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Making Sense of Nonscience

Two opinion articles discuss the unscientific aspects of psychology and psychiatry, and posit ways for overcoming some of the conundrums… In Nature, a group of neuroscientists and psychologists argue for the vital importance of increasing interdisciplinary communication to overcome knowledge gaps. And a New York Times commentary looks at the recent controversy over international efforts to map the human brain as an example of our challenges trying to get studies of the mind on track. More →

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Around The Web | Neuroscience

Meta-analysis: Medication-resistant Psychosis Responds to CBT

University of British Columbia researchers conducted a meta-analysis that found positive effects from giving cognitive behavioral therapy to outpatients with medication-resistant psychosis. Publishing in Psychiatric Services, the researchers examined 16 published articles describing 12 randomized controlled trials involving 639 individuals. They found “overall beneficial effects of CBT” for positive symptoms and general symptoms. More →

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Featured News | In the News | Psychotherapy | Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Stimulants Double Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Children

In what they describe as the first large-scale, long-term, nation-wide study of its kind, Danish researchers have confirmed that ADHD stimulants double the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in children. In their study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, the researchers followed over 700,000 children born in Denmark between 1990 and 1999. “Cardiovascular events were rare but twice as likely in stimulant users as in non-users, both in the total national population and in children with ADHD,” they concluded. “We found a complex, time- and dose-dependent interrelationship between cardiovascular adverse events and stimulant treatment in children and adolescents.” More →

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ADHD | Children and Adolescents | Featured News | In the News | Research | Stimulants

How Do Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes Influence Dementia?

In his Scientific American blog, Gary Stix reviews the latest investigations into the impacts of comprehensive lifestyle change approaches to preventing dementia. “Results of the first clinical trial that conforms to [the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's] pull-out-all-stops approach were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Copenhagen on July 13. The large-scale study of 1260 individuals at risk of cognitive decline showed that study volunteers who rigorously adhered to measures prescribed for diet, exercise, cognitive training, social engagement and management of cardiac risk factors had better results on a battery of tests of cognitive results than did a control group that had received more generic health counseling.” More →

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Around The Web | Dementia | Mind/Body | Nutrition | Seniors

“In the Gun Debate, Mental Illness Doesn’t Predict Dangerousness”

Massachusetts State Representative Paul Heroux’ Huffington Post blog concludes that “We need to realize that high-profile events are high-profile because they are unlikely. And trying to stop an unlikely event is very difficult if not impossible. Predicting a school shooting or when someone who has or had a mental illness is going to shoot someone is a bit like predicting where lightning is going to strike the ground. There are some generic indicators but little that can act as an actual alarm bell. There are things that can and should be done to reduce gun violence, but focusing on people with a mental illness is not one of them.”
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Around The Web | Violence

When Hearing Voices is a Good Thing

The Atlantic reports on Tanya Luhrmann‘s recent research, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry “That suggests that the way people pay attention to their voices alters what they hear their voices say.”

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Adult | Around The Web | Disorders | Hearing Voices

Performance Artist Goes “Off Her Meds” For Art

The Daily Beast reports that Brooklyn artist Marni Kotak is weaning herself off a cocktail of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs in a Brooklyn gallery in a show called Mad Meds, with the intention of documenting her “personal struggles with her own mind, the US medical system, and the pharmaceutical industry as she attempts to withdraw from psychiatric medicines.
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Around The Web | Medication Tapering/Withdrawal

Hospital Patients Still in Danger from Preventable Errors

Fierce Healthcare reports that leading experts recently told a US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging that, despite public attention and concern, hospital patients today are no safer from harms caused by preventable errors than they were 15 years ago. In terms of error reduction and quality improvement, “[w]e have not moved the needle in any meaningful, demonstrable way overall,” Fierce Healthcare quotes Harvard School of Public Health’s Ashish Jha stating. More →

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Featured News | In the News | Legislation & Regulation

Searching for Happiness Under the Fame & Fortune

A New York Times Sunday Review op-ed discusses the frustrations of the wealthy and powerful ruler Abd Al-Rahman III, an emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain. “I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot,” he wrote. “They amount to 14.” So if plenty of money, sex, power and fame do not bring happiness, then how should we be living, asks writer Arthur Brooks. More →

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Around The Web | Community

The Use of Neuroleptic Drugs As Chemical Restraints

On July 17, I wrote a post on the use of neuroleptic drugs as chemical restraints in nursing homes.  The article generated some comments, one of which touched on some very fundamental issues which, in my view, warrant further discussion. The comment read as follows: “All drugs can be dangerous toxic chemicals when not used appropriately. While many valid points are made in this article, it’s very one-sided and could be considered biased in that it’s written by a psychologist. I’ve seen many patients and families benefit from their use.”
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Blogs | Featured Blogs