Complementary treatments can be integrated with conventional medical practices to offer patients the best of both worlds. As clinician/researchers we seek new approaches to relieve emotional and physical problems while reducing medication side effects. The goal of this newsletter is to share with you Integrative Treatments we find to be safe and beneficial. If there are topics you want us to cover, please let us know.
Mind-Body Service Projects and Non-Profit Events
SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE Manhattan
Science Update: New SAMe research study
Lectures and Workshops 2010
How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care
Sponsored by Serving Those Who Serve
Sept 25-26 Level 1 Breath~Body~Mind
Registration at www.stws.org
September is a particularly difficult time for the 9/11 Community. While this workshop is open to all, we wish to reach out to those who may be affected by the anniversary of the World Trade Center Attacks.
Serving Those Who Serve (STWS), a non-profit group provides services to people suffering from physical and emotional illnesses related to the NY September 11th World Trade Center Attacks. The 9/11 Community includes First Responders, Ground Zero workers, WTC workers and their families, and area residents. STWS sponsors our Breath~Body~Mind© program for relief of physical and emotional distress as well as for personal development. Workshops are open to the public and a portion of the profits are donated to STWS. In addition to positive feedback from participants, preliminary research data indicate significant improvement in anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms (Martin Katzman and Monica Vermani, in process). See www.stws.org.
Neuro-psychoanalysis and Yoga for Treatment of PTSD
Patricia Gerbarg, MD and Richard P Brown, MD
The recent report of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) augmenting antidepressant effects in patients with major depression who were not responding to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) by Papakostas, Mischoulou, et al. (2010) at Massachusetts General hospital has generated well deserved excitement.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), a naturally occurring metabolite, serves as a methyl donor in human cellular metabolism. A natural metabolite, SAMe has multiple actions which could explain its antidepressant effects, including effects similar to TCAs in cortical brain cells, a dopamine enhancing effect, and enhancement of cellular membrane fluidity. Many studies have proven it to be a safe and effective antidepressant (Brown, Gerbarg, Bottiglieri 2002).
In the Harvard study, 73 patients with major depressive disorder who had not responded to a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) enrolled in a 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial of adjunctive oral SAMe (target dose: 800 mg/twice daily). Patients continued to receive their SRI treatment at a stable dose throughout the 6-week trial. The primary outcome measure was the response rates based on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). The HAM-D response and remission rates were higher for patients treated with adjunctive SAMe (36.1% and 25.8%, respectively) than adjunctive placebo (17.6% versus 11.7%, respectively). These preliminary results suggest that SAMe can be an effective, well-tolerated, and safe adjunctive treatment strategy for SRI nonresponders with major depressive disorder.
Many patients have partial or no response to standard antidepressant treatments. For these patients, SAMe could be an excellent augmentation. Although this is the first double-blind randomized trial of SAMe augmenting SRIs, there were four previous studies showing that it augmented tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and a European antidepressant not available in the US.
Since SAMe was released as a prescription medication in Italy in 1976, Spain in 1980, Germany in 1986, and as an OTC supplement in the US in 1999, millions of people have used it worldwide. The most significant side effects of SAMe are nausea, loose bowels, and inducing mania in bipolar.
SAMe has also been shown in numerous studies to be beneficial for arthritis, liver disease, and other illnesses. It would be appropriate for it to be available as a prescription medication. In a recently completed study by Dr. Alessandro diRocco and colleagues at NYU, SAMe again showed is value in treating depression in Parkinson’s disease (unpublished study).
SAMe deserves further study to extend the evidence base for its numerous therapeutic applications. See our papers on SAMe in the publications section at the end of this newsletter.
Richard P. Brown, MD & Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD
Papakostas GI, Mischoulon D, Shyu I, Alpert JE, Fava M.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Bottiglieri T .S-adenosylmethionine in Depression: Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Psychiatric Annals, 32(1):29-44, 2002.
Physical and Mental Wellness
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 12-6PM
Get Your Wellness On, a grassroots movement to promote health and save lives, stems from a community of survivors who fight to raise awareness about and find solutions to the instabilities that can lead to suicide. Encouraging dialogue and education to reduce incidence of mental illnesses that can lead to suicide, Get Your Wellness On promotes Eastern and Western approaches to mind and body health. The Fair will host programs free to the public (yoga, qi gong, massage, hula hoop, mediation, music) as well panel discussions and resource tables. The event is run with the help of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, and Let’s Erase the Stigma. Esmeralda Williamson, lead organizer of the event, lost her beloved Andrew when he jumped to his death from the 10th floor of NYU’s library last November. She states “I have chosen to turn my son’s death into a beacon of light & hope for others.”
American Foundation For Suicide Prevention www.afsp.org/nychapter
Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher Nancy Kardon offers
Come practice restorative and recuperative Yoga and meditation.
Wednesdays in Greenwich (2nd and 4th Wednesdays-with adjustments for holidays) 1:00 -2:30 p.m , 3rd fl. Greenwich Arts Center, 299 Greenwich Ave. Ct.
Contributions to cover the Greenwich rental studio are welcome.
Symposium of Yoga Research presented by
October 1-3, 2010
This historic meeting academic meeting is devoted to Yoga therapy research.
SYR is a single track academic research meeting that will include keynote speakers, Lorenzo Cohen, Dean Ornish, Shirley Telles, and Bessel van der Kolk, invited oral presentations from other senior researchers, multiple poster sessions and ample opportunities to interact with other scientists, experts and professionals in the field.
Yoga Research 101, a preconference workshop on the basics of yoga research offers a unique opportunity for research trainees, yoga instructors, and therapists to learn the basics of Yoga research, establish connections for possible future research projects and meet professional researchers and colleagues.
Hosted by the Himalayan Institute (HI), and nestled in the Poconos mountains, the academic experience will be enriched by the environment, which is not only beautiful and inspiring, but home to a tradition and community invested in the practice and scientific inquiry of yoga. Registration and information at: www.sytr.org or 800-822-4547 (M-F 8am-5pm)
November 5-7, 2010
Saturday Nov 6, 4-5:30 pm
Speakers: Dr. Gerbarg & Dr. Brown CAM for Mental Health
Breath~Body~Mind Level 1 Goes Live On Line
October 23-24, 2010
Fellowships of the Spirit
For the first time, you have the option to take this class with us at the Fellowships of the Spirit, or, you will be able to participate on-line from the comfort of your home or office. In addition to instruction and demonstration of techniques, there will be some paired and small group exercises during this seminar. On-line participants will be able to ask questions.
Based on extensive research, Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg have combined rapidly effective breathing techniques to relieve stress and improve mood, mental focus, heart and lung function, and endurance. The benefits have been enjoyed by health care practitioners, military veterans, individuals with psychiatric (eg. anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADD) and medical conditions (eg. cancer, lung problems, toxic exposures), victims of terrorism, war and natural disasters, Buddhist monks and nuns, and teachers of yoga and other mind-body practices. Many people who have worked with Dr. Brown say they have been transformed, and they never imagined that something so simple be so powerful and helpful.
In this workshop you will learn how to:
Dr. Richard Brown Offers Space in His Manhattan Office
Looking to rent one comfortable, large, sunny psychotherapy office in a ground floor suite staffed by psychiatrists and psychologists at 30 East End Avenue (between 80th and 81st). Spacious waiting area with 2 bathrooms for clients. Utilities (A/C, electric, water), maintenance and cleaning included. Currently available. Contact: Dr. James Spencer at 212-249-3160.
Publications & Reviews
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Bottiglieri T. S-adenosylmethionine in Depression: Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Psychiatric Annals, 32(1):29-44, 2002.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Bottiglieri T. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in the Clinical Practice of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Internal Medicine. Clinical Practice of Alternative Medicine, 1(4):230-241, 2000.
Brown RP and Gerbarg PL. Herbs and nutrients in the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, migraine, and obesity. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 7:75-91, March 2001.
Brown RP and Gerbarg PL: Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I-neurophysiologic model. J Alternative and Complementary Med. 11(1):189-201.
Brown RP and Gerbarg PL: Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part II Clinical Applications and Guidelines. J Alternative and Complementary Med. 11(4):711-717, August 2005.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PG, Muskin PR. Chapter 108 Alternative Treatments in Psychiatry in Psychiatry 3nd Edition edited by Tasman A, Kay J, and Lieberman J. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, London, UK. 2008, Pp 2318-2353.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Muskin PR. How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care. W.W. Norton & Company, New York. 2009.
Effects of a Yoga-Breath Intervention Alone and in Combination with an Exposure Therapy for PTSD and Depression in Survivors of the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami. Descilo T, Vedamurtachar A, Gerbarg PL, Nagaraja D, Gangadhar BNG, Damodaran B, Adelson B, Braslow LH, Marcus M, Brown RP. Acta Psyciatr Scand Aug 2009.
Richard P Brown and Patricia L Gerbarg. Part I. Longevity and Aging Advancements. Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2009, 1172:54-62.
"Yoga for Anxiety and Depression" Harvard Mental Health Letter April 2009 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
Review of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care, by Cathy Durga, LA Yoga magazine, June 2009.
About the Authors
Richard P. Brown, MD, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, NY is a psychopharmacologist and a certified teacher of Aikido (4th Dan), Yoga, Qi Gong, and meditation.