Posts

March 26, 2015

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1:28 AM | Songbird lectures and podcasts compiled into one place
I’m trying to collect all of the lectures relevant to songbirds into one place. I’m going to start by combing  through some sources I’m already familiar with like podcasts. If I leave any out, please post them in the comments and I’ll try to update the main post. Thanks! Songbird lectures sorted by date: Sam […]

March 25, 2015

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9:57 PM | MoBa does bowel issues in autism
'MoBa' in the title of this post, refers to the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study and a handy resource which has already impacted on autism research (see here for example).Now MoBa has turned its epidemiological clout to an issue which less and less is encountering scientific resistance: are gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms over-represented when it comes to a diagnosis of autism? Further, when do such bowel issues start to present?The answer, shown in the paper by Michaeline […]

Bresnahan, M., Hornig, M., Schultz, A., Gunnes, N., Hirtz, D., Lie, K., Magnus, P., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., Roth, C., Schjølberg, S. & Stoltenberg, C. (2015). Association of Maternal Report of Infant and Toddler Gastrointestinal Symptoms With Autism, JAMA Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.3034

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9:16 PM | Pride Before a Fall: The Intertwining of Pride and Shame in Eating Disorders
Is there a link between eating disorders and shame? What about pride? Can understanding these emotions help us to understand how eating disorders develop, and how they are maintained? In reviewing literature for my specialization paper, I stumbled upon a qualitative study by Skarderud (2007) about the role of shame in eating disorders. I found the article quite interesting, so I fired up the “where was this cited” tool on my university library database and uncovered a wealth of […]
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6:27 PM | Is Immunization the Reason George Washington (and Not the Queen of England) Is on the Dollar Bill?
George Washington was not only the founding father of the U.S., but also of mass immunization.Read More
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2:00 PM | How Does Consuming Glucose Affect Your Memory?
While many people believe sugar makes kids hyperactive, this theory has long been debunked by research. However researchers are only just beginning to understand the complex relationship between glucose and learning.Read More
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11:24 AM | Is Science Being Irrational Rather than AA?
In a recent blog a few days ago I challenged some of Gabrielle Glaser’s “evidence” in her article   “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, which purported to demonstrate the so-called effectiveness of “controlling drinking”. Glaser cited the following in … Continue reading →
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9:33 AM | Autism and depression: interlinked?
"A possible implication is that interventions aimed at either autism symptoms or symptoms of depression may improve the other."That was the intriguing statement made by Per Normann Andersen and colleagues [1] who "investigated the course of and association among changes in autism symptoms, depression symptoms and executive functions (EF) in children with high-functioning autism (HFA)." Aside from frowning a little at the mention of the concept of 'high-functioning' I assume to denote those […]

Andersen PN, Skogli EW, Hovik KT, Egeland J & Øie M (2015). Associations Among Symptoms of Autism, Symptoms of Depression and Executive Functions in Children with High-Functioning Autism: A 2 Year Follow-Up Study., Journal of autism and developmental disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25763986

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7:30 AM | Medication versus placebo for anorexia nervosa: antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy
In her debut blog, Nicola Coop summarises a recent meta-analysis looking at the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy for people with anorexia nervosa. The post Medication versus placebo for anorexia nervosa: antidepressants, antipsychotics and hormonal therapy appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 24, 2015

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10:31 AM | AA linked to Higher Rates of Continuous Abstinence/Recovery.
A journalistic piece entitled,  “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, written by  Gabrielle Glaser, also harshly criticizes Alcoholics Anonymous. AA and similar 12-step programs. I cite a blog on her criticisms here (1) “Glaser’s central claim is that there’s no rigorous … Continue reading →
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9:37 AM | More extremes of a limiting diet and autism
In a previous post a while back, I discussed some examples in the peer-reviewed literature of where a self-limiting diet in the extreme can lead to with autism in mind. Today, I'm adding a further example of what food faddism might mean, to further forward the point that "a low threshold for vitamin level testing should be undertaken in autistic spectrum disorder cases, highlighting the importance of enquiring about dietary habits."That last quote comes from the paper in question by Emma […]

Duignan, E., Kenna, P., Watson, R., Fitzsimon, S. & Brosnahan, D. (2015). Ophthalmic Manifestations of Vitamin A and D Deficiency in Two Autistic Teenagers: Case Reports and a Review of the Literature, Case Reports in Ophthalmology, 6 (1) 24-29. DOI: 10.1159/000373921

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7:30 AM | High potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis
Eleanor Kennedy writes her debut blog on a recent case-control study of people in South London, which explores the links between first-episode psychosis and the use of high potency cannabis (skunk). The post High potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 23, 2015

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8:33 PM | The Backfire Effect: When Correcting False Beliefs Has the Opposite of the Intended Effect
How providing people with evidence about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines can backfire.Read More
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9:48 AM | Early life probiotics reducing the risk of subsequent neuropsychiatric disorder?
With my continued interest in all-things gut microbiome on this blog (see here for example) it is little wonder that I was taken to blog about the study findings from Anna Pärtty and colleagues [1] reporting that: "Probiotic supplementation early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood." Probiotic by the way, refers to various 'live' organisms (bacteria, yeasts) thought to confer some positive effect on health and/or wellbeing.Not only does […]

Pärtty A, Kalliomäki M, Wacklin P, Salminen S & Isolauri E (2015). A possible link between early probiotic intervention and the risk of neuropsychiatric disorders later in childhood - a randomized trial., Pediatric research, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760553

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8:00 AM | Self-concept amongst adults with mild learning disabilities is good, but can be strengthened with practitioner support
A positive self concept has been associated with psychological well-being, peer acceptance and self-confidence, but how do people with mild learning disabilities view themselves? In this, his debut blog, Alex Leeder looks at a qualitative study that set out to provide us with a deeper understanding of how adults with learning disabilities think about themselves and how practitioners could help them to think about this more positively. The post Self-concept amongst adults with mild learning […]
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7:30 AM | Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle?
Andrew Shepherd appraises and summarises a systematic review of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms after SSRI discontinuation, which leads him to reconsider his own clinical practice. The post Antidepressant withdrawal syndromes: time to grasp the nettle? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

March 21, 2015

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8:22 AM | Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia (again and again)
The findings reported by Ainsah Omar and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) adding further weight to the notion of a "strong association between the active Tg [Toxoplasma gondii] infection and schizophrenia" are set out for your reading consumption today.Continuing a research topic that has already enjoyed quite a bit of air time on this blog (see here and see here) whereby the parasite T. gondii known to cause the condition toxoplasmosis might also be […]

Omar A, Bakar OC, Adam NF, Osman H, Osman A, Suleiman AH, Manaf MR & Selamat MI (2015). Seropositivity and Serointensity of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies and DNA among Patients with Schizophrenia., The Korean journal of parasitology, 53 (1) 29-34. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25748706

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March 20, 2015

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1:15 PM | Challenging the Disease Concept of Alcoholism?
A journalistic piece entitled,  “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous “, written by  Gabriel Glaser, purports to challenge the “disease concept” of alcoholism. Glaser in one section of the article devotes one section to  the historical prominence of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) … Continue reading →
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8:00 AM | The role of carers in monitoring health of people with learning disabilities
People with learning disabiilties can have complex health needs which require monitoring and management. This can be challenging for their supporters, who may lack the knowledge necessary. Here, in her debut blog, Emma Langley looks at a study which explored some of the challenges faced by paid and family carers in monitoring health in the context of the complexities of inter agency working between the health and social sectors. The post The role of carers in monitoring health of people with […]
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7:50 AM | Autism genes and cognitive ability
Autism IS linked to higher intelligence: People with genes related to the condition 'scored better in mental ability tests' was one of the media headlines reporting on the study by Toni-Kim Clarke and colleagues [1].Clarke et al reported results based on a pretty good sample size (in the thousands) whereby autism-associated genes and cognitive ability were examined in several cohorts including those taking part in The Generation Scotland : Scottish Family Health Study […]
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7:30 AM | Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers
Laurence Palfreyman highlights a population study from researchers at Oxford University, which investigates the links between depression and violent crime. The study finds that people with depression were three times more likely to have been convicted of violent crime than those without depression, but we need to be careful about how we interpret these relative risk figures. The post Depression to blame for violent crime? The curse of the headline writers appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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