pacific people. In New Zealand, people with mental illness have the highest rates of unemployment, at 44 percent. Only 27 percent of these people were likely to be in full-time work. Of those with mental illness, 48 percent of people were claiming some sort of benefit.

``There is some data suggesting that rates of disorders could be increasing, with lifestyle factors playing an important role in these changes.

``Clinical psychologists are well poised to tackle some of these difficult social issues, with a unique training in the science and practice of psychology. Graduates of clinical psychology training programmes depart with two degrees: one a research degree and one in the application of research to clinical practice.

``This week marks 50 years since the first clinical psychology training programme began in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury. UC has graduated hundreds of students assisting New Zealanders with mental health issues, from depression, to ADHD, to treating sex offenders.’’

To celebrate the UC anniversary, a two day seminar will take place on campus on November 23 and 24, discussing some challenges clinical psychologists face today.

The clinical psychology programme at UC is the oldest training programme in New Zealand and providing ground breaking research and investigating new treatments for mental illness.

Associate Professor Julia Rucklidge said she had been has been investigating dietary influences on mental disorders. International research is establishing that the western diet increases risk for developing depression, anxiety and ADHD.

Children, malnourished in first six months of life, are at greater risk for developing depression and ADHD 30 years later.

During times of famine, women malnourished in pregnancy had a higher risk of producing offspring who developed schizoid personality disorder and depression.

She has been conducting trials looking at whether providing additional nutrients can affect the expression of common mental disorders, such as ADHD, anxiety and depression, with trials to date showing positive effects.

``Clinical psychologists are faced with high rates of psychiatric disorders for which treatment response varies across treatment and across disorder. Clinical psychology training provides students with the skills to research the impact of various treatments for psychological disorders in order to best inform current practice.’’

Clinical psychology senior lecturer Dr Janet Carter said there was a high rate of depression and anti-depressive medication use in NZ, and especially Christchurch.

``Increasing our knowledge about psychotherapies for depression and what predicts who will respond to which psychotherapy will mean that we are better able to target psychotherapies to individuals, and has the potential to decrease antidepressant use,’’ Dr Carter said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Balance Of Trade: NZ Posts Trade Deficit In October On Falling Dairy Exports

New Zealand’s posted its largest monthly trade deficit for October in six years, while narrowing the shortfall from September, led by a fall in dairy exports to China while all main imports into the country rose. More>>

ALSO:

Gigatown Winner: Plenty Of Positives For Dunedin

Although the city has taken the Gigatown title, along with new ultrafast 1Gbps broadband and funding for $700,000 worth of UFB-related initiatives across the community, Mr Cull says Dunedin has gained so much more through its involvement. More>>

ALSO:

R18: The Warehouse Group Praised For Removing Games

The decision by New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse Group (TW Group), to withdraw stocks of the latest version of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) and other R18 games, has been praised by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news