Posts

July 17, 2014

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9:02 AM | Childhood Maltreatment Predicts Later Alcoholism
Ample evidence exists for higher rates of substance abuse and dependence among maltreated individuals (1) so much so that alcoholism and addiction for many represent a developmental cascade. In clinical samples undergoing treatment for substance use disorders, between one third and … Continue reading →
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6:47 AM | Blood lead levels and childhood behaviour
"Blood lead concentrations, even at a mean concentration of 6.4 µg/dL, were associated with increased risk of behavioral problems in Chinese preschool children, including internalizing and pervasive developmental problems". That was the conclusion of the study by Jianghong Liu and colleagues [1] looking at blood lead levels in preschoolers aged 3-5 years resident in Jiangsu province in China. Some associated media accompanying this study can be viewed here including the text: […]
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6:30 AM | Incredible Years Parent Training has a role in improving outcomes for all children
Fiona Warner-Gale presents the findings of a meta-analytic review of the Incredible Years Parent Training programme, which is found to be effective at modifying disruptive and prosocial child behaviour. This evidence will be of interest to many, including policymakers, planners and practitioners. The post Incredible Years Parent Training has a role in improving outcomes for all children appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 16, 2014

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11:54 AM | Age of first drink predicts subsequent alcohol dependence?
  The age of onset to begin regular drinking is an important predictor of age of first alcohol problem and subsequent alcohol dependence (1,2),  as well as greater severity and persistence of problems with illicit drugs (3). For individuals that … Continue reading →
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8:50 AM | Organic acids as biomarkers of autism?
Whilst I am always a little cautious about the use of the word 'biomarker' when applied to a heterogeneous condition like autism, even the autisms, I am nevertheless always intrigued at any reasonable prospect reported in the scientific literature. So it was when I read the paper by Joanna Kałużna-Czaplińska and colleagues [1] and their assertion that "there is a significant metabolic difference between autistic and non-autistic children" and onwards that "21 metabolites […]
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6:30 AM | Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders
This new study concludes that approximately one-third of the Danish population will receive treatment in secondary care for a mental disorder across their lifetime. Should we be talking about 1 in 3, rather than 1 in 4? The post Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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5:09 AM | AMEE 2014 and preparing for a conference
This year I will be attending the AMEE conference in Milan, Italy. The AMEE Conference provides an opportunity for all with an interest in medical and health professions education to meet together to hear about what’s new in the area, to share ideas and to network with colleagues from around the world. During my career […] Related posts:2008 Conference on Happiness and Its Causes E-Mental Health Summit and Health 2.0 Conference Gel Health, Conference About The Patient Experience […]

July 15, 2014

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8:44 PM | Do Actions Speak Louder than Feelings? [Video]
    // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the tenth video in... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:30 AM | Childhood abuse and adverse life events interact synergistically to produce a high risk for psychotic experiences
This recent study concludes that childhood abuse creates an enduring vulnerability to psychosis that is realised in the event of exposure to further stressors and risk factors, such as separation, bereavement, or being involved in an accident or physical attack. The post Childhood abuse and adverse life events interact synergistically to produce a high risk for psychotic experiences appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 14, 2014

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12:29 PM | Stress and emotional dysregulation are markers of later risk of alcoholism.
The offspring of alcohol dependent individuals are at increased risk for alcohol and drug dependence in young adulthood over that seen in the general population (1-4). Twin and adoption studies reveal that the heritability for alcohol dependence is between 40–60% … Continue reading →
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9:02 AM | Joint hypermobility, gait and autism
I have already made mention of the paper by Maya Shetreat-Klein and colleagues [1] on this blog as part of a post on the potential usefulness of kata training for at least some people on the autism spectrum (see here). Based on an analysis of 38 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a similar number of asymptomatic controls (all medication free), researchers set about recording "the characteristics of gait and prevalence of toe walking, the range of passive joint mobility, […]

Shetreat-Klein M, Shinnar S & Rapin I (2014). Abnormalities of joint mobility and gait in children with autism spectrum disorders., Brain & development, 36 (2) 91-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22401670

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7:00 AM | Costs of CBT for anger management tested against ‘as usual’ day service
Last week we posted about the publication of a new manual for therapists engaged in providing cognitive behavioural therapy to people with learning disabilities . In that post, we drew attention to two randomised trials that had been done in the early 2000’s whose findings were m anger – encouraging. This latest study adds a [read the full story...]
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6:30 AM | New meta-analysis supports the use of mindfulness for depression, but not anxiety
This study confirms that mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) are valid for the treatment of current depressive episodes, and it identifies the need for more studies to investigate the possibility that MBIs might also be of value in treating anxiety disorders. The post New meta-analysis supports the use of mindfulness for depression, but not anxiety appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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5:06 AM | Young People on Psychosis
Hands on description of psychosis and it’s consequences. An enthralling short film made by John Richardson (former service user) and Belinda Giles. Surrounding the experience of psychosis and the positive role the Early Intervention service can play in that often rocky voyage. Featuring captivating personal insights alongside a tightly woven narrative. Provocatively packed with vintage […] Related posts:Cannabis use in young people: The risk for schizophrenia Should young people […]

July 13, 2014

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5:08 PM | North Sea Jazz 2014
The marriage between hip hop and jazz is difficult. Robert Glasper is one of the experts trying to combine these two with great results. Enjoy this video. It’s over after tonight, the Nort Sea Jazz festival 2014 of which for me Robert Glasper was a highlight, together with Stevie Wonder. Another highlight was the legendary […] Related posts:North Sea Jazz Tips The Berliner Philharmoniker at Home by Digital Concert Hall Golden Age of Jazz in Pictures

July 12, 2014

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3:36 PM | Organic food: meta-analysed
A very quick post to direct you to the paper by Barański and colleagues [1] which is currently making a few headlines and sparking some debate (see here and see here) with their assertions: "the concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods" and "the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops, which also contained significantly […]

Barański M, Srednicka-Tober D, Volakakis N, Seal C, Sanderson R, Stewart GB, Benbrook C, Biavati B, Markellou E, Giotis C & Gromadzka-Ostrowska J (2014). Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses., The British journal of nutrition, 1-18. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103

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July 11, 2014

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8:48 AM | Maternal C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and offspring schizophrenia
A big quote to start this post: "This finding provides the most robust evidence to date that maternal inflammation may play a significant role in schizophrenia, with possible implications for identifying preventive strategies and pathogenic mechanisms in schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders".Ophelia @ Wikipedia The source for this quote was the paper by Sarah Canetta and colleagues [1] based on an analysis of serum samples from mums for C-reactive protein (CRP) as […]

Canetta, S., Sourander, A., Surcel, H., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., Leiviskä, J., Kellendonk, C., McKeague, I. & Brown, A. (2014). Elevated Maternal C-Reactive Protein and Increased Risk of Schizophrenia in a National Birth Cohort, American Journal of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13121579

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7:00 AM | Bradley report commission identifies solid progress, but still work to be done
Five years ago, Lord Bradley published his report looking at the situation of people with mental health problems and people with learning disabilities in the criminal justice system. The Bradley report made a number of recommendations and this summer sees the publication of a progress report on these recommendations. The Bradley commission, established as an [read the full story...]
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6:30 AM | Shared decision making in antipsychotic prescribing: the perspective of psychiatrists
Shared decision making is now commonplace, but will this approach ever be fully embraced in relation to antipsychotic prescribing? Liz Hughes reports on a recent qualitative study of consultant psychiatrists' experiences that sheds some light on the issue. The post Shared decision making in antipsychotic prescribing: the perspective of psychiatrists appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 10, 2014

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10:24 AM | Why a “Spiritual Solution” to a Neurobiological Disease?
In the first in a series of blogs we discuss the topic of why does the solution to one’s alcoholism and addiction require a spiritual recovery. This is a much asked question within academic research, although the health benefits of … Continue reading →
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7:34 AM | Viral exposure and autism
A whole slew of articles published by Ivan Gentile and colleagues based at the University of Naples (Italy) brought me to writing this post looking at some of the literature on viral exposures and autism. Viruses, in case you didn't know, are some of nature's survivors, infecting host cells and reproducing, onwards hopeful of finding more (un)willing cells/organisms to infect. Humankind have developed various biological defence mechanisms against the viral (and bacterial) onslaught that we all […]

Gentile I, Zappulo E, Bonavolta R, Maresca R, Messana T, Buonomo AR, Portella G, Sorrentino R, Settimi A, Pascotto A & Borgia G (2014). Prevalence and Titre of Antibodies to Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr Virus in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder., In vivo (Athens, Greece), 28 (4) 621-626. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24982232

Gentile I, Zappulo E, Bonavolta R, Maresca R, Riccio MP, Buonomo AR, Portella G, Settimi A, Pascotto A, Borgia G & Bravaccio C (2014). Exposure to Varicella Zoster Virus Is Higher in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder than in Healthy Controls. Results from a Case-control Study., In vivo (Athens, Greece), 28 (4) 627-631. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24982233

Gentile I, Zappulo E, Bonavolta R, Maresca R, Riccio MP, Buonomo AR, Portella G, Vallefuoco L, Settimi A, Pascotto A & Borgia G (2014). Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 Antibodies in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders., In vivo (Athens, Greece), 28 (4) 667-671. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24982239

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6:30 AM | Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia
People diagnosed with schizophrenia are 7.4 times more likely to be convicted of violent offences, 8.1 times more likely to die prematurely, and 20.7 times more likely to kill themselves. The post Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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5:28 AM | Cyber-Seniors, Connecting Generations
This is the trailer of a humorous and heartwarming documentary. This documentary shows the journey of a group of senior citizens as they discover the world of the Internet through the guidance of teenage mentors. This charming film provides insight into the wonderful things that can happen when generation gaps are bridged and proves you […] Related posts:Time-lapse video: Package shipped with a hidden camera A TED speaker’s worst nightmare
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5:21 AM | North Sea Jazz Tips
Ibrahim Maalouf “Surprises” en acoustique sur Mange Disques from Romain Dufrene on Vimeo. Got inspired by the latest blog post of Tom Beek. One of our Dutch greatest saxophone players and composers. This video is in his post about North Sea Jazz festival tips. He has four more tips. Here is my 5 cents, as […] Related posts:Golden Age of Jazz in Pictures 10 tips to Retain More of What You Read Online The Neuroscience of Jazz

July 09, 2014

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9:52 AM | Familial Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (again)
The paper by Neil Risch and colleagues [1] adds to the growing literature looking at the question of familial recurrence of autism i.e. if one child has a diagnosis of autism, how likely are subsequent children to be similarly diagnosed. The answer according to this latest data: "The overall sibling recurrence risk was 10.1%" compared with 0.5% in siblings of asymptomatic controls. This figure is pretty much the same as that reported by Sandin and colleagues [2] covered not so long ago (see […]
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6:30 AM | What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease?
Psychiatrist Andrés Fonseca considers how his clinical practice should change, after reading a systematic review and meta-analysis of drug treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease The post What should we prescribe for neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 08, 2014

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5:56 PM | Children Reason Differently from Adults [Video]
          // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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9:25 AM | Coenzyme Q10 and autism
The paper by Frederick Crane and colleagues [1] (open-access here) caught my eye recently and their suggestion that when it comes to autism there may be more research to do on coenzyme Q10. Indeed, the old grey-pinkish matter started grinding into action as to whether there may be a wider research literature on CoQ10 with a focus on autism...A helping hand? @ Wikipedia Coenzyme Q10 otherwise known as ubiquinone, has appeared before on this blog for various reasons (see here and […]

Crane FL, Löw H, Sun I, Navas P & Gvozdjáková A (2014). Plasma membrane coenzyme Q: evidence for a role in autism., Biologics : targets & therapy, 8 199-205. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24920882

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9:16 AM | Getting out of “self” via Prayer and meditation
When I first came into recovery I constantly heard the refrain about “getting out of self” – in fact steps 10-12 help one do so. Step 12, by helping others in recovery and step 11 which encourages prayer and mediation. … Continue reading →
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6:30 AM | Kinship care may be a viable out-of-home placement option for maltreated children, but more research is needed
Lisa Burscheidt reports on a recent Cochrane review that looks at the effects of kinship care versus traditional foster care for the safety, permanency and well-being of children removed from the home for maltreatment. The post Kinship care may be a viable out-of-home placement option for maltreated children, but more research is needed appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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