Posts

February 23, 2015

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9:34 AM | Late, delayed and mis-diagnosis of autism
It's inevitable that with all the mountains of autism research published on a daily basis, certain themes will occur at certain times. My post today is reflective of one of those themes and how, on occasion, the autism diagnostic process does not run as smoothly as we would all like to think.I start this post with a link to an article discussing some forthcoming research to be published titled: 'The autistic pupils ‘traumatised’ by delayed diagnosis'. Describing the results of a […]

Davidovitch M, Levit-Binnun N, Golan D & Manning-Courtney P (2015). Late Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder After Initial Negative Assessment by a Multidisciplinary Team., Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25651066

Aggarwal S & Angus B (2015). Misdiagnosis versus missed diagnosis: diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in adolescents., Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25653302

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8:00 AM | Can staff mindset encourage a positive working alliance with parents with mild learning disabilities and encourage them to seek help sooner?
Parents with learning disabilities face numerous difficulties as we have reported elsewhere, but how much does the mindset of the staff supporting them impact on the quality of working alliances and the speed at which parents seek help? Here in her debut blog, Fawn Harrad looks at a study that involved both parents and their support staff to look at these issues. The post Can staff mindset encourage a positive working alliance with parents with mild learning disabilities and encourage them to […]
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7:30 AM | Lisdexamfetamine for binge-eating disorder
David Steele summarises a recent randomised controlled trial, which finds that (in the short-term) Lisdexamfetamine successfully decreased binge-eating behaviour in patients with binge-eating disorder. But can we trust this evidence? The post Lisdexamfetamine for binge-eating disorder appeared first on The Mental Elf.

February 21, 2015

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10:33 PM | Of Binge Eating, Age, and Distress: Child-Adolescent vs. Adult Onset Binge Eating
I’m embarrassed to say that my knowledge around binge eating disorder (BED) is sorely lacking compared to my understanding of the prevalence, correlates, treatments for, experiences of, and recovery from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and OSFED (I still prefer “ED NOS,” but I’ll go with DSM 5 here). I don’t think this knowledge gap is uncommon; I’ve seen BED mentioned as a passing note in many an article, despite a general awareness that BED is relatively […]
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10:39 AM | Coeliac disease: genes, autoimmunity, gut bacteria and bafflement?
Some things in life really do baffle me. When it comes to this blog, nothing seems to baffle me more than some of the talk about the triad that is autoimmunity, coeliac disease and gluten (see here for an example).My bafflement continued upon reading the papers by Emilsson and colleagues [1] and by Olivares and colleagues [2]. Respectively suggesting that: "spouses of individuals with celiac disease are at increased risk of non-celiac autoimmune disease" and "a specific disease-biased host […]

Emilsson L, Wijmenga C, Murray JA & Ludvigsson JF (2015). Autoimmune Disease in First-degree Relatives and Spouses of Individuals with Celiac Disease., Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25645875

Olivares M, Neef A, Castillejo G, Palma GD, Varea V, Capilla A, Palau F, Nova E, Marcos A, Polanco I & Ribes-Koninckx C (2014). The HLA-DQ2 genotype selects for early intestinal microbiota composition in infants at high risk of developing coeliac disease., Gut, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24939571

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February 20, 2015

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12:19 PM | Depth of Recovery?
Degrees of Recovery? Better than Well – I love this concept and reality and relate to it myself. This is a reality for many recovery people who feel they had an amplified recovery or in simple terms, people who got … Continue reading →
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12:05 PM | Are we jumping to conclusions in our understanding of psychosis?
Andrés Fonseca appraises a longitudinal study in people at high risk of psychosis, which looks at misattributing speech and jumping to conclusions. The post Are we jumping to conclusions in our understanding of psychosis? appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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8:43 AM | Behavioural sleep intervention for ADHD?
I was really quite interested to read about the study from Harriet Hiscock and colleagues [1] (open-access) suggesting that: "A brief behavioural sleep intervention modestly improves the severity of ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] symptoms in a community sample of children with ADHD." I had heard that these results would be forthcoming based on the publication of the study trial protocol [2] a few years back, alongside the trial entry listed in the ISRCTN registry […]

Hiscock H, Sciberras E, Mensah F, Gerner B, Efron D, Khano S & Oberklaid F (2015). Impact of a behavioural sleep intervention on symptoms and sleep in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and parental mental health: randomised controlled trial., BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 350 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25646809

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8:00 AM | Advocacy support for parents with learning disabilities – is it cost effective?
Around 7% of people with learning disabilities are parents, but they face significantly increased risks of being involved in care proceedings being more likely than other parents to lose the care of their children. Here, in her Debut blog, Katherine Runswick-Cole looks at a study of the potential economic case for the provision of advocacy interventions to support parents with learning disabilities. The post Advocacy support for parents with learning disabilities – is it cost effective? […]

February 19, 2015

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11:47 AM | Recovery – a need for change?
A need for change? Addiction is a chronic condition but is treated as if it was an acute disorder. Treatment has become disconnected from the longer processes of recovery. Hence is there a need to redesign “treatment” to address the … Continue reading →
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8:39 AM | Metal sensitisation and chronic fatigue syndrome?
I have to admit that I pondered longer than usual over whether I should talk about the paper by Vera Stejskal [1] (open-access here) and the idea that: "Patients with CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] and fibromyalgia are frequently sensitized to metals found in the environment or used in dentistry and surgery."It was't that I doubted that metals - certain types present in the wrong place or wrong concentration - can affect physical and psychological health and wellbeing as per the […]

Stejskal V (2014). Metals as a common trigger of inflammation resulting in non-specific symptoms: diagnosis and treatment., The Israel Medical Association journal : IMAJ, 16 (12) 753-8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25630203

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7:30 AM | Marigolds or orchids? How easy is it to cultivate empathy in doctors?
Caroline Struthers takes us through a recent systematic review which looks at interventions to cultivate empathy in doctors. The post Marigolds or orchids? How easy is it to cultivate empathy in doctors? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

February 18, 2015

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12:59 PM | A brief History of Treatment
William L White is one of the foremost writers on the History of “recovery” from the 1730s up until the present day and the advent of the new recovery movement (in the US). The first two of nine videos looks … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | If a patent is rejected but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Why is a psychologist claiming "patent rights" for a basic psychological technique that he did not invent and does not own the patent for?Read More
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8:59 AM | Autism and the inter-pregnancy interval (again)
The paper from Maureen Durkin and colleagues [1] adds to something of a growing research evidence base suggesting that the temporal spacing between pregnancies / births - the inter-pregnancy interval (IPI) - may have something of an effect on the risk of receipt of a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).We've been here before. In fact, a couple of times I've talked about the IPI in relation to autism risk (see here and see here) not including other, similar research findings in […]

Durkin MS, DuBois LA & Maenner MJ (2015). Inter-Pregnancy Intervals and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a Population-Based Study., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25636677

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7:30 AM | Schizophrenia and violent crime: perpetrators or victims?
Debut blogger Vishal Bhavsar summarises an Israeli population-based study that explores the links between schizophrenia and violent crime. He calls on researchers to focus on people with schizophrenia as victims rather than perpetrators of crime. The post Schizophrenia and violent crime: perpetrators or victims? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

February 17, 2015

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1:44 PM | The Recovery Process
Following on from our recent blog on “What does Recovery mean to you?” we now look at the process of recovery itself and important changes that contribute to successful recovery. Many recovering persons report quitting drugs because they are ‘sick … Continue reading →
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8:57 AM | Congenital rubella, autism and remote stroke
Case reports. I know they rank pretty low in the order of what counts as objective scientific evidence [1] despite their often interesting findings. That being said, when it comes to a diagnosis like autism, with all its associated heterogeneity and elevated risk of various comorbidity probably better encapsulated in a more 'plural autisms' understanding, case reports can offer something of an important view into the many and varied ways in which someone might arrive on the autism spectrum and […]

George J Hutton, J. (2014). Congenital Rubella with Autism and Evidence of a Remote Stroke, Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination, 05 (06) DOI: 10.4172/2157-7560.1000258

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7:30 AM | Psychotherapies for anxiety in bipolar disorder
Elena Marcus finds inconclusive results in this recent systematic review of psychological therapy for anxiety in bipolar spectrum disorders, which includes trials of CBT, mindfulness based cognitive therapy and stress management therapy. The post Psychotherapies for anxiety in bipolar disorder appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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5:30 AM | Summary of D1 and D2 DA-Receptor Modulation of Striatal Glutamatergic Signaling in MSNs – Surmeier 2007.
Introduction Differences between direct an indirect MSNs are not obvious from morphology or electrophysiology. However, the two cell types and pathways can be separated and selectively manipulated using genetic tools, such as lines of reporter mice that express GFP in either D1 or D2 expressing MSNs, so many recent studies have tried to sort apart […]

February 16, 2015

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12:55 PM | What does Recovery mean to You?
Lessons from the recovery experience for research and practice Recovery is a ubiquitous concept but remains poorly understood and ill-defined, hindering the development of assessment tools necessary to evaluate treatment effectiveness. This study (1) examines recovery definitions and experiences among … Continue reading →
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8:11 AM | Poo transplant and weight gain: a case study
The case report detailed by Neha Alang and Colleen Kelly [1] (open-access) reporting on "new-onset obesity after receiving stool from a healthy but overweight donor" has already garnered some significant press attention (see the BBC entry for example). Reporting on that seemingly most undesirable but in some cases life-saving of measures - the fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) - whereby some of those trillions of wee beasties which inhabit our deepest, darkest recesses are […]

Alang, N. & Kelly, C. (2015). Weight Gain After Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2 (1) DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofv004

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8:00 AM | “There’s no need to laugh. Isn’t this a normal subject?” People with learning disabilities talking about sex and relationships
People with learning disabilities need to be able to talk about sexuality, sex and relationships, but often this opportunity is denied or is heavily influenced by existing social and cultural norms. In this, her debut blog, Michelle Gregory looks at a paper which reports on how one self advocacy group tackled this issue and how they disseminated their findings. The post “There’s no need to laugh. Isn’t this a normal subject?” People with learning disabilities talking […]
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7:30 AM | Coproduction of quality standards for youth mental health in primary care
Lisa Burscheidt reports on a mixed methods study that produced user-generated quality standards for youth mental health in primary care. The post Coproduction of quality standards for youth mental health in primary care appeared first on The Mental Elf.

February 14, 2015

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9:53 AM | Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry
Have you remembered? Flowers from the nearest petrol / gas station or something a little more amorous for February 14th?So as not to take up too much of your time today, I want to briefly draw your attention to the paper (personal view) from Jerome Sarris and colleagues [1] carrying the same title as that of this blog post: 'Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry' published in The Lancet Psychiatry.Aside from applauding the notion that nutrition is potentially of some importance to […]

Jerome Sarris, Alan C Logan, Tasnime N Akbaraly, G Paul Amminger, Vicent Balanzá-Martínez, Marlene P Freeman, Joseph Hibbeln, Yutaka Matsuoka, David Mischoulon, Tetsuya Mizoue & Akiko Nanri (2015). Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry, Lancet Psychiatry, Other:

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February 13, 2015

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9:46 AM | Autism, CNVs and sensitivity to maternal infection?
An intriguing quote to begin today's post: "Our findings support a gene-environment interaction model of autism impairment, in that individuals with ASD-associated CNVs are more susceptible to the effects of maternal infection and febrile episodes in pregnancy on behavioral outcomes and suggest that these effects are specific to ASD [autism spectrum disorder] rather than to global neurodevelopment."The findings come from the paper by Varvara Mazina and colleagues [1] who sought to […]

Mazina V, Gerdts J, Trinh S, Ankenman K, Ward T, Dennis MY, Girirajan S, Eichler EE & Bernier R (2015). Epigenetics of Autism-related Impairment: Copy Number Variation and Maternal Infection., Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25629966

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8:00 AM | Empirical Research to Underpin Developments in Adult Safeguarding Still Limited According to Review
Local authorities have the responsibility for the organisation of adult safeguarding in England. Here Ruth Northway looks at a literature review of the organisation of adult safeguarding services which set out to look at the characteristics of safeguarding practice. The post Empirical Research to Underpin Developments in Adult Safeguarding Still Limited According to Review appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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7:30 AM | Cognitive bias modification for anxiety and depression: is practice based on sound evidence?
Sarah McDonald reviews a recent meta-analysis on the efficacy of cognitive bias modification interventions in anxiety and depression, which finds a dearth of reliable research to support the use of this treatment. The post Cognitive bias modification for anxiety and depression: is practice based on sound evidence? appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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1:41 AM | Is human irrationality due to irregularities in dopaminergic neuron firing? Notes from Stauffer, Lak, and Schultz 2014 – Dopamine Reward Prediction Error Responses Reflect Marginal Utility
People and animals do not always make ‘rational’ choices that maximize the amount of reward they receive. For example, deviations from ‘rational’ economic decision making include risk aversion and decreasing marginal utility of a given reward. But what determines this utility? And, how do we know which choice will give us the most utility? A […]

February 12, 2015

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3:41 PM | Sobering Stories!
Guest Blog from The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism Sobering Stories – the role of “sharing” in recovery by alcoholicsguide Narratives of Self-Redemption Predict Behavioral Change and Improved Health Among Recovering Alcoholics In our previous blog “Shame keeps you ill” we  looked at how  … Continue reading →
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