Posts

January 16, 2015

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7:30 AM | Psychotherapy for UK military veterans: demographics and clinical outcomes
Mark Smith reports on a study of psychotherapy for UK military veterans, using an IAPT service, which focuses on the demographic characteristics and clinical outcomes of early service leavers and veterans. The post Psychotherapy for UK military veterans: demographics and clinical outcomes appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 15, 2015

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10:10 AM | Maternal thyroid autoantibody and offspring autism risk
I have, on this blog, previously mentioned the paper by Alan Brown and colleagues [1] suggesting that: "The prevalence of maternal TPO-Ab+ [thyroid peroxidase antibody] was significantly increased in pregnancies giving rise to autism cases (6.15%) compared to controls (3.54%)." It was during some discussion on the suggested diagnosis of Down syndrome disintegrative disorder (see here) and the idea that some signs and symptoms of regressive autism (?) might overlap with TPO antibodies […]

Brown, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Cheslack-Postava, K., Bao, Y. & Sourander, A. (2015). Maternal thyroid autoantibody and elevated risk of autism in a national birth cohort, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 57 86-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.10.010

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7:30 AM | Woodland walks and your ‘Elf
Kirsten Lawson dons her walking boots and reports on the national Walks for Health (WfH) programme, which has been investigated in an observational study looking at the mental, emotional and social well-being of people who participate in woodland walks. The post Woodland walks and your ‘Elf appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 14, 2015

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10:11 AM | Autism research in Jamaica
For the past couple of years I've been tracking some rather interesting publications coming out of data from Jamaica on the topic of autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specifically looking at the possible overlap between genes and various environmental factors. I thought now would be a good time to bring this collection of papers to the blogging table and summarise their findings based on the analysis of data collected from The Jamaican Autism study. The fact that their latest […]
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7:30 AM | Folic acid for depression: FolATED finds methylfolate is a better candidate for augmenting antidepressants
Susie Johnson reports on the FolATED RCT and economic evaluation of folic acid for depression. The study finds no evidence that folic acid is clinically effective or cost-effective in augmenting antidepressants and suggests instead that methylfolate is a better candidate for future research. The post Folic acid for depression: FolATED finds methylfolate is a better candidate for augmenting antidepressants appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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7:30 AM | Folic acid for depression: results of the FolATED study
Susie Johnson reports on the FolATED RCT and economic evaluation of folic acid for depression. The study finds no evidence that folic acid is clinically effective or cost-effective in augmenting antidepressants and speculates instead that methylfolate may be a better candidate for future research. The post Folic acid for depression: results of the FolATED study appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 13, 2015

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12:49 PM | Addicts Continue to Face Widespread Stigma
Addiction seen as a moral failing!? I came across this article from a few months ago which shows we as a collective have not come very far in understanding addiction and that society continues to stigmatize those suffering from addiction. … Continue reading →
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9:58 AM | Autism diagnosis as a predictor of slow colonic transit
Slow colonic transit is all about issues with the speed of gastrointestinal (GI) motility and how as well as deriving nourishment from our food/drink, the other important task which our gut undertakes is the removal of waste, which it generally does pretty well. The paper by Zainab Ridha and colleagues [1] suggested that a diagnosis of autism might be over-represented when it came to their review of children referred for "nuclear transit studies", that is measuring bowel transit by […]

Ridha Z, Quinn R & Croaker GD (2014). Predictors of slow colonic transit in children., Pediatric surgery international, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25549892

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7:30 AM | Do perinatal mental health problems cost the UK £8 billion per year?
A recent report estimated the societal cost of perinatal mental health problems to be £8 billion, but should we believe it? Chris Sampson advises caution. The post Do perinatal mental health problems cost the UK £8 billion per year? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 12, 2015

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9:35 AM | Ritual circumcision and risk of autism
A quote to begin: "We confirmed our hypothesis that boys who undergo ritual circumcision may run a greater risk of developing ASD [autism spectrum disorder].""Objetos dispersos" de Xulio Formoso 2008That was the rather surprising finding reported by Morten Frisch & Jacob Simonsen [1] (open-access) following their register-based cohort study based in Denmark. Some of the media following this paper can be seen here.I'll be honest with you and say that my brow furrowed somewhat upon […]

Frisch, M. & Simonsen, J. (2015). Ritual circumcision and risk of autism spectrum disorder in 0- to 9-year-old boys: national cohort study in Denmark, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, DOI: 10.1177/0141076814565942

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8:00 AM | Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programmes reduced stress in mothers of children with disabilities in community sample RCT
Mindfulness is increasingly recognised as an effective way to reduce stress and improve well-being Here Kate van Dooren looks at a randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness based stress reduction programme with mothers of children with autism and other developmental delays to look at its impact on levels of distress over time. The post Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programmes reduced stress in mothers of children with disabilities in community sample RCT appeared first on The Learning […]
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7:30 AM | Impaired inhibitory control in addiction
Maartje Luijten, Assistant Professor at the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University, writes her debut blog on a recent meta-analysis of deficits in behavioural inhibition in substance abuse and addiction. The post Impaired inhibitory control in addiction appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 09, 2015

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9:18 PM | No, Half of All Children Won't Be Autistic By 2025, Despite What Your Facebook Friends May Tell You
Why did an academic at MIT recently make the absurd claim that half of all children will be autistic by 2025?Read More
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9:35 AM | Early mortality in mums of children with autism or intellectual disability
I know the paper by Jenny Fairthorne and colleagues [1] (open-access) is probably not the happiest thing to read with their conclusion that: "During the study period, mothers of children with intellectual disability or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had more than twice the risk of death" but their message is nonetheless an important one.Based on data derived from "state-wide databases" covering women living in Western Australia who gave birth between 1983 and 2005, […]

Fairthorne J, Hammond G, Bourke J, Jacoby P & Leonard H (2014). Early Mortality and Primary Causes of Death in Mothers of Children with Intellectual Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Retrospective Cohort Study., PloS one, 9 (12) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25535971

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8:00 AM | Six out of ten GP surgeries are signed up to the Directed Enhanced Scheme in England, but 40% of patients with learning disabilities did not get a health check
The Directed Enhanced Scheme offers reimbursement to GP surgeries to carry out annual health checks for people with learning disabilities. Here, we report on a cohort study which looked at the impact of the scheme over a three year period. The post Six out of ten GP surgeries are signed up to the Directed Enhanced Scheme in England, but 40% of patients with learning disabilities did not get a health check appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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7:30 AM | Family experiences of help seeking in first episode psychosis
Andrew Shepherd explores the complex issue of families seeking help for first episode psychosis, investigated by researchers in a recent family narrative study, which concludes that help seeking attempts are often derailed by complex family responses to illness. The post Family experiences of help seeking in first episode psychosis appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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2:21 AM | Temperament in Eating Disorders (A Meta-Analysis)
Much research has been done on personality traits associated with eating disorders, and, as I’ve blogged about here and here, on personality subtypes among patients with EDs. For example, researchers have found that individuals with AN tend to have higher levels of neuroticism and perfectionism than healthy controls (Bulik et al., 2006; Strober, 1981). Moreover, some traits, such as anxiety, have been associated with a lower likelihood of recovery, whereas others, such as impulsivity, […]

Atiye M, Miettunen J & Raevuori-Helkamaa A (2014). A Meta-Analysis of Temperament in Eating Disorders., European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25546554

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2:21 AM | Temperament in Eating Disorders
Much research has been done on personality traits associated with eating disorders, and, as I’ve blogged about here and here, on personality subtypes among patients with EDs. For example, researchers have found that individuals with AN tend to have higher levels of neuroticism and perfectionism than healthy controls (Bulik et al., 2006; Strober, 1981). Moreover, some traits, such as anxiety, have been associated with a lower likelihood of recovery, whereas others, such as impulsivity, […]

January 08, 2015

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11:36 AM | Insecure attachment affects emotion regulation in alcoholics?
I have blogged recently about how insecure attachment is linked to various addictive behaviours. What is important is to establish a mechanism by which insecure attachment contributes to later addictive disorders. It may not be enough to say attachment and addiction are … Continue reading →
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9:49 AM | Abdominal discomfort syndrome in a subset of ME/CFS
"The findings show that ADS [abdominal discomfort syndrome] is a characteristic of a subset of patients with ME/CFS [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and that increased bacterial translocation (leaky gut) is associated with ADS symptoms."Right there. God does not build in straight lines.So said the study by Michael Maes and colleagues [1] looking at both gastrointestinal (GI) symptom presentation in diagnosed cases of ME/CFS and "the IgA and IgM responses […]

Maes M, Leunis JC, Geffard M & Berk M (2014). Evidence for the existence of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) with and without abdominal discomfort (irritable bowel) syndrome., Neuro endocrinology letters, 35 (6) 445-453. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25433843

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7:30 AM | Peer support for perinatal mental illness: what makes a peer?
Lucy Simons reports on a meta-ethnography that explores what facilitates peer support for perinatal mental illness. Her key finding from appraising the review is that women who experience perinatal mental illness need support from the right sort of peer (i.e. women who have had mental distress in the context of motherhood) to make the relationship beneficial and to aid recovery. The post Peer support for perinatal mental illness: what makes a peer? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 07, 2015

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9:55 AM | Inflaming inflammation and autism: linking microglial activation and neuronal activity
It has been quite a few weeks since the publication of the paper by Simone Gupta and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about "observations [that] provide pathways and candidate genes that highlight the interplay between innate immunity and neuronal activity in the aetiology of autism."I'm a wrecker. I wreck things, professionally. I mean.At the time of publication in early December (2014), there was quite a bit of media interest in the findings as per reports such as this one and […]

Gupta S, Ellis SE, Ashar FN, Moes A, Bader JS, Zhan J, West AB & Arking DE (2014). Transcriptome analysis reveals dysregulation of innate immune response genes and neuronal activity-dependent genes in autism., Nature communications, 5 5748. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25494366

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7:30 AM | Mental health therapy for refugee and asylum seeking children: a small evidence base for a big problem
Laurence Palfreyman considers the very small and mixed evidence base of mental health interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children presented in a well conducted systematic review from last year. The post Mental health therapy for refugee and asylum seeking children: a small evidence base for a big problem appeared first on The Mental Elf.

January 06, 2015

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9:39 PM | Blood Test Tells How Long Concussion Symptoms Will Last
The Sunday after Thanksgiving last year proved tragic for family and friends of 22-year-old Kosta Karageorge. The defensive tackle for the Ohio State Buckeyes was found dead that day after apparently... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:40 AM | Olanzapine, gut bacteria and weight gain in mice
"These results collectively provide strong evidence for a mechanism underlying olanzapine-induced weight gain in mouse and a hypothesis for clinical translation in human patients."That was the summary statement derived from data published by Andrew Morgan and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at how some of those trillions of wee beasties which colonise humans and animals (the microbiome) may very well influence response to medicines... at least in mice. The authors' specific focus on […]

Morgan AP, Crowley JJ, Nonneman RJ, Quackenbush CR, Miller CN, Ryan AK, Bogue MA, Paredes SH, Yourstone S, Carroll IM & Kawula TH (2014). The Antipsychotic Olanzapine Interacts with the Gut Microbiome to Cause Weight Gain in Mouse., PloS one, 9 (12) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25506936

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7:30 AM | Coproduction of secure mental health services: design, development and delivery
Sarah Carr summarises a study of user involvement and coproduction initiatives in secure mental health settings, which recommends schemes that build alliances, garner mutual respect and support communication between staff and service users in shared forums. The post Coproduction of secure mental health services: design, development and delivery appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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6:28 AM | Do coincidences exist?
Our brains are very good at explaining from being hyper attentive putting things together for avoiding harmful situations. Nice video, learn about magical thinking, palindrome, pareidolia and biases such as the selection bias, confirmation bias. These last two are not very strange to doctors especially those seasoned in clinical reasoning.   Related posts:Why are doctors more accurate with difficult cases? How Doctors Think, a book review Explaining Diagnostic Errors

January 05, 2015

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1:00 PM | How do you keep up to date with reliable research? #WeNurses tweet chat summary
André Tomlin summarises the WeNurses tweet chat that he ran with Teresa Chinn on 11/12/14. The chat saw contributions from a diverse group of 96 people who discussed the barriers to keeping up to date with reliable research, literature searching, critical appraisal, Twitter journal clubs and much more. The post How do you keep up to date with reliable research? #WeNurses tweet chat summary appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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10:50 AM | Depression and its treatment
Excellent video explaining depression from a neurobiological perspective. Around one in every 10 people will suffer from depression. Brain regions that control mood are often disrupted in depression. Antidepressant drugs or behavioral therapy can offer some relief. By understanding the brain better, our ability to treat depression should also get a boost. Watch the video […] Related posts:Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression New Kind of Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant […]
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9:27 AM | Systematic reviews and autism
There were a few reasons why I wanted to bring the commentary from Sven Bölte [1] on the topic of systematic reviews and autism research to your attention. One particular sentence included in the text stuck out for me: "... systematic reviews do not always tell the whole truth either" reflective of how we perhaps should always be a little cautious in the way we interpret science even when faced with the platinum standard that is the systematic review (with or without […]
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