Posts

October 10, 2014

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8:40 AM | Vitamin D supplement improves autistic behaviours?
I don't want to get too ahead of myself with this post talking about the paper by Feiyong Jia and colleagues [1] (open-access) who concluded: "Vitamin D supplementation may be effective in ameliorating the autistic behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorders [ASDs]".The idea however that issues with vitamin D seemingly present in quite a few cases of ASD [2] (see here too) but not all [3] might actually have more direct consequences for behavioural presentation […]

贾, �. (2014). Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Autistic Symptoms in a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asian Case Reports in Pediatrics, 02 (03) 21-24. DOI: 10.12677/ACRP.2014.23005

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7:00 AM | Survey of abuse of people with learning disabilities challenges view that women are not perpetrators and suggests known abuse is tip of iceberg
Today, we feature the debut blog of Professor Ruth Northway, who reflects on the implications of a paper which retrospective study looking at levels and types of abuse disclosed by people with learning disabilities referred to a psychology service. The post Survey of abuse of people with learning disabilities challenges view that women are not perpetrators and suggests known abuse is tip of iceberg appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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6:30 AM | Efficacy of high vs. low-potency first-generation antipsychotics for schizophrenia
Laurence Palfreyman summarises 3 recent Cochrane reviews, which investigate high-potency versus low-potency first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia. The reviews find little difference in efficacy between the high-potency antipsychotics Trifluoperazine, Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, and low-potency typical antipsychotics. The post Efficacy of high vs. low-potency first-generation antipsychotics for schizophrenia appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 09, 2014

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9:00 PM | Second National Audit of Schizophrenia highlights lack of progress for service users and carers
André Tomlin summarises the second National Audit of Schizophrenia, which highlights that many people with schizophrenia are still not getting the high quality psychological and medical treatment they deserve. The post Second National Audit of Schizophrenia highlights lack of progress for service users and carers appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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9:41 AM | The need to act via non-recognition of emotional states.
One of my pet hates in experimental study is researchers suggesting that one can generalise findings from a non-clinical group of participants in a particular study to a clinical  group, not in the study. For example, most studies in Psychology … Continue reading →
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8:41 AM | Physical activity and fitness levels and autism
Although at present having to be slightly more cautious following some recent surgery (general anaesthetic is awesome by the way!), I normally consider myself to be quite an active person. Through previous discussions on this blog covering topics on the positive effects of walking (see here) and the physical+ benefits of the martial arts (see here) I'd like to think that there are quite a few ways and means that the population at large can easily increase their daily physical activity levels. […]

Tyler, K., MacDonald, M. & Menear, K. (2014). Physical Activity and Physical Fitness of School-Aged Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Autism Research and Treatment, 2014 1-6. DOI: 10.1155/2014/312163

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6:30 AM | Lost in anxiety: treatment-resistant anxiety in older people
Andrés Fonseca appraises a new systematic review of interventions for treatment-resistant anxiety in older people, which finds a disconcerting lack of evidence to help him support the many older patients he sees who are affected by anxiety disorders. The post Lost in anxiety: treatment-resistant anxiety in older people appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 08, 2014

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8:34 AM | Alcohol and autism
I tread very carefully with this post today looking at some of the peer-reviewed research on the topic of alcohol use (and abuse) and autism without wishing to stigmatise nor generalise.I was brought to this important topic as a result of the recent paper by Tabata and colleagues [1] who discussed three case reports of alcoholism associated with a diagnosis of autism. For each person described in that report, a common theme describing alcohol being used as a means to "reduce anxiety" related to […]

Tabata K, Yoshida T & Naoe J (2014). Three cases of alcoholism with autism spectrum disorder., Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 49 Suppl 1 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25221235

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6:30 AM | Benzodiazepines linked to dementia risk: cause for concern or lacking causality?
Laurence Palfreyman highlights a recent BMJ study, which finds an association between Alzheimer's disease and benzodiazepine use. The post Benzodiazepines linked to dementia risk: cause for concern or lacking causality? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 07, 2014

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9:02 AM | Infection during pregnancy and offspring autism risk
The paper by Lee and colleagues [1] forms the starting material for today's blog post looking at hospitalisation for infection during pregnancy as potentially being a risk factor for receipt of a subsequent diagnosis for autism in offspring."Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling"Based on data derived from one of those very useful Scandinavian health registries, authors observed "approximately a 30% increase in ASD [autism spectrum disorder] risk associated with any inpatient […]

Lee BK, Magnusson C, Gardner RM, Blomström S, Newschaffer CJ, Burstyn I, Karlsson H & Dalman C (2014). Maternal hospitalization with infection during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders., Brain, behavior, and immunity, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25218900

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6:30 AM | Are treatments for bipolar disorder cost-effective?
Chris Sampson reports on a recent systematic review and critical appraisal of economic evaluations in bipolar disorder. He finds that there's a pressing need for new studies, especially discrete event simulations. The post Are treatments for bipolar disorder cost-effective? appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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12:53 AM | The Coming Alzheimer’s Epidemic, the Cholinergic Hypothesis, and Nerve Growth Factor Gene Therapy
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is by far the number one cause of dementia, and the number one risk factor for AD is age–with almost 50% of people above the age of 85 suffering from the disease. With the aging baby boomer generation and medical advances squaring off the life expectancy curve, the United States is projected to […]

October 06, 2014

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9:20 AM | Greater stimulation and reward from alcohol predicts AUDs
In a recent blog we looked at the possibility that those  with a positive family history of alcohol use disorders (AUDs)  experience a heightened stimulant response to alcohol in addition to a blunted response to more negative impairing effects.  In other … Continue reading →
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8:36 AM | Correcting vitamin D levels improves fatigue severity?
I was interested to read the paper by Satyajeet Roy and colleagues [1] (open-access here) concluding that: "Normalization of vitamin D levels with ergocalciferol therapy significantly improves the severity of... fatigue symptoms". Ergocalciferol by the way, means vitamin D2, which is distinct from cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), the seemingly more desirable form of vitamin D supplementation (see here)."It's beyond my control"The Roy paper is open-access but a few details might be […]

Roy S, Sherman A, Monari-Sparks MJ, Schweiker O & Hunter K (2014). Correction of Low Vitamin D Improves Fatigue: Effect of Correction of Low Vitamin D in Fatigue Study (EViDiF Study)., North American journal of medical sciences, 6 (8) 396-402. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25210673

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7:00 AM | Driving Up Quality Code – One Year On and First Reports of Progress Published
One year on from the launch of the Driving Up Quality Code, we reflect on the first progress report of one of the Code’s early champions, Choice Support. The post Driving Up Quality Code – One Year On and First Reports of Progress Published appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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6:30 AM | Schizophrenia and osteoporosis: sticks and stones may break my bones…
Chris Pell summarises a recent meta-analysis of prevalence estimates and moderators of low bone mass in people with schizophrenia. The study finds a significantly increased risk of osteoporosis in people with schizophrenia. The post Schizophrenia and osteoporosis: sticks and stones may break my bones… appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 04, 2014

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10:05 AM | A low subjective response to alcohol predicts later problems.
The ability to ‘hold one’s liquor’ indicates risk of developing alcohol problems A study from last year  showed that an ability to “hold one’s liquor” is likely to become a risk factor for longer-term problems as tolerance to alcohol develops. “People … Continue reading →
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8:57 AM | The gut-brain axis and schizophrenia
A micropost to direct your attention to the recent paper by Katlyn Nemani and colleagues [1] titled: 'Schizophrenia and the gut-brain axis'. Mentioning words like that, I couldn't resist offering a little exposure to this review and opinion piece, drawing on what seems to be some renewed research interest in work started by pioneers such as the late Curt Dohan [2].The usual triad of gastrointestinal (GI) variables - gut barrier, gut bacteria and gut immune function - are mentioned in the […]

Nemani, K., Ghomi, R., McCormick, B. & Fan, X. (2014). Schizophrenia and the gut–brain axis, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.08.018

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October 03, 2014

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9:10 AM | S100B and schizophrenia meta-analysed
I don't know if it's just me but this year (2014) I seem to be covering a lot more meta-analysis papers on this blog. I assume that's because of the increasing volume of peer-reviewed research being created year-on-year leading to greater volumes of research fodder for such grand reviews. Whatever the reason(s), there are some really interesting conclusions being reached in that literature as per the meta-analysis by Aleksovska and colleagues [1] (open-access) focusing on S100B […]

Aleksovska K, Leoncini E, Bonassi S, Cesario A, Boccia S & Frustaci A (2014). Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Circulating S100B Blood Levels in Schizophrenia., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25202915

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7:00 AM | Learning Disability National Audit – feasibility study and recommendations and future plans
The results of the feasibility study into a national clinical audit of learning disabilities was published last month. Here we consider the findings and the response from NHS England The post Learning Disability National Audit – feasibility study and recommendations and future plans appeared first on The Learning Disabilities Elf.
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6:30 AM | Alcohol minimum unit pricing: time to take action?
Olivia Maynard summarises a new BMJ modelling study on the potential benefits of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol versus a ban on below cost selling (BBCS). The research concludes that MUP would reduce deaths attributable to alcohol by 40 times more than BBCS. The post Alcohol minimum unit pricing: time to take action? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 02, 2014

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11:46 PM | Ambivalence and Eating Disorders: Inpatient Treatment, Belonging, and Identity
When Tetyana Tweeted and “Tumblr-ed” (is there a better name for putting something on Tumblr?) a quote from a qualitative research article about ambivalence and eating disorders, I knew I would want to write a blog post about it. Of course, life happened, and so this post is coming a little later than I had intended. Nonetheless, I am happy to be sharing a post about a fresh article by Karin Eli (2014) about eating disorders and ambivalence in the inpatient hospital setting. The […]

Eli K (2014). Between difference and belonging: configuring self and others in inpatient treatment for eating disorders., PloS one, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25210886

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12:03 PM | Coeliac disease risk not affected by early feeding practices
I'd like to bring three papers to your attention, all united by their discussion of coeliac (celiac) disease, that most classic of autoimmune conditions in the most part managed by the use of a lifelong gluten-free diet.First up are the papers by Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] and Sabine Vriezinga and colleagues [2] which unfortunately pour cold water on the notion that the risk of developing coeliac disease (CD) can be somehow mitigated via the use of either the early or delayed […]

Lionetti E, Castellaneta S, Francavilla R, Pulvirenti A, Tonutti E, Amarri S, Barbato M, Barbera C, Barera G, Bellantoni A & Castellano E (2014). Introduction of Gluten, HLA Status, and the Risk of Celiac Disease in Children., The New England journal of medicine, 371 (14) 1295-1303. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271602

Vriezinga SL, Auricchio R, Bravi E, Castillejo G, Chmielewska A, Crespo Escobar P, Kolaček S, Koletzko S, Korponay-Szabo IR, Mummert E & Polanco I (2014). Randomized Feeding Intervention in Infants at High Risk for Celiac Disease., The New England journal of medicine, 371 (14) 1304-1315. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271603

Elfström P, Sundström J & Ludvigsson JF (2014). Systematic review with meta-analysis: associations between coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes., Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25270960

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8:57 AM | Addictionland
I am delighted to say I have been invited to be an “Addiction Expert” with Addictionland and will be the  expert blogger for the month of December 2014. So check me out there as well.
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8:57 AM | Volatile organic compounds and autism
As harsh as the phrase volatile organic compounds (VOCs) might appear at first glance, all this refers to is a class of compounds containing carbon which have a tendency to evaporate at room temperature assuming normal air pressure. VOCs have been associated with pollutants as per their inclusion in various literature on the topic of things like indoor air pollution (see here) and the fact that just about everything around us in the modern home or office is likely to release VOCs. Whilst not […]

Cozzolino R, De Magistris L, Saggese P, Stocchero M, Martignetti A, Di Stasio M, Malorni A, Marotta R, Boscaino F & Malorni L & (2014). Use of solid-phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for determination of urinary volatile organic compounds in autistic children compared with healthy controls., Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 406 (19) 4649-62. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24828982

Kalkbrenner AE, Schmidt RJ & Penlesky AC (2014). Environmental Chemical Exposures and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence., Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25199954

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6:30 AM | E-cigarettes and youth: are e-cigs encouraging more use of conventional cigarettes?
Matt Field reviews the recent cross-sectional survey of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarette use in US adolescents, which found that E-Cig users were more likely to also smoke regular cigarettes than non-users. Does this mean that E-cigarettes encourage the use of conventional cigarettes? The post E-cigarettes and youth: are e-cigs encouraging more use of conventional cigarettes? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

October 01, 2014

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9:11 AM | Maternal complement C1q and offspring psychosis
"In conclusion, exposure to maternal C1q activity during pregnancy may be a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and psychosis in offspring". That was the primary observation made by Emily Severance and colleagues [1] at Johns Hopkins, extending their scientific interest in immune system involvement being potentially linked to psychiatry [2]."Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law"I've already talked about Dr Severance's previous research forays into complement […]

Emily G. Severance, Kristin L. Gressitt, Stephen L. Buka, Tyrone D. Cannon & Robert H. Yolken (2014). Maternal complement C1q and increased odds for psychosis in adult offspring, Schizophrenia Research, Other:

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6:30 AM | Prison Officers as frontline mental health staff? Results of a prison-based ethnography
Andrew Shepherd summarises an ethnography from the United States, which explores the relationships between Prison Officers in Correctional Institutions and Prisoners with mental health problems. The post Prison Officers as frontline mental health staff? Results of a prison-based ethnography appeared first on The Mental Elf.

September 30, 2014

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9:06 AM | Autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder
"Our study demonstrates a strong association between anti-TPO levels, which are considered to be of diagnostic value for autoimmune thyroiditis... with uni- or bipolar depression.""Beware the bad cat bearing a grudge"So said the study published by Detlef Degner and colleagues [1]. Anti-TPO antibodies by the way, refers to anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies which, as the name suggests, are antibodies against thyroid peroxidase, an important step in the production of thyroid […]

Degner D, Haust M, Meller J, Rüther E & Reulbach U (2014). Association between autoimmune thyroiditis and depressive disorder in psychiatric outpatients., European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25193677

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8:31 AM | Maladaptive emotion-regulation strategy and lack of emotional clarity in Gambling Addicts.
The article I reposted recently Gambling with America’s health!  mentioned how  certain members of  Gamblers’ Anonymous saw gambling addiction, or gambling disorder, as an emotional rather than financial disease. The addicted person “wants to escape into the dream world of … Continue reading →
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