Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Improving mental health literacy in the classroom: new HeadStrong RCT

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Lisa Burscheidt reports on an RCT of the Headspace mental health literacy intervention and the impact it has on the mental health literacy, stigma, help-seeking and mental health of a group of young people in Australia.

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Online and social networking interventions for depression in young people

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Nikki Newhouse reports on a recent systematic review that brings together 22 studies which investigate a range of online CBT and social networking interventions designed to help young people with depression.

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Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for all common mental health disorders?

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For his ninth Mental Elf blog, Mark Smith reports on a Cochrane systematic review of the effectiveness of short term psychodynamic therapies on common mental health disorders.

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Do you value your Mental Elf?

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Today, as we publish our 1,000th blog, André Tomlin looks back at the last 3 years and reflects on the successes and the future challenges facing the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service. It’s a blog that really needs your comments, so please take 5 minutes to read it and send us your thoughts :-)

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Risk factors for dementia: separating the facts from the myths

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We are grateful to Josephine Neale who has read the 104 page World Alzheimer Report 2014 and summarised it for us in this very readable blog. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the risk factors for dementia, which focuses on a range of protective and modifiable factors.

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Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

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Helge Hasselmann highlights a new cohort study in JAMA Psychiatry, which finds a bidirectional relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms; strengthening the case for exercise as a recommended intervention for people with mild depression.

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Cultural competence education for health professionals: does learning about culture make any difference to patients?

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John Baker summarises a recent Cochrane systematic review of cultural competence education for health professionals, which tentatively concludes that low quality evidence supports this approach.

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Major barriers implementing family involvement for patients with psychosis

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Raphael Underwood summarises a recent systematic review looking at implementing family involvement in the treatment of patients with psychosis.

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Collaborative care for depression: psychological interventions, alone or in combination with medication, offer additional benefits

A recent meta-analysis sought to identify factors associated with improvement in patient outcomes and in the process of care

Ioana Cristea reviews a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of collaborative care for depression, looking to identify factors predicting improvements. The study finds that collaborative care successfully improves both patient outcomes and the process of care for depression.

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