Updates on staying well: Is depression bad for your bones?

Israeli researchers recently found a link between depression and osteoporosis.
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Is depression bad for your bones?

Israeli researchers recently found a link between depression and osteoporosis, saying that depressed women "should be periodically evaluated for progression of bone loss and signs of osteoporosis." But those on the fence about antidepressants shouldn't sign on for medication simply because of bone-loss risk, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Women's Mood Disorder Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore: Other studies have failed to support the depression-osteoporosis link. "In this case we don't know if it's the illness or the medication," she adds.

More notable, says Dr. Payne, is unrelated research showing that severe depression shrinks the brain's hippocampus, and that antidepressants can reverse this. "I would not want my hippocampus shrinking," says the doctor.

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