West Coast Life Center
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West Coast Life Center
West Coast Life Center
The Hub of Open-Minded, Evidence-Based Mental Wellness: Get up-to-date, helpful information on the diverse therapeutic options available.
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HOW BRIGHT LIGHT THERAPY IS UNDERUSED AND UNDERVALUED IN MEDICINE

HOW BRIGHT LIGHT THERAPY IS  UNDERUSED AND UNDERVALUED IN MEDICINE | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
What is BLT?
If you ask most medical doctors, BLT conjures up images of a nice lunch break from the office at a local diner.  But actually, bright light therapy(...)
WestCoastLife's insight:

Light therapy is a great way to address depression and minimize medication.

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WestCoastLife's curator insight, March 9, 2014 9:00 AM

Light therapy is a great way to treat depression without meds, as long as it is being supervised by a physician.

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West Coast Life Center: Genetic Testing to Make Psychiatric Medication More Effectual

West Coast Life Center: Genetic Testing to Make Psychiatric Medication More Effectual | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Press Release issued Feb 12, 2014: It’s an established fact now that patients who do not benefit from usual psychiatric treatments or who experience unfavorable psychiatric medication side effects can respond better to treatments when psychiatric genetic testing is performed. The Los Angeles-based West Coast Life Center is a reputable name in psychiatric care and, when necessary, uses genetic testing to better personalize treatment according to the biology of their patients.
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INSOMNIA Keeping You Up at Night?

INSOMNIA Keeping You Up at Night? | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Dr Tylka and Dr Stein explain the diagnosis of insomnia and various treatments available.
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Watch TMS Demo & Interview of West Coast TMS' Dr Stein on Hallmark Channel's Home & Family Show

Watch TMS Demo & Interview of West Coast TMS' Dr Stein on Hallmark Channel's Home & Family Show | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
WestCoastLife's insight:

They asked some great questions and Dr. Stein and patientshad some great answers - Don't miss this clip highlighting TMS for depression.

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CHRISTINE TYLKA, MD JOINS WEST COAST LIFE CENTER TO EXPAND TOP QUALITY INTEGRATIVE PSYCHIATRIC CARE TO THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY & WEST LOS ANGELES AREAS

CHRISTINE TYLKA, MD JOINS WEST COAST LIFE CENTER TO EXPAND TOP QUALITY INTEGRATIVE PSYCHIATRIC CARE TO THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY & WEST LOS ANGELES AREAS | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

Dr. Christine Tylka received her training from Columbia University’s St. Luke’s-Roosevelt psychiatry program, and after a year of working in community psychiatry, has joined Kira Stein, MD in the practice of integrative psychiatry, serving the West Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas.Below is a Q & A with Dr. Tylka, which will give you a glimpse of the dedicated expertise and professionalism she  brings to her patientsWhat motivated you to become a doctor and a psychiatrist?....

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WestCoastLife's curator insight, May 29, 2013 3:09 AM
West Coast Life Center is pleased to announce that psychiatrist Dr. Christine Tylka will be joining us in Sherman Oaks starting June 2013. Dr. Tylka will continue our tradition of providing up-to-date, evidence-based medical expertise with an open, warm, genuine, and collaborative approach. 
We are scheduling patients for Dr. Tylka at 818-990-5901 and, as always, appreciate your referrals and the opportunity to work closely with you.
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After a Heart Attack, Why do Depressed People Have 3-5x the Risk of Dying than Non-depressed People?

After a Heart Attack, Why do Depressed People Have 3-5x the Risk of Dying than Non-depressed People? | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

Inflammation appears to be the immediate deciding factor, though a history of childhood distress and lack of exercise are also significant contributors.

WestCoastLife's insight:

To effectively treat heart disease - don't overlook depression.

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Exercise and Depression

Exercise and Depression | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
The very thought of exercising may seem overwhelming when you are depressed. But research shows that exercise can help. Find out how to stay motivated.
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How to Prevent Stress from Shrinking Your Brain

How to Prevent Stress from Shrinking Your Brain | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Learn how to preserve brainpower when you're stressed.
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WestCoastLife's curator insight, December 17, 2012 2:36 AM

Stress is everywhere, but some are more vulnerable to its brain-toxic effects than others.  This is a great articles that reviews how trauma, gene expression and life stressors can be (to some extent) counterbalanced by healthy life activities.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

Find out what CBT therapy is, how it works, & what risks are involved. And, try our free interactive CBT tool to manage your depression.

WestCoastLife's insight:

As faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Kira Stein teaches psychiatry residents CBT at the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and find CBT extremely effect for depression, as well.

 

This is why Dr. Stein has contracted with West Coast Life Center team member Jennifer Lowe, LMFT, to provide CBT and other valuable therapies to her patients in the Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles area.

 

To learn more about how talk therapy at the West Coast Life Center can help you, check out our site at http://www.westcoastlifecenter.com/

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West Coast TMS Institute | Meet Our Team

West Coast TMS Institute | Meet Our Team | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
WestCoastLife's insight:

TMS is a new non-invasive treatment for depression that  is drug-free and outpatient-based.

 

TMS is not shock therapy.  Patients simply sit while awake in a chair, as we stimulate their brain with a magnetic field.  It is safe and effective.

 

West Coast TMS Institute in Los Angeles is proud to announce that we are bringing a new level of expertise and service to the Los Angeles area.  Our new TMS coordinator, Leila Kushan-Wells, MS has a masters in neurobiology and cognition, and has been involved in transcranial magnetic stimulation research in Europe.

 

Laura Pachecho, MS is our neurobehavioral specialist, who also helps maintain our uniquely supportive and enriching environment.

 

As medical director of both the West Coast Life Center and the West Coast TMS Institute Kira Stein, MD and her staff provide a whole host of treatment options, from talk therapy, bright light therapy, and non-invasive brain stimulation, to the Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks areas.

 

Read more about our unique team at http://www.westcoasttmsinstitute.com/about/tms-institute-support-staff/

 

Learn more about the non-invasive brain stimulatuon technique called TMS at http://www.wcTMS.com

 

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WestCoastLife's curator insight, March 15, 2013 8:55 PM

West Coast TMS Institute in Los Angeles is proud to announce that we are bringing a new level of expertise and service to the Los Angeles area.  Our new TMS coordinator, Leila Kushan-Wells has a masters in neurobiology and cognition, and has been involved in trasncranial magnetic stimulation research in Europe.  Read more about our unique team at http://www.westcoasttmsinstitute.com/about/tms-institute-support-staff/

 

Learn more about the non-invasive brain stimulatuon technique called TMS at http://www.wcTMS.com

 

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Movement for Mood: Exercise as a Treatment for Depression

Movement for Mood: Exercise as a Treatment for Depression | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

Magic Bullet or Placebo Effect?


Via Sarit Hovav, MD
WestCoastLife's insight:

Exercise is a key ingredient to batttling depression.  If it is not enough, then there are many other options/combinations of approaches, including:

--psychotherapy

--mindfulness meditation

--bright light therapy

--L-methylfolate

--hormone therapy

--medications

--non-invasive brain stimulation, such as cranioelectroc stimulation (CES) and transcranial magnetic stiulation (TMS)

 

If suffering from a very severe, acute depression, then more invasive, but often life-saving options include: 

--ECT (electroconvulsove therapy)

--VNS (Vagal nerve stimulation)

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THE PROBLEM WITH VITAMIN B12 LEVELS

THE PROBLEM WITH VITAMIN B12 LEVELS | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
TO TREAT OR NOT TO TREAT: THE PROBLEM WITH VITAMIN B12 LEVELS
A large percent of patients who come in for an evaluation at West Coast Life Center here in Los An(...)
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WestCoastLife's curator insight, March 9, 2014 8:56 AM

Too many people with low-normal Vitamin B12 are being overlooked

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West Coast Life Center: Genetic Testing to Make Psychiatric Medication More Effectual

West Coast Life Center: Genetic Testing to Make Psychiatric Medication More Effectual | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Press Release issued Feb 12, 2014: It’s an established fact now that patients who do not benefit from usual psychiatric treatments or who experience unfavorable psychiatric medication side effects can respond better to treatments when psychiatric genetic testing is performed. The Los Angeles-based West Coast Life Center is a reputable name in psychiatric care and, when necessary, uses genetic testing to better personalize treatment according to the biology of their patients.
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THE OPTIONS FOR DEPRESSION TREATMENT ARE EXPANDING

THE OPTIONS FOR DEPRESSION TREATMENT ARE EXPANDING | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
BY CHRISTINE TYLKA, MD, AUTHOR.

Valuable update on the ever-expanding treatment options for clinical (medical) depression.
WestCoastLife's insight:

Christine Tylka, MD recently joined The West Coast Life Center of Sherman Oaks as an associate psychiatrist.  Dr. Tylka earned her medical doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed her training at Columbia University’s St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital psychiatry residency.  West Coast Life Center is a leading boutique emotional wellness center focused on cutting edge, evidence-based, integrative psychiatric care for our patients.  Led by medical director, Kira Stein MD, we are a team of experts who help those struggling with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, insomnia, ADHD, personality, and other disorders. We approach emotional health from a holistic point of view, and individualize care using a wide array of techniques, including talk therapy, mindfulness meditation, bright light therapy, nutritional and medication management, as well as non-invasive brain stimulation. 

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WestCoastLife's curator insight, July 24, 2013 1:01 AM

Christine Tylka, MD recently joined The West Coast Life Center of Sherman Oaks as an associate psychiatrist.  Dr. Tylka earned her medical doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and completed her training at Columbia University’s St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital psychiatry residency.  West Coast Life Center is a leading boutique emotional wellness center focused on cutting edge, evidence-based, integrative psychiatric care for our patients.  Led by medical director, Kira Stein MD, we are a team of experts who help those struggling with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, insomnia, ADHD, personality, and other disorders. We approach emotional health from a holistic point of view, and individualize care using a wide array of techniques, including talk therapy, mindfulness meditation, bright light therapy, nutritional and medication management, as well as non-invasive brain stimulation. 

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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression: A Changing Landscape | Psychiatric Times

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression: A Changing Landscape | Psychiatric Times | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Clinicians can feel confident in the evidence base when referring patients with a moderate level of treatment resistance for rTMS.
WestCoastLife's insight:

TMS is clearly a treatment that is going mainstream in psychiatry.  Here is a great review of the applications, efficacy and possibilities of transcranial magnetic stimulation published in a mainstream psychiatric newletter.

Anyone suffering from medication resistant depression should read this article and share it with their therapist, primary doctor and psychiatrist.  An excellent review.

 

TMS is an FDA-cleared, effective, safe, non-drug outpatient treatment for depression that uses magnetic fields to stimulate areas of the brain that are poorly functioning in clinical depression.  The side effect profile of TMS is favorable compared to medications and a recent report indicates that maintenance of remission is significant.

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Best Diets

Best Diets | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
WestCoastLife's insight:

This is an excellent listing that ranks both do-it-yourself diets and commercial diets, and then describes them in detail.  If you need to lose weight and keep it off  it is always important to do your homework first and see what fits your life and needs.

 

This is a good start!

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Stimulating the brain with TMS blunts cigarette craving

Stimulating the brain with TMS blunts cigarette craving | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. Unfortunately smoking cessation is difficult, with more than 90% of attempts to quit resulting in relapse.
WestCoastLife's insight:

TMS shows much promise for treating addictions.

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Prescription Drug Abuse | Topics in Brief | National Institute on Drug Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse | Topics in Brief | National Institute on Drug Abuse | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes. It is not a new problem, but one that deserves renewed attention.

WestCoastLife's insight:

Just because a drug is a prescription does not mean it is safe for you or can be taken at any dose.

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Dr. Stein Interviewed on Stimulants being abused as Grade- Boosters | Home & Family

Dr. Stein Interviewed on Stimulants being abused as Grade- Boosters | Home & Family | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
WestCoastLife's insight:

Stimulants can be important and health-promoting agents if prescribed for people with low level dopamine and norepinepherine activities (such those with ADHD), but can be dangerous in those who use them recreationally or as performance enhancers,

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WestCoastLife's curator insight, February 25, 2013 10:55 PM

STIMULANT MIS-USE BY COLLEGE STUDENTS

 

More and more, stimulant medications are being diverted from medical use by patients suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Narcolepsy, and hard-to-treat depression, to non-medical use by students simply looking to boost their academic performance.

 

For those suffering from ADHD, stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin help normalize the brain's own dopamine and norepinephrine activity, improving biologically based difficulties in executive functioning. Untreated, ADHD is associated with irritability, inattentiveness and restlessness, which can lead to social difficulties, poor self-esteem, depressive & anxiety disorders – as well as an increased risk of substance abuse. 

 

In 2010, more than 1 million people misused stimulant medications without a medical prescription.  Recently, it was estimated that at least 30% of college students have used stimulant medications; while only up to 5% of the population suffers from ADHD. The most common non-medical stimulant uses in college are for the purposes of grade-boosting, pulling all-nighters before a test, or for use as appetite suppressants.

 

UNEXPECTED RISKS

While the intent is initially to get ahead (or keep up) in school, non-medical stimulant abuse increases the risk of experiencing side effects, serious complications, and addiction, especially if used in excessive doses, unsupervised by a physician.  

 

POTENTIAL STIMULANT SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects of stimulants can include anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, irritability, agitation, high blood pressure, and poor nutrition.  For those with underlying medical problems, the heart’s normal rhythm may be compromised.

 

ADDICTION RISKS

Normally, the brain's reward circuit needs a measured increase in dopamine activity to experience pleasure from music, food, or sex.  When using stimulants as grade-boosters, the temptation to rely on them only increases over time, as confidence in one’s own natural abilities diminish.  Recurrent, unnecessary stimulant use can result in bursts of dopamine levels, putting the brain’s reward system into hyper-drive, and increasing the risk of addiction. 

 

Excessive doses can lead to psychosis (hallucinations & paranoia), euphoria, hyper-sexual behavior, impulsivity and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. 

 

The experience of euphoria often encourages further indulgence, followed by withdrawals with depressed mood, excessive fatigue and hunger.  More abuse occurs with the desire to avoid such "crashes", while tolerance builds. 

 

These developments increase the chances of stimulant toxicity, including symptoms of psychosis, confusion, rage, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death.  While death is a rare occurrence, the non-lethal medical complications are serious.  Between 2004 and 2009 the number of emergency room visits associated with stimulant use increased by over 200%.

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Stimulant diversion is illegal and dangerous, while stimulant addiction is difficult to treat.   Stimulants are too risky to use as academic performance-enhancing drugs.

 

 

 

RESOURCES:

Cocaine Anonymous: http://www.ca.org/

Narcotics Anonymous: http://www.na.org/

Matrix Institute on Addictions: http://www.matrixinstitute.org/

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What is Vitamin D? How Does It Impact Your Health?

What is Vitamin D? How Does It Impact Your Health? | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it
WestCoastLife's insight:

Even in sun-kissed Los Angeles, a majority of my patients come in with a low vitamin D level.  Low vitamin D seems to be contributing to their poor mental and physical functioning.  Correcting it clearly makes it easier for them to respond to our treatment plan.

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About.com interview of Dr Stein - When to Consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

About.com interview of Dr Stein - When to Consider Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy | West Coast Life Center | Scoop.it

TMS is an excellent option for patients who have not responded to their first medication, because research shows that TMS is considerably more effective than trying a second medication, with less risk of side effects. In fact, TMS is FDA-approved for the treatment of a major depressive episode that has failed to adequately respond to a first medication.Decisions about patient care need to be made on ......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image is from NIMH image files

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