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Children with Cushing's syndrome likely to be depressed after treatment: Study

06-14 | DTC Team

Children with Cushing’s syndrome likely to be depressed after treatment: Study

Not much is known about the prevalence of Cushing’s syndrome with an estimated 10-15 people among 1 million exhibiting symptoms of the disorder in a year in America. Cushing’s syndrome, also known as hypercortisolism, is a rare disease caused due to abnormally high levels of cortisol hormone.

According to medical practitioners, children suffering from Cushing’s syndrome exhibit signs of depression and anxiety even after they have undergone treatment, as opposed to elders with Cushing’s syndrome whose symptoms slowly disappear after the treatment.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published in the journal Pediatrics in March 2016, found that children afflicted with Cushing’s syndrome are at an increased likelihood of suffering from depression and associated mental disorder even after the completion of the treatment.

Screening Cushing’s syndrome patients for depression is important

For the study, titled “Cases of Psychiatric Morbidity in Pediatric Patients After Remission of Cushing’s Syndrome,” the researchers reviewed case histories of 149 affected children and adolescents who were treated for Cushing’s syndrome at the NIH from 2003 to 2014.

After months of treatment, the researchers observed that nine children developed thoughts of suicide and showed extreme anger and threw tantrums, apart from signs of depression and irritability. Of this, seven showed such symptoms within seven months of the treatment, while the remaining two developed such symptoms after 48 months of being treated for the illness.

As per the researchers, it is important to screen both children and growing adults for depression once they have been diagnosed and treated for Cushing’s syndrome. “Patients may not tell their doctors that they’re feeling depressed, so it’s a good idea for physicians to screen their patients proactively for depression and related conditions,” said Constantine Stratakis, senior author of the study and director of the Division of Intramural Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Physicians and doctors also need to warn children suffering from the disorder about the possible changes in mood, behavior and depressive symptoms that they may  have to encounter after the treatment is over. “Our results indicate that physicians who care for young people with Cushing’s syndrome should screen their patients for depression-related mental illness after the underlying disease has been successfully treated,” Stratakis said.

Road to recovery

The most common cause of Cushing’s syndrome is the presence of a tiny, non-cancerous tumor in the pituitary which secretes large quantities of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which, in turn, stimulates adrenal glands to produce huge amounts of cortisol hormone. However, this disorder may also be caused by consumption of excessive amounts of steroid medications, such as prednisone.

Children and adults suffering from this disease usually complain of muscle weakness, mood swings, extreme tiredness, bone fragility, high blood pressure, among others. As per the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, nearly 70 percent of Cushing’s syndrome patients are females.

Depression is a common symptom seen in people suffering from Cushing’s syndrome, but it is important for doctors to screen such patients for depression to curb the negative effects of this devastating mental disorder.

If you or your loved one is battling depression and is looking for an effective treatment, you may call the Depression Treatment Colorado for information on the right kind of depression treatment in Colorado. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-427-5668 or chat online to know about various depression treatment centers in Colorado.

 


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