STARD – Treatment used in the Study

NIMH Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study — All Medication Levels

The NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different treatments for people with major depression who have not responded to initial treatment with an antidepressant. This is the largest and longest study ever conducted to evaluate depression treatment. This page provides information about the study.

What were the treatments used in the study?

In level 1, participants were given the antidepressant citalopram (Celexa) for 12 to 14 weeks. Those who became symptom-free during this time could move on to a 12-month follow-up period during which the citalopram was continued, and patients were monitored. Those who experienced intolerable side effects or did not become symptom-free during this level could go on to level 2.

Citalopram is representative of the class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It was chosen as the first treatment because it generally is not associated with troublesome withdrawal symptoms when it is stopped, is easy to administer (once a day), and has been shown to be safe for older adults and medically fragile patients. It does not appear to interact unfavorably with other medications that some participants may have been taking for other medical problems.

Level 2 was designed to help determine an appropriate next treatment step if the first step did not work. Thus, in level 2, participants had the option of switching to a different medication or adding on to their existing citalopram.

Those who joined the “switch” group were randomly assigned to either sertraline (Zoloft), bupropion-SR (Wellbutrin), or venlafaxine-XR (Effexor). These medications were chosen for comparison because they represent three different types of medications. Sertraline is an SSRI, the same class as the citalopram used in level 1. Bupropion belongs to another class of antidepressant medications that work on different neurotransmitters than SSRIs. Venlafaxine is a “dual-action” medication that works on two neurotransmitters at the same time.

Those who joined the “add-on” group were prescribed either the non-SSRI antidepressant bupropion-SR (Wellbutrin), or buspirone (BuSpar), which is not an antidepressant but enhances the action of an antidepressant medication. Participants could also switch to, or add on, cognitive psychotherapy.

As in level 1, those who became symptom-free with their level 2 treatment could continue with that treatment and entered the follow-up period. Those who did not become symptom-free, or who experienced intolerable side effects, could continue on to level 3.

In level 3, which like level 2 was designed to compare medications that are thought to work differently in the brain and produce different results, participants again had the option of either switching to a different medication or adding on to their existing medication. Those who chose to switch their medication were randomly assigned to either mirtazapine (Remeron) — a different type of antidepressant — or to nortriptyline (Aventyl or Pamelor) — a tricyclic antidepressant — for up to 14 weeks. Both work differently in the brain than the SSRIs and other medications used in levels 1 and 2.

In the level 3 add-on group, participants were randomly prescribed either lithium — a mood stabilizer commonly used to treat bipolar disorder — or triiodothyronine (T3) — a medication commonly used to treat thyroid conditions — to add to the medication they were already taking. These medications were chosen because they have been shown to boost the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.

In level 4, participants who had not become symptom-free in any of the previous levels (and therefore considered to have highly treatment-resistant depression) were taken off all other medications and randomly switched to one of two treatments — the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) tranylcypromine (Parnate) or the combination of venlafaxine extended release (Effexor XR) with mirtazapine (Remeron). These treatments were chosen for comparison because previous research had suggested that they may be particularly effective in people who had not received sufficient benefit from other medications.

How were participant’s doses decided and how was their progress measured?

To ensure that every participant had the best chance of recovery with each treatment strategy, a systematic approach called measurement-based care was used. This method requires routine, consistent measurement of symptoms and side effects at each treatment visit with easy-to-use measurement tools. It also involves the use of a treatment manual that describes when and how to modify medication doses and dose adjustments to best tailor them for individual participants so as to minimize side effects, maximize safety, and provide the best chance of therapeutic benefit. This enabled STAR*D practitioners to provide consistent, high-quality care.

STAR*D employed easy-to-use rating tools of symptoms and side effects in a systematic and consistent way. These tools can readily be incorporated into real-world medical and psychiatric settings. Use of this measurement-based care may have caused greater than expected remission rates.

Patients were asked to self-rate their symptoms. The study demonstrated that most depressed patients can quickly and easily self-rate their symptoms and estimate their side effect burden in a very short time. Their doctors can rely on these self-rated tools for accurate and useful information to make informed judgments about treatment. The patients can also use these tools to help manage their illness at home in much the same way that hypertensive patients can measure their own blood pressure.

STARD – Results of the Study on Depression Other Treatments

NIMH Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study — All Medication Levels

The NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different treatments for people with major depression who have not responded to initial treatment with an antidepressant. This is the largest and longest study ever conducted to evaluate depression treatment.

What were the results?

In most clinical trials of treatment for depression, the measure of success (outcome) is called “response” to treatment, which means that the person’s symptoms have decreased to at least half of what they were at the start of the trial. In STAR*D, the outcome measure was a “remission” of depressive symptoms—becoming symptom-free. This outcome was selected because people who reach this goal generally function better socially and at work, and have a better chance of staying well than do people who only achieve a response but not a remission.

In level 1, about one-third of the participants reached remission and about 10-15 percent more responded, but did not reach remission. Still, these are considered good results because study participants had high rates of chronic or recurrent depression and other psychiatric medical problems.

It took an average of six weeks of treatment for participants to improve enough to reach a response and nearly seven weeks of treatment for them to achieve a remission of depressive symptoms. In addition, participants visited their care providers an average of five to six times. Participants who achieved remission stayed on the treatment for an average of 12 weeks before going on to a 12-month follow-up period.

In the level 2 switch group, about 25 percent of participants became symptom-free. All three of the switch medications performed about the same and were equally safe and well-tolerated. In the add-on group, about one-third of participants became symptom-free. Those who added bupropion experienced less troublesome side effects and slightly more reduction of symptoms than those who added buspirone.

In levels 2 and 3 where participants were allowed to either add-on or switch medications, most participants found only one or the other treatment strategies acceptable. Because most participants did not agree to be randomly assigned to one or the other treatment strategy, the findings of the add-on and switch approaches cannot be compared. It is likely, however, that people being treated in the real world also tend to limit their treatment preferences to switching or adding on medications. In addition, the people in the switch and add-on groups were a little different. The group who chose and were assigned to a switch medication had more problematic side effects while taking the preceding medication (citalopram) than the group who chose and were assigned to an add-on medication.

Level 2 also included cognitive psychotherapy as a switch or add-on treatment. Results for the psychotherapy treatment are not yet available.

In the level 3 switch group, 12 to 20 percent of participants became symptom-free, and the two medications used fared about equally well, suggesting no clear advantage for either medication in terms of remission rates or side effects. In the add-on group, about 20 percent of participants became symptom-free, with little difference between the two treatments. However, the T3 treatment was associated with fewer troublesome side effects than lithium.

In level 4, seven to 10 percent of participants became symptom-free, with no statistically significant differences between the medications in terms of remission, response rates or side effect burden. However, those taking the venlafaxine-XR/mirtazapine combination experienced more of a reduction in depressive symptoms than those taking the tranylcypromine. Also, those who were treated with tranylcypromine were more likely to discontinue the treatment citing side effects as the reason. It is also possible that the dietary restrictions associated with taking an MAOI could have limited its acceptability as a treatment.

In conclusion, about half of participants in the STAR*D study became symptom-free after two treatment levels. Over the course of all four treatment levels, almost 70 percent of those who did not withdraw from the study became symptom-free. However, the rate at which participants withdrew from the trial was meaningful and rose with each level—21 percent withdrew after level 1, 30 percent withdrew after level 2 and 42 percent withdrew after level 3.

What lessons are learned from the results?

For the first time, doctors and people with depression now have extensive data on antidepressant treatments from a federally funded, large-scale, long-term study directly comparing treatment strategies.

Results from level 2 indicate that if a first treatment with one SSRI fails, about one in four people who choose to switch to another medication will get better, regardless of whether the second medication is another SSRI or a medication of a different class. And if patients choose to add a new medication to the existing SSRI, about one in three people will get better. It appears to make some—but not much—difference if the second medication is an antidepressant from a different class(e.g. bupropion) or if it is a medication that is meant to enhance the SSRI (e.g. buspirone). Because the switch group and the add-on group cannot be directly compared to each other, it is not known whether patients are more likely to get better by switching medications or by adding another medication.

Results from level 3 apply to those who do not get better after two medication treatment steps. By switching to a different antidepressant medication, about one in seven people will get better. By adding a new medication to the existing one, about one in five people will get better. Level 3 results also tell us that adding T3 may have some advantages over adding lithium for patients who have tried two other treatments without success.

Finally, for patients with the most treatment-resistant depression, level 4 results suggest that tranylcypromine is limited in its tolerability and that up to 10 percent may benefit from the combination of venlafaxine-XR/mirtazapine.

An overall analysis of the STAR*D results indicates that patients with difficult-to-treat depression can get well after trying several treatment strategies, but the odds of beating the depression diminish with every additional treatment strategy needed. In addition, those who become symptom-free have a better chance of remaining well than those who experience only symptom improvement. And those who need to undergo several treatment steps before they become symptom-free are more likely to relapse during the follow-up period. Those who required more treatment levels tended to have more severe depressive symptoms and more co-existing psychiatric and general medical problems at the beginning of the study than those who became well after just one treatment level.

These results underscore both the need for a better understanding of how different people respond to different depression treatments, and the challenges in finding broadly effective, short- and long-term depression treatments. Future research may help identify which treatments work for which patients.

What do the STAR*D results mean to people with MDD and their doctors?

The results reiterate the need for high-quality care and attention to the individual needs of patients. Doctors should provide medication at optimal doses, be aware of and offer treatment choices, and maintain diligent monitoring of patients both during treatment and after they become symptom-free so as to avoid relapse.

Like other medical illnesses, depression affects different people in different ways, but a wide range of effective treatments exist. People with depression should not give up if their initial treatment attempts do not result in full benefits. They should continue to work with their doctors to find the best treatment strategy.

In addition, patience is required. While some people may experience benefits in the first six weeks of a treatment strategy, full benefits may not be realized until 10 or 12 weeks have passed. During this time, doctors should work with their patients to adjust dosages so as to find an optimal level, and avoid stopping a treatment prematurely.

Job burnout: Are you suffering and taking right action?

Does your work schedule and stress causing an impact on your health and happiness; does it make you weak and you constantly need rest; does it worn you out everyday and you feel deeply exhausted? If the answer is yes, you are most likely to suffer from job burnout.

Find out early if you are feeling any of the below symptoms and discover if you are at risk of job burnout.

If we explain about what Job burnout is, it is the special type of stress where the physical, emotional or mental exhaustion increases to alarming levels and it is often combined with doubts on competence and self worth. You need to take some action before job burnout starts affecting your health badly.

Self check for Job Burnout

Just ask yourself following questions and find it yourself if you are suffering from job burnout.

1. Do you behave cynically or critically at work?
2. You do not have clarity about your job and you often feel disillusioned?
3. Are you relying on drugs or alcohol to make you feel batter?
4. Did you saw any changes in your sleeping habits or eating routine?
5. Do you have unexplained headache or backaches which cripples your day and work schedule?
6. Do you behave improperly with co-workers, customers or clients and often get into arguments?
7. Do you feel your energy has been sucked out consistently while at work?
8. Are you unsatisfied with what you have achieved?

If you have answered Yes to at least 3 of the questions above, you might be experiencing Job Exhaustion or burnout.

What causes job burnout?

There could be many causes of Job burnout but some of the most prominent ones are:

1. If you think that you have no control over the important decisions about your work like schedule, workload, assignments, etc, you tend to feel burned out and exhausted.
2. If you are not clear on your job expectations, it makes you feel uncomfortable at work further causing job related stress.
3. If you are working with a office bully, or has a micro manager in your boss, things can go highly stressful.
4. The job you are doing if unfit for your interests and skills make you more and more unsatisfied with the job causing huge stress over time.
5. Isolation at work or in personal life, make you stressed a lot.
6. If you are not able to maintain Work-life and carry lot of work home making family and kids waiting for your time always, you will soon become worn out and become a victim of job burnout.

How to take care of Job Burnout?

  1. Manage the stress factors that contribute to job burnout.
  2. Evaluate your options.
  3. Adjust your attitude.
  4. Seek support.
  5. Assess your interests, skills and passions.
  6. Get some exercise and sleep.

STARD Study – What were the goals of trial?

NIMH Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study — All Medication Levels

The NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) Study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different treatments for people with major depression who have not responded to initial treatment with an antidepressant. This is the largest and longest study ever conducted to evaluate depression treatment. This page provides information about the study.

What were the goals of the STAR*D trial?

The overall goal of the STAR*D trial was to assess the effectiveness of depression treatments in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder, in both primary and specialty care settings. It is the largest and longest study ever conducted to evaluate depression treatment.

Each of the four levels of the study tested a different medication or medication combination. The primary goal of each level was to determine if the treatment used during that level could adequately treat participants’ major depressive disorder (MDD). Those who did not become symptom-free could proceed to the next level of treatment.

The design of the STAR*D study reflects what is done in clinical practice because it allowed study participants to choose certain treatment strategies most acceptable to them and limited the randomization of each participant only to his/her range of acceptable treatment strategies. No prior studies have evaluated the different treatment strategies in broadly defined participant groups treated in diverse care settings.

Who participated in the study?

Over a seven-year period, the study enrolled 4,041 outpatients, ages 18-75 years, from 41 clinical sites around the country, which included both specialty care settings and primary medical care settings. Participants represented a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic groups. All participants were diagnosed with MDD and were already seeking care at one of these sites. No media advertisements were used to recruit participants. Instead, they were referred to the trial by their doctors.

So that results could be generalized to a broad group of real-world patients, most adults with MDD were eligible. People were not eligible for the study if they had not tolerated or did not get well with one or more of the treatments that were part of the first two STAR*D treatment steps, or if a STAR*D treatment could not be safely used because of another medical condition or because they were taking certain other medications. In addition, people with substance abuse disorders that required detoxification, anorexia or bulimia, or obsessive compulsive disorder were not eligible for the study because they required treatments that were not part of STAR*D.

Of the initial 4,041 participants, 1,165 were excluded because they either did not meet the study requirements of having “at least moderate” depression (based on a rating scale used in the study) or they chose not to participate. Thus, 2,876 “evaluable” people were included in level 1 results. Level 2 results include 1,439 people who did not become symptom-free in level 1 and chose to continue. Level 3 results include 377 people, and Level 4 results include 142 people.

How Exercise Helps to Reduce Anxiety

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects more than three-hundred-million people across the globe. This can lead to drastic consequences for people who are looking to enjoy their lives. It could lead to substance abuse and the need for holistic addiction treatment. It may lead to worse with suicide or death because of the substance abuse. However, it might have a just as troubling minimal effect on your interest in getting out in the world and enjoying things. This is where you may look for ways to prevent this from happening. Many people like sports and you may not be aware of how beneficial that is for your entire health. It could be quite useful for you to relieve tension that is building up within your mind and body. Not only can you improve the condition of your body but you are also able to stave off those troubling feelings you face each day.

What exactly exercise can do is by stopping your stress. By eliminating fatigue, concentration troubles and keeping you alert, your overall cognitive abilities will be amplified. If it is a sunny day and warm out, you may want to take the opportunity to go for a run. The sunshine has a bonus effect in that it could cause a great deal of improvement for your mood too. So, if you have the chance, playing sports or exercising outside can amplify your mood and inspire you to get a lot more done in life.

Exercise will stop your overall levels of tension from increasing, can stabilize your mood and even improve your self-esteem overall. The Anxiety and Depression Association cites psychologists as believing a ten-minute walk may be as good as a forty-five-minute workout. If you have a job, you might be able to take this walk on your lunch break. Perhaps, you might wish to walk around the parking lot of your office building. This may be how you are able to release tension. Jump in your car and you may find that to be just as fulfilling. You won’t feel like you have to turn to substance abuse and potentially end up needing a holistic addiction treatment.

Clinical psychologist Marla Deibler stated there are some true benefits to physical exercise. “Moderate exercise has been shown to have a significant effect on anxiety and mood,” Deibler said. “Moderate to intense exercise raises core body temperature, which is accompanied by a simultaneous reduction in muscle tension, thereby affecting the experience of anxiety.” With the release through exercise of neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids, and endorphins into the brain that are designed to improve your mood, you can find your whole outlook on life improving just by beginning your first steps outside.

Your Depression, OCD, Panic Attacks And Bipolar Disorder Can Be Managed

Like everything in life, managing your fears, anxieties, and other phobias takes some work but they can be managed. The more you do it, the better you will become. Here are a few reminders on how you can become better at dealing with your fears, depression, and anxieties.In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.

Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get that job promotion then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you, however your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location. Changing your thinking can help you manage your fears.

Sometimes, we may be nervous doing a certain task that may be scary. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship hockey game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. Completing these smaller tasks will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.

By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Managing your fears and anxieties takes practice.

The more you practice, the better you will become.

Remember that sometimes our worrying and fears can make the problem even worse. Take things in stride and try not focus too much on the problem.

Patience, persistence, education, and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go along way in fixing your problems. In time, you will find the ways to overcome your phobias.

Top Ways in Which Social Media is Changing our life

Rewind about 20 years from now, who would have ever thought about the smartphones, social media, twitter, facebook linkedin, etc. The Social Media Revolution has been in the corner since last one and half decade or so when it was present in some isolated places and with websites like Friendster and MySpace. Although they had decent adoption, still the population in general was not at all aware of such imminent revolution.

Fast forward to 2017 and the revolution has been converted to a buzzing trend in the current times. It has spread all across the world with Billions of people logging in to social media every day. It has not only attained the status of one of the most important part of modern lifestyle, but also a unique and surprisingly fruitful marketing channel for businesses types. My son once was stunned to know that cell phones (smartphones) was unheard of about 20 years back and we never carried phones earlier.

Things have been changing with a great pace and looking at the social changes it looks like things are changing permanantly. It has officially and diligently entered in our culture at all levels ranging from top to grass root level.

Effects of Social Media on People

According to Health experts we are more and more sitting than moving or walking. It is like sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is one of the worst thing we can do to our health and it can raise many disease vulnerabilities. There is similar risk carried by the things we are doing while we are sitting. If we are scrolling the social media accounts and news feeds mindlessly for either minutes, hours or days, it is ruining and affecting our mental health. This phenomenon is affecting our collective psychology.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued few warnings to parents about the negative effects of using social media on young kids and teens. They have shown increased risk of cyberbullying and facebook depression in children, same as like in adults.

Although there are few benefits of using Social media like getting connected with people far off and find all your old pals and relatives whom you have never talked since years. If you are looking at using social media as a time killing tool or using it for some emotional lift is a bad choice. Studies have shown that if you leave facebook or other social media activities, it is going to raise your psychological well-being.

Try to use this powerful tool in moderation and don’t let it become a emotional and psychological turbulence.

How Social Media has changed our daily lives

These brilliant communication tools have profoundly changed the world of communication and interactions all over.

1. Where We Get Our News – Now we rely on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin for the news from friends and family, rather than relying on the newspapers and online news.In this way, you can choose the people or groups you wish to read or know about and rest you can keep in the back burner.

2. Start and Do Business – Setting up and launching business has become easier and simpler with the proliferation of social channels of marketing. Earlier, the setup and operations of business was quite a task but now, interest-focused Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and niche social networks helps in doing business activities easily and become more trget focused.

3. Providing newer means and horizons for Interactions – We will not stop using large media organizations and neither will we stop communicating by phone or in person meet. We will now have another tool to help in communication in the form of social media.

4. It has opened up the channel between customers and businesses. Now the orders can be placed on twitter rather than waiting to talk over phones, faxes, meetings, etc.

Four Different Biotypes of Depression

Is there a role of Biological balance and Biotypes in the onset and prognosis of depression in people? Born with unbalanced biochemistry, many people struggle with depression for most of their life. After taking anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, or acid therapies like 5-HTP, etc. or other herbal remedies, people realize that over time, their symptoms have worsened rather than soothing. Some of these medications helped little, but due to presence of nasty side-effects they actually make you feel worse.

Lot of psychiatrists believe that depression is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to be the standard medication. This approach does not consider the unique biochemical imbalances and different symptoms of each individual.

There was a research conducted by William J. Walsh, Ph.D., at the Walsh Research Institute, and clinical applications by Drs. Albert Mensah. They condicted detailed study of about 300,000 blood and urine test results and 200,000 medical history from approximately 2,800 patients diagnosed with depression, They found that there are majorly 4 depression biotypes.

Typical symptoms of Patients with different Subtypes

Patient with Subtypes 1 and 2 – these people often report more fatigue. Subtype 1 were more likelier to benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Many people take the antidepresant based treatment although their subtypes wants them to be treated with TMS.

Patients of Subtypes 3 and 4 often have difficulty in feeling pleasure. Brain on one hand have reduced connectivity in its network causing depressive anxiety, fear, etc., on the other hand people with subtype 3 and 4 has hyperconnectivity between stimuli center and brain control.

This subtyping helped in greater diagnostic precision, as well as finding accurate prognosis for patients bringing lot more relief with proper indivisualized treatment.

Different Biotypes in Depressive population

1. Type 1 – Undermethylators

2. Type 2 – Overmethylators

3. Type 3 – Pyrroluria or Pyrrole Depression

4. Type 4 – Copper Overload

Tap Into the Inner Genius You Didn’t Know You Had

What is Inner Genius?

There is no place in our brain which is called Genius and you cannot find it in the scientific textbooks. We have read about individuals like Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci, who’ve been popularized as genius by others. What these men have which we do not have which makes them genius? Scientists have researched that and found that few of the “genius” brains may be larger physically. In some cases like Leonardo da Vinci who could write and paint with both hands simultaneously, the explanation moved on to the lateralization of the brain functions.

Dr. Roger Sperry, Nobel Prize winner in 1981, demonstrated the independence of consciousness between the left and right brain hemispheres. Another Dr. Frederic Schiffer’s did a recent researh and wrote a book – “Of Two Minds”. The split brain has a role to play and gives lot more enigmas rather than solution.

There are few cases in which someone acquired savant syndrome and became Genius — people who spontaneously develop prodigious memories and genius level abilities. There are 32 documented cases of Acquired Savant Syndrome worldwide, where, in every case, the savant had no particular skill before the incident or accident that unleashed their inner genius.

It’s not only trauma or injury which inflicts savant syndrome, it can also be develop after other types of brain damage, such as stroke or dementia.

Special skills in acquired savants, like the unusual abilities of “natural savants” like autistic children, usually manifest as musical abilities—most often the piano with perfect pitch, arithmetic abilities, painting, drawing, sculpting, and spatial skills where the savant can construct complex accurate models or excel at direction finding and map making.

Our brain is designed to filter out unwanted details from a familiar concept.

Traits of Longer Life – Tips to Live longer and Healthier

Old is Gold, well yes or no both. We spend most of our lives lost in our reactive mind—worrying about the future, regretting the past. This way of living brings about the opposite of the personality traits associated with a long life. If we are alert and rooted in the present moment, we’ll be more conscientious, open, emotionally stable, friendly, and emotionally expressive, which are the five traits of leading a long and healthy life. Mindfulness is one of the trait which can bring out the other fundamentals found in people who tend to live long, healthy lives.

There is a delimma though, throughout history, elderly people were seen as respected leaders, pillars of wisdom for the community. And yet today, seniors are largely relegated to the corners of our society, marginalized and disrespected, which is partly because growing old is equated with becoming sick, decrepit, and senile.

Five key traits for longevity

1. Conscientiousness – Thorough and efficient people who are less likely to take risks lived longer.

2. Openness – You should be quick to listen to others. Always give a open ear to listen to other person’s feelings and ideas. This will ensure longer life span.

3. Emotional stability – Be emotionally stable which can be the strongest links to living a long life.

4. Friendliness – For women, friendliness is the second highest character quality associated with a long life.

5. Emotional expression – People who lived longer were openly expressed their emotions.