Posts

December 19, 2014

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9:44 AM | Uric acid and bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder appearing again on this blog this week? It's just the way that the papers fall...With a title like: 'Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness' I was hardly likely to pass up the opportunity to discuss the paper by Umberto Albert and colleagues [1] and their suggestion that there may be a lot more to see when it comes to "a purinergic dysfunction associated with BD [bipolar disorder]".I lost the defuser gun when I […]

Albert U, De Cori D, Aguglia A, Barbaro F, Bogetto F & Maina G (2014). Increased uric acid levels in bipolar disorder subjects during different phases of illness., Journal of affective disorders, 173C 170-175. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25462413

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8:00 AM | Learning Disabilities Elf review of 2014
As the year draws to a close and we elves gear up for some seasonal duties, we take a look at some of the blogs we have published throughout 2014 and welcome some of our new bloggers. Also, we will be looking for new contributors in 2015, so look out for more news of that in the new year. The post Learning Disabilities Elf review of 2014 appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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7:30 AM | How can we improve mental health services for young people? Ask them
Sarah Knowles appraises and summarises a thematic analysis of young people's views of UK mental health services, which calls for greater involvement of young people themselves in redesigning services to be more engaging and accessible. The post How can we improve mental health services for young people? Ask them appeared first on The Mental Elf.

December 18, 2014

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4:20 PM | Histamine and Anorexia Nervosa
Most of us have at some point in our lives taken antihistamines–drugs that block the action of histamine (e.g., Claritin, Allegra)–to relieve allergy symptoms. And while histamine is best known for its role in the immune response, it also has many other important roles in the central nervous system. In the brain, histamine release is important for arousal (this is why antihistamines tend to make us drowsy). It has also been implicated in regulating appetite, taste […]
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12:57 PM | We do Recover – the relationship between the duration of abstinence and other aspects of recovery.
Out of all the people I know who were in treatment before me and in the group after me, as well as with me and who completed the entire course of treatment most of them, i.e. a high majority of … Continue reading →
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10:08 AM | Autistic traits in adults with epilepsy
"Increased autistic characteristics found in adults with epilepsy without an ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis suggest that epilepsy syndromes may incorporate behavioral aspects of autism in the absence of some of its core cognitive features."Contrariwise, if you think we're alive you ought to speak to us.That was the intriguing finding reported by Sally Ann Wakeford and colleagues [1] who examined test performance on the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and "systemizing […]

Wakeford S, Hinvest N, Ring H & Brosnan M (2014). Autistic characteristics in adults with epilepsy., Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 41C 203-207. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25461216

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7:30 AM | Medication for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder
Elena Marcus summarises a recent network meta-analysis published in The Lancet of the comparative efficacy and tolerability of medication for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. The post Medication for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder appeared first on The Mental Elf.

December 17, 2014

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10:34 PM | A Dark Forgotten Past, and Why it Needs to be Remembered
A dark period from the past of psychiatry risks being forgotten, we can't allow that to happen.Read More
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9:29 AM | Folate receptor autoantibodies and (some) schizophrenia
I am the league's director, Silas Ramsbottom.Upon reading the paper published by Ramaekers and colleagues [1] talking about the use of folinic acid in cases of schizophrenia as a function of the presence of "Auto-antibodies against folate receptor alpha (FRα)", I raised a little smile. Not only because the authors suggested that there may be quite a lot more to see in this area on top of some already interesting discussions about the folate cycle and schizophrenia, but also because […]

Ramaekers VT, Thöny B, Sequeira JM, Ansseau M, Philippe P, Boemer F, Bours V & Quadros EV (2014). Folinic acid treatment for schizophrenia associated with folate receptor autoantibodies., Molecular genetics and metabolism, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25456743

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7:30 AM | Mental health support for older adults needs to improve
Dave Steele summarises an NIHR funded mixed methods study that concludes we don't know much about how we should support older adults with mental health problems, except to say that we should be doing better. The post Mental health support for older adults needs to improve appeared first on The Mental Elf.

December 16, 2014

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12:01 PM | The Neuroscience of Attachment (Part 3)
Part 3 Here we again borrow extensively from an excellent article by Linda Graham The so-called resonance circuit, discussed in our previous blog,  operates in the brain of the parent attuning to his or her child; it’s what stimulates the developing … Continue reading →
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9:41 AM | Thioredoxin... a new 'diagnosis indicator' for autism?
My name's Buttercup. You've met Baron von Shush."Our study demonstrated that serum TRX [thioredoxin] levels were associated with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], and elevated levels could be considered as a novel, independent diagnosis indicator of ASD." So was the conclusion reported by Qing-biao Zhang and colleagues [1] looking at serum levels of TRX in 80 children diagnosed with an ASD compared against "100 sex and age matched typically developing children".I'll freely […]
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7:30 AM | The Internet Therapist: adherence to Internet CBT compared to face to face CBT
Andrés Fonseca appraises a recent meta-analysis of adherence to Internet CBT and face-to-face cognitive behavioural therapy for depression. The post The Internet Therapist: adherence to Internet CBT compared to face to face CBT appeared first on The Mental Elf.

December 15, 2014

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6:53 PM | How far have we come in understanding this emotional disorder? – Addiction Recovery Blog – addictionland.com
How far have we come in understanding this emotional disorder? – Addiction Recovery Blog – addictionland.com.
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9:45 AM | Rates of medical illnesses in bipolar disorder
I've mentioned a few times on this blog that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is by no means protective against any other diagnosis being received, be it based on a somatic illness or condition, or something more behaviourally defined.Reading through the paper by Liz Forty and colleagues [1] (open-access) it appears that a similar scenario might also pertain to other behaviourally-defined conditions as per the example of bipolar disorder (BD) and their conclusion: […]

Forty L, Ulanova A, Jones L, Jones I, Gordon-Smith K, Fraser C, Farmer A, McGuffin P, Lewis CM, Hosang GM & Rivera M (2014). Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder., The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25359927

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7:30 AM | Folic acid for depression: RCT finds no effect on reducing incidence of depression or bipolar
Elly O'Brien summarises a recent RCT of folic acid for depression, which explores whether mood disorders can be prevented in young people at familial risk. The trial finds no evidence that folic acid supplementation reduces the incidence of mood disorders compared to those taking placebo. The post Folic acid for depression: RCT finds no effect on reducing incidence of depression or bipolar appeared first on The Mental Elf.

December 14, 2014

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9:48 AM | Beware the inflated science related press release!
I'm not normally minded to post on a Sunday (day of rest and all that) but I did want to bring your attention to the results presented by Petroc Sumner and colleagues [1] (open-access) concluding that: "Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases" when it comes to the media reporting of [some] health-related science news.The idea behind this particular study - which has been summarised pretty well in some of the accompanying media and in an […]

Sumner, P., Vivian-Griffiths, S., Boivin, J., Williams, A., Venetis, C., Davies, A., Ogden, J., Whelan, L., Hughes, B., Dalton, B. & Boy, F. (2014). The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study, BMJ, 349 (dec09 7) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g7015

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December 13, 2014

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6:45 PM | Making Connections: Peer Support and Eating Disorder Recovery
I feel like a broken record when I say that we continue to lack an evidence-base for most “alternative” forms of support for eating disorders. As I’ve noted in prior posts, just because something is not evidence based does not mean it does not work for anyone; often, an evidence base is established when researchers can secure enough funding to run a randomized-controlled trial (RCT) that would act as evidence. Even when an RCT has been run, it is hard to say that one form of […]
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10:19 AM | Social communication disorder (SCD) reviewed
Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in […]

Swineford, L., Thurm, A., Baird, G., Wetherby, A. & Swedo, S. (2014). Social (pragmatic) communication disorder: a research review of this new DSM-5 diagnostic category, Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 6 (1) 41. DOI: 10.1186/1866-1955-6-41

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10:00 AM | On Open Dialogue Part 4: Our origins in dialogue
The words that form thoughts are not static symbols. TS Eliot wrote that “the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past”. The Russian philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin applied this concept to words: “everything anyone has ever said always exist in response to things that have already been said and in anticipation of things that will be said in response. All language and the ideas communicated is dynamic and […]

December 12, 2014

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8:00 AM | Irish Minister suggests use of undercover video as part of inspections to combat abuse in residential services for people with learning disabilities
In the week following the publication of the Bubb report after the appalling scenes uncovered at Winterbourne View, a team in Ireland uncover similar abuses in a care centre in Mayo. Here we look at what they found and the initial response of the authorities there. The post Irish Minister suggests use of undercover video as part of inspections to combat abuse in residential services for people with learning disabilities appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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7:30 AM | Joint Crisis Plans: empowering service users with psychotic disorders
Raphael Underwood reports on a thematic analysis of joint crisis plans, which explores what service users with psychotic disorders want in a mental health crisis or relapse. The post Joint Crisis Plans: empowering service users with psychotic disorders appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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12:14 AM | Chronic fatigue syndrome by ASIA?
Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. ASIA, in the context of this post, does not refer to the continent but rather the suggestion of an: ‘autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants’ and some potentially contentious findings reported by Nancy Agmon-Levin and colleagues [1].Describing a small cohort of participants diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and/or fibromyalgia (FM), the authors put forward the idea that "some cases CFS and […]

Agmon-Levin N, Zafrir Y, Kivity S, Balofsky A, Amital H & Shoenfeld Y (2014). Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia following immunization with the hepatitis B vaccine: another angle of the 'autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants' (ASIA)., Immunologic research, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25427994

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December 11, 2014

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7:29 PM | The Neuroscience Of Attachment Part 2
Part 2 Here we again borrow extensively from an excellent article byLinda Graham “How relational learning works John Bowlby, British psychoanalyst, founder of attachment theory, hypothesized that attachment is all about safety and protection and emotional regulation in times of … Continue reading →
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12:27 PM | Is there an emotional processing problem in alcoholics and addicts? – Addiction Recovery Blog – addictionland.com
Is there an emotional processing problem in alcoholics and addicts? – Addiction Recovery Blog – addictionland.com.
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12:15 PM | On Open Dialogue Part 3: ‘It takes a Village’
Reverie, from the Latin radix refers to a root, but from the French revere refers to a dream. The French philosopher Bachelard described a poetic reverie - an uprooting of the normal order of things, a profound experiential understanding. Both concepts, the rooting to what is basic, and the deep understanding of something beyond the material, are helpful in describing the archetypal communication between caregiver and child.
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10:09 AM | Low bone mineral density and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and autism?
"An elevated frequency of bone mass loss in NCWS [non-celiac wheat sensitivity] patients was found; this was related to low BMI [body mass index] and was more frequent in patients with NCWS associated with other food sensitivity".There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no Queen of England.That was the conclusion reached by Antonio Carroccio and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at a small group of participants diagnosed with something which seems to […]

Carroccio A, Soresi M, D Alcamo A, Sciumè C, Iacono G, Geraci G, Brusca I, Seidita A, Adragna F, Carta M & Mansueto P (2014). Risk of low bone mineral density and low body mass index in patients with non-celiac wheat-sensitivity: a prospective observation study., BMC medicine, 12 (1) 230. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25430806

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7:30 AM | Internet-based CBT for chronic somatic conditions: problematic meta-analysis offers an overly enthusiastic appraisal
Ioana Cristea critically reviews a recent meta-analysis of Internet-based CBT for patients with chronic somatic conditions. She concludes that the review authors are offering an overly positive interpretation of their results, and that we need more high quality studies before we can recommend online cognitive behaviour therapy for this population. The post Internet-based CBT for chronic somatic conditions: problematic meta-analysis offers an overly enthusiastic appraisal appeared first on The […]

December 10, 2014

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7:46 PM | Believe it or not, sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity
Despite widespread belief in the myth that sugar causes hyperactivity, scientists have known for more than two decades that the link is all in the mind.Read More
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11:32 AM | The Neuroscience of Attachment (Part 1)
The Neuroscience of Attachment Here we borrow extensively from an excellent article by Linda Graham written six years ago but which gives such a comprehensive review of how the neural development of our brain is affected by attachment – as … Continue reading →
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