Posts

September 01, 2014

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7:32 AM | Lithium for mood disorder symptoms in autism?
Modern classroom? @ Wikipedia The paper published by Matthew Siegel and colleagues [1] talking about some preliminary observations on the use of lithium where symptoms of mood disorder might be present in cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) caught my eye recently. Concluding that: "lithium may be a medication of interest for those who exhibit two or more mood disorder symptoms, particularly mania or euphoria/elevated mood" the sentiments of more research-to-do in this area […]

Siegel M, Beresford CA, Bunker M, Verdi M, Vishnevetsky D, Karlsson C, Teer O, Stedman A & Smith KA (2014). Preliminary Investigation of Lithium for Mood Disorder Symptoms in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder., Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093602

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6:30 AM | Promoting safer sex in people with severe mental illness
Caroline Tomes summarises a recent systematic review which finds that behavioural interventions can result in short-term increases in safer sex in people with severe mental illness. The post Promoting safer sex in people with severe mental illness appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 30, 2014

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7:34 AM | Under-recognised co-occurring conditions in autism
A brief post to direct you to the paper by Nicolaidis and colleagues [1] talking about primary care for adults on the autism spectrum and mention of an issue quite important to this blog: "the recognition of associated conditions"."When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not".Alongside the announcement of what seems like an interesting workshop organised by the US IACC (Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee) titled: "IACC Workshop on Under-Recognized Co-Occurring […]

August 29, 2014

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7:52 AM | Oxytocin and autism: the hype?
Consider some excerpts from two recent papers looking at oxytocin (OXT) - the "love hormone"(!) - and the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)...“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage”"These findings indicate that dysregulated OXT biology is not uniquely associated with ASD social phenotypes as widely theorized, but instead variation in OXT biology contributes to important individual differences in human social functioning, including the severe social impairments which […]

Parker, K., Garner, J., Libove, R., Hyde, S., Hornbeak, K., Carson, D., Liao, C., Phillips, J., Hallmayer, J. & Hardan, A. & (2014). Plasma oxytocin concentrations and OXTR polymorphisms predict social impairments in children with and without autism spectrum disorder, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402236111

Guastella AJ, Gray KM, Rinehart NJ, Alvares GA, Tonge BJ, Hickie IB, Keating CM, Cacciotti-Saija C & Einfeld SL (2014). The effects of a course of intranasal oxytocin on social behaviors in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: a randomized controlled trial., Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087908

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7:00 AM | Census analysis shows numbers of people with learning disabilities in in-patient beds falling from 2010-13
Following the uncovering of abuse at Winterbourne View by the BBC’s Panorama team, the Government committed to a programme of action to address what were recognised as system wide failures in the care and support of adults with learning disabilities described as having complex challenging behaviours. (Transforming Care) The Transforming Care document set out a [read the full story...] The post Census analysis shows numbers of people with learning disabilities in in-patient beds falling […]
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6:30 AM | People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of homicide than perpetrators of homicide
Dave Steele reports on a recent observational case series published in the Lancet Psychiatry, which concludes that patients with mental illness are two and a half times more likely to be victims of homicide than the general population. The post People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of homicide than perpetrators of homicide appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 28, 2014

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8:29 AM | Minocycline for schizophrenia?
"Minocycline may improve the psychopathology of schizophrenia, especially the negative symptoms, and seems to be well tolerated".A Bachelors Drawer (apparently) @ Wikipedia That was the finding from the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Oya and colleagues [1] looking at the collected literature on the use of "minocycline augmentation therapy in patients with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotic agents". Augmentation therapy by the way, refers to the addition of minocycline […]

Oya K, Kishi T & Iwata N (2014). Efficacy and tolerability of minocycline augmentation therapy in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials., Human psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087702

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6:30 AM | Empowering mental health service users to become more involved in decisions about their care: the DECIDE RCT
Laurence Palfreyman highlights an RCT of the DECIDE intervention, which aims to build awareness of the service user’s role in decisions about their care including how they can become more involved and seek information from independent sources. The post Empowering mental health service users to become more involved in decisions about their care: the DECIDE RCT appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 27, 2014

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7:56 AM | Prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits
A quote to start today's post: "Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children". That was a primary finding reported by Hanan El Marroun and colleagues [1] who looked at whether maternal depressive symptoms or a class of quite commonly used pharmaceutics - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - used to manage depressive symptoms, during pregnancy might impact on offspring development."Everything the light touches is our […]

Marroun, H., White, T., van der Knaap, N., Homberg, J., Fernandez, G., Schoemaker, N., Jaddoe, V., Hofman, A., Verhulst, F., Hudziak, J. & Stricker, B. (2014). Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and social responsiveness symptoms of autism: population-based study of young children, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 205 (2) 95-102. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.127746

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6:30 AM | Motivational interviewing does not prevent alcohol misuse in young people
This new Cochrane systematic review finds that motivational interviewing has no effect on reducing alcohol-related problems or risky behaviours such as drunk driving in young people. The post Motivational interviewing does not prevent alcohol misuse in young people appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 26, 2014

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10:37 AM | Comment: Why we need to be more accurate in diagnosing co-morbidity.
In this blog we have repeatedly queried whether the co-occurrence of so-called co-morbidities with substance use disorders (SUDs) is as high as reported in many studies (1). In a blog from yesterday Are most co-morbidities really substance-induced disorders?  that diagnosis is … Continue reading →
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9:30 AM | Is the Heart of the Matter White (and Grey)?
Is the Impulsive Behaviour that Precedes Addiction Hardwired into the Brain? AUG 25 Posted by alcoholicsguide In various blogs we have forwarded the idea that emotional and stress dysregulation are that the heart of addiction and alcoholism and are also possible … Continue reading →
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7:55 AM | 76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria?
Autism is not normally a stand-alone diagnosis. I've mentioned that point a few times on this blog, stressing how a clinical diagnosis of autism appears to increase the risk of various other behavioural, psychiatric and somatic diagnoses also [variably] being present over a lifetime. Part of that comorbidity has been talked about in discussions about ESSENCE (see here) and the excellent document produced by Treating Autism on medical comorbidities occurring alongside autism (see here) for […]

Joshi G, Faraone SV, Wozniak J, Tarko L, Fried R, Galdo M, Furtak SL & Biederman J (2014). Symptom Profile of ADHD in Youth With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Study in Psychiatrically Referred Populations., Journal of attention disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085653

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6:30 AM | Face-to-face psychotherapy for chronic pain in children and adolescents: Cochrane review calls for better primary research
Lisa Burscheidt summarises a recent Cochrane review of psychotherapy for chronic pain in children and adolescents, which concludes that psychological therapies should be considered as a treatment, but better primary studies are needed to help steer pain management decisions. The post Face-to-face psychotherapy for chronic pain in children and adolescents: Cochrane review calls for better primary research appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 25, 2014

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7:38 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 3: Can Patients Imagine Recovery?
Today I have the distinct pleasure of writing about one of my favourite articles about eating disorder recovery by Malson et al. (2011) exploring how inpatients talk about eating disorder recovery. I have personally found this article to be very helpful in understanding some of the difficulties of understanding and achieving recovery in our social context. As Malson and colleagues explain (and as we’ve established), eating disorder recovery is elusive. Often, poor prognosis is described […]

Malson H, Bailey L, Clarke S, Treasure J, Anderson G & Kohn M (2011). Un/imaginable future selves: a discourse analysis of in-patients' talk about recovery from an 'eating disorder'., European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 19 (1) 25-36. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21182163

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4:11 PM | Are most co-morbidities really substance-induced disorders?
In this blog we re-emphasize the need for accurate diagnosis of co-morbidity with a substance use disorder. It appears form the article cited here (1) that diagnosis is often flawed in many studies and that the so-called diagnosis of co-morbidity … Continue reading →
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8:40 AM | mTOR-regulated autophagy and autism mouse models
I was intrigued to read the paper by Guomei Tang and colleagues [1] (open-access) and their assertion that: "mTOR [mammalian target of rapamycin]-regulated autophagy is required for developmental spine pruning, and activation of neuronal autophagy corrects synaptic pathology and social behavior deficits in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] models with hyperactivated mTOR"."Re-verify our range to target... one ping only".If that opening paragraph sounds like scientific […]
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6:30 AM | Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment
Jake Crawshaw reports on a recent systematic review of cognitive and exercise interventions for older people with and without cognitive impairment. The post Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment appeared first on The Mental Elf.

August 23, 2014

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5:47 PM | You heard me right... autism prevalence and meat consumption
"The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence". The paper by Wojciech & Ewa Pisula [1] (open-access) does indeed suggest that there may "a correlation between increasing meat consumption and autism prevalence"."Goonies never say die!"Readers are invited to draw their own conclusions on such a correlation. Personally, I'm not yet convinced that meat consumption is the primary driving force […]

Wojciech Pisula & Ewa Pisula (2014). Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested, Medical Hypotheses, Other:

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August 22, 2014

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10:51 PM | Using Animal Research to Justify Eating Disorder Treatment Practices: Are We Going Too Far? (On Eating Junk Food in Treatment – Part II)
As a follow up to Shirley’s post on eating hyper-palatable foods during eating disorder treatment , I asked Liz–SEDs’ resident expert on animal behaviour, particularly in relation to binge eating and drug addiction–to look at some of the studies that Julie O’Toole mentioned as evidence for Kartini Clinic’s guidelines of avoiding hyper-palatable foods for the first year of eating disorder recovery. If you missed Dr. O’Toole’s […]

Hagan, M.M., Wauford, P.K., Chandler, P.C., Jarrett, L.A., Rybak, R.J. & Blackburn, K. (2002). A new animal model of binge eating: key synergistic role of past caloric restriction and stress., Physiology & Behavior, 77 (1) 45-54. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12213501

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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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