Life Elevated: Mental Health in Alta, UT
Wednesday, March 21 - Our Lady of the Snows - 6:30pm - Free
Join ACE & Perry F. Renshaw M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., USTAR Professor of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine for an in depth talk on the correlation of high altitude and mental health issues.
Compared to national averages, rates of depression, anxiety, drug use, and suicide are elevated in Utah. This increase in the prevalence of mental health issues is even greater in ski towns, such as Alta. Utah is the third most elevated state in the continental United States (after Colorado and Wyoming) and our research group investigates the effects of elevation on psychiatric disorders. We believe that the thin air (decreased partial pressure of oxygen with increasing altitude) leads to changes in brain neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine) and high-energy compounds (phosphocreatine) that directly change the prevalence and course of a range of mental illneses. Using both animal models of depression and anxiety-like behaviors, as well as human clinical trials of adjunctive natural products, our goal is to improve treatments as usual for those who live in the intermountain west. Results obtained over the last decade will be discussed.