Posts

March 29, 2015

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8:39 AM | Sera from children with autism inducing autistic features in rats?
"The autism sera injected rats demonstrated developmental delay and deficits in social communication, interaction, and novelty."That was one of the findings reported in the paper by Syed Faraz Kazim and colleagues [1] (open-access) who, among other things, injected intracerebroventricularly sera collected from children with autism into newborn rats and examined behavioural effects compared with injections of sera from asymptomatic controls. Actually, that was only one part of the […]

Kazim, S., Cardenas-Aguayo, M., Arif, M., Blanchard, J., Fayyaz, F., Grundke-Iqbal, I. & Iqbal, K. (2015). Sera from Children with Autism Induce Autistic Features Which Can Be Rescued with a CNTF Small Peptide Mimetic in Rats, PLOS ONE, 10 (3) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118627

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March 28, 2015

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8:27 AM | Screening for autism in preterm infants
"A positive screen on the M-CHAT [Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers] occurs more commonly in very preterm infants than those born at term."So said the study by Peter Gray and colleagues [1] as the topic of preterm status - that is, babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy - potentially being linked to a greater risk of autism or at least, increased risk of screening positive for autism, crops up yet again on this blog (see here).Gray et al examined a cohort of children […]

Gray PH, Edwards DM, O'Callaghan MJ & Gibbons K (2015). Screening for autism spectrum disorder in very preterm infants during early childhood., Early human development, 91 (4) 271-276. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25766314

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March 27, 2015

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10:02 AM | Inflammation impairs social cognitive processing
A quote to begin: "acute inflammation can lead to decreases in the ability to accurately and reliably comprehend emotional information from others."It comes from the article published by Mona Moieni and colleagues [1] who examined a concept familiar to many people with a connection to autism either personally or professionally: Theory of Mind (ToM). Rather interestingly, Moieni et al "examined whether exposure to an experimental inflammatory challenge led to changes in ToM." […]

Moieni M, Irwin MR, Jevtic I, Breen EC & Eisenberger NI (2015). Inflammation impairs social cognitive processing: a randomized controlled trial of endotoxin., Brain, behavior, and immunity, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25770082

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8:00 AM | Trial-Based Functional Analysis has limited validity outside of defined clinical settings
Responses to behaviour that challenges are far more likely to be successful if based on good quality functional analysis. In his debut blog, Russell Woolgar considers the effectiveness of Trial Based Functional Assessment, and looks at a systematic review which also aims to identify future areas for research. The post Trial-Based Functional Analysis has limited validity outside of defined clinical settings appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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7:30 AM | New evidence on the effects of plain cigarette packaging in Australia
Olivia Maynard considers the implications of a host of new plain packaging research papers published last week in Tobacco Control. He blog focuses on a cohort study that looks at short-term changes in quitting-related cognitions and behaviours after the implementation of plain cigarette packaging with larger health warnings in Australia. The post New evidence on the effects of plain cigarette packaging in Australia appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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5:18 AM | Is a trauma focus truly needed in PTSD treatment?
Last month Joris Haagen shared Part 1 of a saga around the question whether a trauma focus is truly necessary in trauma treatment. Based on a meta-analysis, Benish, Wampold and their colleagues concluded that the answer is No. Their analysis, … Continue reading →

Barlow DH, Bullis JR, Comer JS & Ametaj AA (2013). Evidence-based psychological treatments: an update and a way forward., Annual review of clinical psychology, 9 1-27. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23245338

Gerger, H., Munder, T., Gemperli, A., Nüesch, E., Trelle, S., Jüni, P. & Barth, J. (2014). Integrating fragmented evidence by network meta-analysis: relative effectiveness of psychological interventions for adults with post-traumatic stress disorder, Psychological Medicine, 44 3151-3164. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714000853

Schnurr PP (2007). The rocks and hard places in psychotherapy outcome research., Journal of traumatic stress, 20 779-92. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17955539

Watts BV, Schnurr PP, Mayo L, Young-Xu Y, Weeks WB & Friedman MJ (2013). Meta-analysis of the efficacy of treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder., The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 74 50. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23842024

Wampold BE, Imel ZE, Laska KM, Benish S, Miller SD, Flückiger C, Del Re AC, Baardseth TP & Budge S (2010). Determining what works in the treatment of PTSD., Clinical psychology review, 30 923-33. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20638168

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March 26, 2015

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11:39 AM | Autism increases risk of nonaffective psychotic disorder and bipolar disorder
Published at the same time and in the same journal as the 'MoBa does bowel issues in autism' paper from Bresnahan and colleagues [1], the study results from Jean-Paul Selten et al [2] reporting that "A diagnosis of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] is associated with a substantially increased risk for NAPD [nonaffective psychotic disorder] and BD [bipolar disorder]" has, at the time of writing this post, received little or no press attention in comparison despite […]

Selten JP, Lundberg M, Rai D & Magnusson C (2015). Risks for Nonaffective Psychotic Disorder and Bipolar Disorder in Young People With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Population-Based Study., JAMA psychiatry, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25806797

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7:30 AM | Mindfulness based group therapy for common mental health disorders
Mark Smith summarises a recent RCT of mindfulness based group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders. The post Mindfulness based group therapy for common mental health disorders appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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1:28 AM | Songbird lectures and podcasts compiled into one place
I’m trying to collect all of the lectures relevant to songbirds into one place. I’m going to start by combing  through some sources I’m already familiar with like podcasts. If I leave any out, please post them in the comments and I’ll try to update the main post. Thanks! Songbird lectures sorted by date: Sam […]

March 25, 2015

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9:57 PM | MoBa does bowel issues in autism
'MoBa' in the title of this post, refers to the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study and a handy resource which has already impacted on autism research (see here for example).Now MoBa has turned its epidemiological clout to an issue which less and less is encountering scientific resistance: are gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms over-represented when it comes to a diagnosis of autism? Further, when do such bowel issues start to present?The answer, shown in the paper by Michaeline […]

Bresnahan, M., Hornig, M., Schultz, A., Gunnes, N., Hirtz, D., Lie, K., Magnus, P., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Roth, C., Schjølberg, S. & Stoltenberg, C. (2015). Association of Maternal Report of Infant and Toddler Gastrointestinal Symptoms With Autism, JAMA Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3034

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9:16 PM | Pride Before a Fall: The Intertwining of Pride and Shame in Eating Disorders
Is there a link between eating disorders and shame? What about pride? Can understanding these emotions help us to understand how eating disorders develop, and how they are maintained? In reviewing literature for my specialization paper, I stumbled upon a qualitative study by Skarderud (2007) about the role of shame in eating disorders. I found the article quite interesting, so I fired up the “where was this cited” tool on my university library database and uncovered a wealth of […]
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6:27 PM | Is Immunization the Reason George Washington (and Not the Queen of England) Is on the Dollar Bill?
George Washington was not only the founding father of the U.S., but also of mass immunization.Read More
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2:00 PM | How Does Consuming Glucose Affect Your Memory?
While many people believe sugar makes kids hyperactive, this theory has long been debunked by research. However researchers are only just beginning to understand the complex relationship between glucose and learning.Read More
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11:24 AM | Is Science Being Irrational Rather than AA?
In a recent blog a few days ago I challenged some of Gabrielle Glaser’s “evidence” in her article   “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, which purported to demonstrate the so-called effectiveness of “controlling drinking”. Glaser cited the following in … Continue reading →
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9:33 AM | Autism and depression: interlinked?
"A possible implication is that interventions aimed at either autism symptoms or symptoms of depression may improve the other."That was the intriguing statement made by Per Normann Andersen and colleagues [1] who "investigated the course of and association among changes in autism symptoms, depression symptoms and executive functions (EF) in children with high-functioning autism (HFA)." Aside from frowning a little at the mention of the concept of 'high-functioning' I assume to denote those […]

Andersen PN, Skogli EW, Hovik KT, Egeland J & Øie M (2015). Associations Among Symptoms of Autism, Symptoms of Depression and Executive Functions in Children with High-Functioning Autism: A 2 Year Follow-Up Study., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25763986

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7:30 AM | Medication versus placebo for anorexia nervosa: antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy
In her debut blog, Nicola Coop summarises a recent meta-analysis looking at the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy for people with anorexia nervosa. The post Medication versus placebo for anorexia nervosa: antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 24, 2015

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10:31 AM | AA linked to Higher Rates of Continuous Abstinence/Recovery.
A journalistic piece entitled,  “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, written by  Gabrielle Glaser, also harshly criticizes Alcoholics Anonymous. AA and similar 12-step programs. I cite a blog on her criticisms here (1) “Glaser’s central claim is that there’s no rigorous … Continue reading →
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9:37 AM | More extremes of a limiting diet and autism
In a previous post a while back, I discussed some examples in the peer-reviewed literature of where a self-limiting diet in the extreme can lead to with autism in mind. Today, I'm adding a further example of what food faddism might mean, to further forward the point that "a low threshold for vitamin level testing should be undertaken in autistic spectrum disorder cases, highlighting the importance of enquiring about dietary habits."That last quote comes from the paper in question by Emma […]

Duignan, E., Kenna, P., Watson, R., Fitzsimon, S. & Brosnahan, D. (2015). Ophthalmic Manifestations of Vitamin A and D Deficiency in Two Autistic Teenagers: Case Reports and a Review of the Literature, Case Reports in Ophthalmology, 6 (1) 24-29. DOI: 10.1159/000373921

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7:30 AM | High potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis
Eleanor Kennedy writes her debut blog on a recent case-control study of people in South London, which explores the links between first-episode psychosis and the use of high potency cannabis (skunk). The post High potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 23, 2015

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8:33 PM | The Backfire Effect: When Correcting False Beliefs Has the Opposite of the Intended Effect
How providing people with evidence about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines can backfire.Read More
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9:48 AM | Early life probiotics reducing the risk of subsequent neuropsychiatric disorder?
With my continued interest in all-things gut microbiome on this blog (see here for example) it is little wonder that I was taken to blog about the study findings from Anna Pärtty and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Probiotic supplementation early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood." Probiotic by the way, refers to various 'live' organisms (bacteria, yeasts) thought to confer some positive effect on health and/or wellbeing.Not only does […]

Pärtty A, Kalliomäki M, Wacklin P, Salminen S & Isolauri E (2015). A possible link between early probiotic intervention and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders later in childhood - a randomized trial., Pediatric research, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760553

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8:00 AM | Self-concept amongst adults with mild learning disabilities is good, but can be strengthened with practitioner support
A positive self concept has been associated with psychological well-being, peer acceptance and self-confidence, but how do people with mild learning disabilities view themselves? In this, his debut blog, Alex Leeder looks at a qualitative study that set out to provide us with a deeper understanding of how adults with learning disabilities think about themselves and how practitioners could help them to think about this more positively. The post Self-concept amongst adults with mild learning […]
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7:30 AM | Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle?
Andrew Shepherd appraises and summarises a systematic review of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms after SSRI discontinuation, which leads him to reconsider his own clinical practice. The post Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 21, 2015

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8:22 AM | Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia (again and again)
The findings reported by Ainsah Omar and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) adding further weight to the notion of a "strong association between the active Tg [Toxoplasma gondii] infection and schizophrenia" are set out for your reading consumption today.Continuing a research topic that has already enjoyed quite a bit of air time on this blog (see here and see here) whereby the parasite T. gondii known to cause the condition toxoplasmosis might also be […]

Omar A, Bakar OC, Adam NF, Osman H, Osman A, Suleiman AH, Manaf MR & Selamat MI (2015). Seropositivity and Serointensity of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies and DNA among Patients with Schizophrenia., The Korean journal of parasitology, 53 (1) 29-34. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25748706

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March 20, 2015

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1:15 PM | Challenging the Disease Concept of Alcoholism?
A journalistic piece entitled,  “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, written by  Gabriel Glaser, purports to challenge the “disease concept” of alcoholism. Glaser in one section of the article devotes one section to  the historical prominence of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) … Continue reading →
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8:00 AM | The role of carers in monitoring health of people with learning disabilities
People with learning disabiilties can have complex health needs which require monitoring and management. This can be challenging for their supporters, who may lack the knowledge necessary. Here, in her debut blog, Emma Langley looks at a study which explored some of the challenges faced by paid and family carers in monitoring health in the context of the complexities of inter agency working between the health and social sectors. The post The role of carers in monitoring health of people with […]
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7:50 AM | Autism genes and cognitive ability
Autism IS linked to higher intelligence: People with genes related to the condition 'scored better in mental ability tests' was one of the media headlines reporting on the study by Toni-Kim Clarke and colleagues [1].Clarke et al reported results based on a pretty good sample size (in the thousands) whereby autism-associated genes and cognitive ability were examined in several cohorts including those taking part in The Generation Scotland : Scottish Family Health Study […]
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7:30 AM | Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers
Laurence Palfreyman highlights a population study from researchers at Oxford University, which investigates the links between depression and violent crime. The study finds that people with depression were three times more likely to have been convicted of violent crime than those without depression, but we need to be careful about how we interpret these relative risk figures. The post Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 19, 2015

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10:05 AM | Objective measures of sleep in autism meta-analysed
"Children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] have small but measurable objective differences in their sleep parameters that are consistent with subjective reporting."That was the main conclusion reached in the meta-analysis from Marilisa Elrod and Bradley Hood [1] who looked at the collected peer-reviewed data "that used objective measures such as actigraphy or polysomnography (PSG) to describe the sleep parameters of TST [total sleep time], SL [sleep latency], and […]

Elrod, M. & Hood, B. (2015). Sleep Differences Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Peers, Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 1. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000140

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7:30 AM | Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: new quality standard from NICE
Consultant Psychiatrist Samei Huda provides a personal critique of the new NICE quality standard on psychosis and schizophrenia in adults. Read his thoughts and join the discussion! The post Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: new quality standard from NICE appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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