Posts

July 29, 2014

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6:30 AM | Can mobile apps help recovering alcoholics?
Paul Christiansen reports on a recent RCT that investigates how a mobile app can provide support for recovering alcoholics who are leaving residential treatment. The post Can mobile apps help recovering alcoholics? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 28, 2014

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11:55 PM | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & Eating Disorders: Is There a Link?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, is a common childhood disorder. ADHD can often persist into adolescence and adulthood. The prevalence of ADHD is thought to be between 6-7% among children and adolescents and ~5% among adults (Willcutt, 2012). Increasingly, evidence from multiple studies has pointed to comorbidity between ADHD and eating disorders (EDs). For example, one study found that young females with ADHD were […]
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8:24 AM | Prenatal and neonatal blood mercury levels and autism
Acknowledging that some topics have the ability to furrow brows when it comes to autism research, mercury and autism is becoming something of a frequent talking point on this blog as a function of a whole slew of articles appearing in the peer-reviewed domain. If I were to [very tentatively] summarise the collected literature so far, it would be to say something like:Mosaic of mercury @ Wikipedia (i) there is quite a bit more research to be done on some sources of mercury being […]

Yau VM, Green PG, Alaimo CP, Yoshida CK, Lutsky M, Windham GC, Delorenze G, Kharrazi M, Grether JK & Croen LA & (2014). Prenatal and neonatal peripheral blood mercury levels and autism spectrum disorders., Environmental research, 133C 294-303. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24981828

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7:00 AM | Call for national audit to create guidelines for future role of anti-psychotic medications for challenging behaviour
As you know, we don’t normally blog about editorials on the Learning Disability Elf site, but this is on an important issue that affects a lot of people and we were keen to draw attention to the considered thoughts of the authors. We have posted many times in the past about the evidence base for [read the full story...]
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6:30 AM | Antidepressants, safety warnings and suicide risk in young people
Andrew Shepherd reviews the recent controversial BMJ study that suggests the FDA black box warning about antidepressant use in young people, may have inadvertently caused an increase in suicidal behaviour. He finds it's not quite that clear cut. The post Antidepressants, safety warnings and suicide risk in young people appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 27, 2014

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4:34 PM | Natural News: A Truly Deadly Brand of Pseudoscience
If there was an award for the single greatest hub of pseudoscience on the internet, the website Natural News would well and truly take the crown tin foil hat. Expect to find anti-vaccine paranoia which extends not only to your garden variety antivaxxer favorites such as the debunked link to autism ...Read More

July 25, 2014

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7:29 AM | p-cresol and autism: in need of further research
"These results confirm the elevation of urinary p-cresol in a sizable set of small autistic children and spur interest into biomarker roles for p-cresol and p-cresylsulfate in autism".The peasant dance @ Wikipedia That was the primary conclusion from the paper by Gabriele and colleagues [1] looking at "three components of urinary p-cresol, namely p-cresylsulfate, p-cresylglucuronate and free p-cresol" in samples from 33 participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder […]

Gabriele S, Sacco R, Cerullo S, Neri C, Urbani A, Tripi G, Malvy J, Barthelemy C, Bonnet-Brihault F & Persico AM & (2014). Urinary p-cresol is elevated in young French children with autism spectrum disorder: a replication study., Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals, 1-8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25010144

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7:00 AM | Learning Disability Self-Assessment Framework shows some progress, but still more to be done
The publication of Valuing People Now in 2009  signalled a renewed focus on delivery of the key objectives of the 2001 White Paper. To reinforce this focus, the Government introduced two self-assessment frameworks for health and local authorities to complete. We have posted previously about the progress of partnership boards using this framework Method The [read the full story...]
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6:30 AM | Commissioning to address mental health ethnic inequalities
Caroline De Brun highlights the new guidance for commissioners of mental health services for people from black and minority ethnic communities, produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health. The post Commissioning to address mental health ethnic inequalities appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 24, 2014

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9:30 PM | Grief in children and adolescents
The plane crash in Ukraine brings up many questions related to loss and grief. How will those left behind cope with the devastating event? How can we support them? With regard to how young people cope with bereavement, Mariken Spuij’s … Continue reading →

Spuij M, Prinzie P, Dekovic M, van den Bout J & Boelen PA (2013). The effectiveness of Grief-Help, a cognitive behavioural treatment for prolonged grief in children: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial., Trials, 14 395. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24252587

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1:41 PM | Why the Anti-Obamacare Ads Backfired so Spectacularly
Last year America witnessed some of the most cringe inducing political advertising campaigns of all time, in which the Koch Brothers attempted to convince young Americans to boycott Obamacare. The videos showed a doctor turning into a creepy Uncle Sam waving a speculum during a gynaecological exam ...Read More
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10:41 AM | Understanding Emotional Processing Deficits in Addiction
We recently blogged on how alcoholics, and children of alcoholics, have difficulty with recognizing and differentiating external signs of emotions such as facial emotional expressions, now we will consider increasing evidence that alcoholics have difficulties with identifying and differentiating internal … Continue reading →
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8:14 AM | Prenatal valproate exposure and brains
The paper by Amanda Wood and colleagues [1] (open-access) makes a potentially very important contribution to the growing literature looking at how prenatal exposure to sodium valproate (VPA) may affect some children. Authors reported on: "regional structural cortical brain changes in humans exposed to VPA in utero" and specifically, increased cortical thickness in the left inferior frontal gyrus.Lightning and lava @ Oliver Spalt @ Wikipedia In case you need any background on the […]

Wood, A., Chen, J., Barton, S., Nadebaum, C., Anderson, V., Catroppa, C., Reutens, D., O'Brien, T. & Vajda, F. (2014). Altered cortical thickness following prenatal sodium valproate exposure, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, DOI: 10.1002/acn3.74

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6:30 AM | Imaging genomics: can we link genes to brain structure and function?
Linking brain scans with genetic information offers a powerful way to further our understanding of how the brain works, but to do this properly many researchers from around the world need to collaborate. Fortunately, the ENIGMA Consortium are leading the way in this emerging field of imaging genomics. The post Imaging genomics: can we link genes to brain structure and function? appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 23, 2014

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3:26 PM | Genetic inheritance – is it decision making deficits that are inherited?
There has been a lot of debate in the last thirty – forty years about genetic inheritance – with at least half of children of alcoholic families at risk for later alcoholism. What is less known is what exactly is inherited … Continue reading →
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7:46 AM | Trauma and PTSD raise risk of autoimmune disorders?
I admit to some head scratching when I first read the paper by Aoife O’Donovan and colleagues [1] reporting that among war veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, "trauma exposure and PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] may increase risk of autoimmune disorders".It wasn't that I didn't believe the results, but rather that the idea that a physical event with a psychological consequence could impact on a somatic condition with an autoimmune element to it seemed to […]

O’Donovan, A., Cohen, B., Seal, K., Bertenthal, D., Margaretten, M., Nishimi, K. & Neylan, T. (2014). Elevated Risk For Autoimmune Disorders In Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Biological Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.06.015

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6:30 AM | Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits
Can’t get an appointment with your GP? Don't stress, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help by reducing the demand for primary care visits by distressed patients, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. The post Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits appeared first on The Mental Elf.

July 22, 2014

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8:31 PM | Medical comorbidities in autism
A very quick micropost to direct you to the second version of the document: 'Medical comorbidities in autism spectrum disorders' published by Treating Autism, a group based here in Blighty.Covering a fair chunk of the peer-reviewed science examining the various medical comorbidities which seems to crop up with some regularity when a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is made, this free document (complete with a 6 page reference list) is pretty comprehensive.The message is quite a clear […]
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8:32 AM | Common variation and the genetics of autism
The paper by Trent Gaugler and colleagues [1] reporting that the genetic architecture of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) seems in the most part to be due to "common variation" over and above "rare variants or spontaneous glitches" adds to the quite voluminous literature in this area.Everything in proportion? @ Wikipedia Based on an analysis of "a unique epidemiological sample from Sweden" researchers looked at DNA variations in some 3000 individuals with autism and asymptomatic […]

Gaugler T, Klei L, Sanders SJ, Bodea CA, Goldberg AP, Lee AB, Mahajan M, Manaa D, Pawitan Y, Reichert J & Ripke S (2014). Most genetic risk for autism resides with common variation., Nature genetics, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25038753

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6:30 AM | The adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and emergency department visits
A new study finds that psychiatric medications are implicated in many adverse drug events treated in US emergency departments. Nearly 1 in 10 of all adverse drug event visits to emergency departments are due to psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, lithium salts, sedatives, anxiolytics and stimulants. The post The adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and emergency department visits appeared first on The Mental Elf.
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