Greater cumulative doses of antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants and other drugs that are anticholinergic or block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine are associated with significant increases in dementia and Alzheimer's, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. More →
Victoria Tischler, a lecturer in psychology at University of the Arts London, writes in The Conversation about a growing interest among galleries and collectors in art that was made by people who've been diagnosed with mental illnesses or other psychological "outsiders." More →
The website for the Edinburgh International Book Festival has posted a panel discussion from last year's event that explores religious beliefs, creative inspiration, and whether hearing "the voice of God" should be regarded as a symptom of mental illness. More →
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that elderly people taking antipsychotics are significantly more likely to experience falls and fractures, and a second study found that the frequency of falls in the elderly are increasing in the US. A third study published in General Hospital Psychiatry found that people with schizophrenia are more likely to experience falls and fractures -- and the researchers noted that the scientific literature has "consistently highlighted antipsychotic medication" as an important risk factor for fractures. More →
As we struggle to invent a humane approach to the extreme states that get called “psychosis” or “madness” or “schizophrenia,” it may be helpful to investigate some of the better approaches developed in the past. While these approaches are not without their flaws, they are often surprisingly insightful. (It can also of course be depressing to notice how truths once more widely known were so easily “forgotten” as compassionate approaches got ditched in favor of the latest coercive innovations.)
The popular Alzheimer's and dementia drug Aricept (donepezil) has been linked to two rare but potentially serious or fatal conditions, according to an alert issued to physicians and the public by Health Canada. The warnings about rhabdomyolysis and neuroleptic malignant syndrome have been added to the drug's label. More →
The Globe and Mail looks at anecdotal cases, and interviews researchers about the growing interest in inflammation as a source of serious psychological distress in some individuals. The approach could lead to completely different approaches to psychiatric disorders. More →
We live in a culture bombarded by media and sped up by rapid-fire social interactions. It’s definitely useful to grab hold of a simple, short, sound-bite term, to quickly describe what we are feeling or suffering. “Depression” is such a word – it evokes and encapsulates, conjures the images of that ugly pit of despair that can drive so many to madness and suicide. Yet at the same time the words we use, strangely, become like those pens deposited in medical offices and waiting rooms around the world: ready at hand, easily found, familiar — and tied to associations, marketing and meanings we were only dimly aware were shaping how we think.
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