Posts

August 22, 2014

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12:49 PM | The Science of Depression
Good and short video about the possible explanations for the origin of depression. From serotonin, to neurogenesis and genetics.   Related posts:Science, gender and the emergence of depression in American psychiatry 1950-1980 Genes Predict Reponse to Lithium Addition for Treatment Resistant Depression Why Can’t We find a Gene for Depression?
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7:47 AM | Serum microRNA profiles and autism
I cannot pretend to be an expert on microRNA (miRNA). Indeed, it was only after reading the paper by Mahesh Mundalil Vasu and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about serum microRNA profiles in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that I started my learning journey about these small non-coding RNAs. So please, go easy with me on this one...Hamlet @ Wikipedia Quite a good [short] introduction to microRNAs can be found here. If you want something a […]

Mundalil Vasu, M., Anitha, A., Thanseem, I., Suzuki, K., Yamada, K., Takahashi, T., Wakuda, T., Iwata, K., Tsujii, M., Sugiyama, T. & Mori, N. (2014). Serum microRNA profiles in children with autism, Molecular Autism, 5 (1) 40. DOI: 10.1186/2040-2392-5-40

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7:00 AM | Visual deficits in adults with Down syndrome explored
Research by Seeability and the RNIB suggests that adults with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to be blind or partially sighted than the rest of the population. If they have severe or profound learning disabilities, then they are likely to have serious sight problems. There already exists some guidance for GPs on responding [read the full story...] The post Visual deficits in adults with Down syndrome explored appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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6:30 AM | Guidance to improve service user experience: how NICE is that?
Lucy Simons and Paul Radin summarise the latest Evidence Update from NICE relating to their 2011 guidance to improve service user experience The post Guidance to improve service user experience: how NICE is that? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 21, 2014

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7:56 AM | Autism, ADHD and allergy: Taiwan and big data (again)
"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had an increased risk of allergic comorbidities, and those with both ADHD and ASD had the highest"."You built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean"That was the conclusion arrived at in the paper by Ting-Yang Lin and colleagues [1]. For regular readers of this blog, this was yet another example of how Taiwan leads the way when it comes to the concept of 'big data' specifically […]

Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M. & Bai, Y. (2014). Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8 (10) 1333-1338. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.009

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6:30 AM | Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care
The BRAIN-ICU prospective cohort study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at mental health outcomes and functional disabilities in a general ICU population. It explores the hypothesis that depressive symptoms after discharge are more often somatic (i.e. bodily complaints) than cognitive-affective (i.e. thought-related and mood-related complaints). The post Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care appeared […]

August 20, 2014

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8:35 AM | ADHD in DSM-5: what did you think would happen?
"Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest a 27% increase in the expected prevalence of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] among young adults, comparing DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria". So said the paper by Matte and colleagues [1] who as part of their study looked at "the prevalence of ADHD according to DSM-5 criteria".Europa @ Wikipedia The changes to the diagnosis of ADHD in DSM-5 can be seen here. The main difference between DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnosis […]
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6:30 AM | Are primary care interventions for intimate partner violence effective? I wish I could tell you
Listen up systematic reviewers. Don't make Sarah Knowles angry; you won't like her when she's angry. Cue a rather frustrated blog about new research on primary care interventions for intimate partner violence. The post Are primary care interventions for intimate partner violence effective? I wish I could tell you appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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6:03 AM | Your Brain and Video Games
This is an interesting video since it uses video games to explain how your brain works. In this instance in video games. For instance Neural Prediction or the way you estimate a ball coming towards you so to be able to catch it in time. At least before it hits you in the face. Neuroscience […]

August 19, 2014

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8:23 AM | Family processes and trajectory in autism
The paper by Woodman and colleagues [1] looking at trajectory and autism in adolescents and adults is the source material for today's post (another micropost). Concluding that: "Overall, autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors were observed to improve over the study period" of about 8 years, the authors also reported that "greater improvements were associated with higher levels of maternal praise (based on maternal speech samples) and higher quality mother-child relationships". If I remember […]

Woodman AC, Smith LE, Greenberg JS & Mailick MR (2014). Change in Autism Symptoms and Maladaptive Behaviors in Adolescence and Adulthood: The Role of Positive Family Processes., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070471

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8:06 AM | Multimorbidity – NICE guidance scoping consultation
Get involved in the NICE scoping consultation on multimorbidities. Today’s post is a little different in nature – rather than bringing you the evidence, we are asking you to get involved in helping to shape it. NICE are in the process of defining the scope of their guidelines on multimorbidity (a combination of two or [read the full story...] The post Multimorbidity – NICE guidance scoping consultation appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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6:30 AM | Combining psychotherapy and antidepressants is best for common mental illnesses
Patrick Kennedy-Williams summarises a recent meta-analysis, which finds that combined treatment with psychotherapy and antidepressants is more effective than treatment with antidepressants alone. The post Combining psychotherapy and antidepressants is best for common mental illnesses appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 18, 2014

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8:10 AM | ADHD in the prison population: a micropost
"Compared with published general population prevalence, there is a fivefold increase in prevalence of ADHD in youth prison populations (30.1%) and a 10-fold increase in adult prison populations (26.2%)"."Mianly dry" apparently @ Paul WhiteleyThat was the primary conclusion reached in the meta-analysis by Young and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on "the variable prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in incarcerated populations".There […]

Young S, Moss D, Sedgwick O, Fridman M & Hodgkins P (2014). A meta-analysis of the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in incarcerated populations., Psychological medicine, 1-12. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066071

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7:00 AM | People with learning disabilities in Scotland more likely to live in deprived areas
In 2000, the Scottish Executive published ‘The same as you?’ a ten year programme to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities in Scotland. Following a two year review, last year they published a new ten year strategy, known as ‘The keys to life – Improving Quality of Life for People with Learning Disabilities’, [read the full story...] The post People with learning disabilities in Scotland more likely to live in deprived areas appeared first on The […]
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6:30 AM | Interpersonal counselling for depression: RCT shows some promise
Mark Smith summarises an RCT which compares SSRI antidepressants with interpersonal counselling for depression. The trial explores moderators of remission with interpersonal counselling or drug treatment in primary care patients with mild-moderate depression. The post Interpersonal counselling for depression: RCT shows some promise appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 16, 2014

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7:21 AM | The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders
A very short post for readers to ponder based on the paper by Amanda Baxter and colleagues [1] who talked about the global epidemiology of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)."In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or one in 132 persons".Aside from emphasising the word 'estimated' (I highlighted that), be prepared to see the Baxter paper and that quote cited quite a bit in the peer-reviewed literature in times to […]

A. J. Baxter, T. S. Brugha, H. E. Erskine, R. W. Scheurer, T. Vos & J. G. Scott (2014). The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders, Psychological Medicine, Other:

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August 15, 2014

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7:20 PM | In Defense of Eating Junk Food in Eating Disorder Treatment
Should eating disorder patients be introduced to “junk food” or “hyper-palatable” foods during treatment? A few days ago, I stumbled across a blog post where Dr. Julie O’Toole, Founder and Director of the Kartini Clinic for Disordered Eating, argues against introducing “junk food” during ED treatment. The crux of the argument is that “hyperpalatable foods”—e.g., chips and Cheetos—are not real food and should never be forced or […]

Spring, V.L. & Bulik, C.M. (2014). Implicit and explicit affect toward food and weight stimuli in anorexia nervosa., Eating Behaviors, 15 (1) 91-4. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24411758

Steinglass, J.E., Sysko, R., Glasofer, D., Albano, A.M., Simpson, H.B. & Walsh, B.T. (2011). Rationale for the application of exposure and response prevention to the treatment of anorexia nervosa., The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 44 (2) 134-41. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20127936

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12:58 PM | Off on Holiday!!
Back the 26th August – have a good look around in my absence!! :-)  
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8:07 AM | Psychotic experience following childhood neurodevelopmental diagnosis
The paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] suggesting a higher risk of psychotic episodes (PEs) in early adolescence among those with a diagnosed childhood neurodevelopmental disorder (ND) makes for some interesting reading. Detailing several diagnoses as falling under the banner of neurodevelopmental disorder (autism spectrum, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysorthographia, dyscalculia), researchers concluded that: "The risk of PEs was higher in those with, compared with those […]

Khandaker GM, Stochl J, Zammit S, Lewis G & Jones PB (2014). A population-based longitudinal study of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, IQ and subsequent risk of psychotic experiences in adolescence., Psychological medicine, 1-10. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25066026

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6:30 AM | Internet-based interventions for harmful drinking show small beneficial effects
Andrew Jones summarises a recent meta-analysis on the effectiveness of guided and unguided low-intensity Internet interventions for adult alcohol misuse. The post Internet-based interventions for harmful drinking show small beneficial effects appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 14, 2014

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8:09 AM | Learning disability in autism: how prevalent is it?
"Results showed that 36.8 % of the children met the criteria for ID [intellectual disability], with 60.2 % of these in the mild range (IQ 50-69) and 39.8 % in the moderate range (IQ 35-49)".That was the finding reported by Mélina Rivard and colleagues [1] looking at the co-occurrence of intellectual disability (also called learning disability here in Blighty) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) "in young children". Based on an analysis of over 200 children diagnosed with an ASD, […]

Rivard M, Terroux A, Mercier C & Parent-Boursier C (2014). Indicators of Intellectual Disabilities in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25070470

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6:30 AM | Exercise for severe mental illness: new review finds few benefits
This new systematic review concludes that exercise programmes can lead to an improvement in exercise activity, but have no significant effect on mental health symptoms or body weight in people with severe mental illness. The post Exercise for severe mental illness: new review finds few benefits appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 13, 2014

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12:28 PM | Assessing the “Alcoholic Personality”?
We recently came across an article which satisified some of our curiosity with regards to two important theoretical and research considerations in relation to both the accurate definition of  the so-called “addictive or alcoholic personality “, which has falling out … Continue reading →
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8:11 AM | Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) survivors and greater risk of autism?
"In term NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] survivors, ASD [autism spectrum disorder] occurs with a greater frequency than in the general population and often develops alongside comorbid conditions". That was the conclusion from the study by Alexander Winkler-Schwartz and colleagues [1] looking at term at-risk infants who survived NICU."You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off"'Surviving' their earliest days spent in NICU brings a bit of lump to my throat. As a […]
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6:30 AM | Do parent training programmes improve the health of parents?
The findings of this recent Cochrane review support the use of parenting programmes to improve the short-term psychosocial wellbeing of parents. The post Do parent training programmes improve the health of parents? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 12, 2014

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1:00 PM | Everything is Made of Chemicals
What contains more chemicals, apples or love hearts? If, like many people your instinctive response is "love hearts... of course", you might benefit from a new guide by the group Sense about Science, which debunks common myths about chemicals (you'll find the correct answer at the end of this blog ...Read More
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8:04 AM | Neonatal jaundice and increased risk of ADHD
The findings from Chang-Ching Wei and colleagues [1] suggesting an over-representation of the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) following a history of neonatal jaundice provides fodder for today's brief post. Based in Taiwan, one of the most impressive countries when it comes to the use and analysis of 'big data' (see here), researchers were able to identify some 25,000 participants diagnosed with neonatal jaundice and compare them with almost 70,000 […]
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6:30 AM | Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders
This recent and well-conducted meta-review concludes that the impact on mortality and suicide of mental disorders is substantial, and probably poorly appreciated as a public health problem. Raphael Underwood's blog summarises the data for all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders. The post Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 11, 2014

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5:23 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 2: The Multiple Facets of Recovery
One of the most common definitions of eating disorder recovery I have seen comes from a 2010 study by Bardone-Cone et al. Before I begin exploring this study I thought I might direct readers to some more resources on recovery: Carrie Arnold over at ED Bites wrote a few posts about recovery on her blog, and the first in the series can be found here. In this post, Carrie looks at the 3 dimensions of recovery that surface in Bardone-Cone’s article, so I thought I might also explore a study […]
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7:43 AM | Risk of neurodevelopmental disorder in cases of hypospadias
"This is the first study to identify an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders in patients with hypospadias, as well as an increased risk for ASD [autism spectrum disorders] in their brothers, suggesting a common familial (genetic and/or environmental) liability".Rainy days and Mondays... @ Wikipedia That was the conclusion reached in the study by Agnieszka Butwicka and colleagues [1] looking at various neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with a diagnosis of […]
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