Biomarker Bulletin: September 23, 2013

Biomarker Bulletin is an occasionally recurring update of news focused on biomarkers aggregated at BiomarkerCommons.org. Biomarkers are physical, functional or biochemical indicators of normal physiological or disease processes. The individualization of disease management — personalized medicine — is dependent on developing biomarkers that promote specific clinical domains, including early detection, risk, diagnosis, prognosis and predicted response to therapy.

Biomarker Commons

Mayo Clinic Study: Top 10 Reasons We Go to the Doctor

Although chronic diseases with high morbidity and mortality such as diabetes and heart disease┬ácommand the lion’s share of research dollars, people actually seek healthcare most often for skin issues such as actinic keratosis (a premalignant condition of thick, scaly, or crusty patches of skin) or acne, followed by joint disorders and back pain, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study [1].

Doctor's appointment

A Heavy Heart: Depression and Cardiac Function

Two recently published studies have found that changes in heart function are seen during major depression [1] and also seen in some people who have recovered from depression [2]. This link between mental health and physical health emphasises how the body and mind are linked. Furthermore, it also suggests that some people with depression may be at increased risk of cardiac disease. The research also sheds further light on the biological pathways of depression.

Depressed woman

5 Tips to Reduce Your Stress Right Now

This article was written by Carter Harkins.

Stress is at epidemic levels in our population. The American Psychological Association released its Stress in America 2011 Report earlier this year, and according to the report, 73% of us think our stress levels are the same or higher than they were 5 years ago [1]. Ninety-four percent of us believe that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and depression, but only 29% say that they are doing an excellent or good job at managing or reducing stress. Clearly, this is cause for concern.

Doodle to reduce your stress

Cognitive Function and Obesity: Does Your BMI Link to Your IQ?

In addition to the well-known impact on risk for disorders such as diabetes and reduced life-expectancy, the effects of obesity may extend to psychological function. The so-called obesity epidemic may be causing decline in cognitive function through direct and indirect impacts on brain functioning. An expanding waistline thus appears to link to decreasing ability to learn and remember.

Obesity and memory