Meta-review presents the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders

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This recent and well-conducted meta-review concludes that the impact on mortality and suicide of mental disorders is substantial, and probably poorly appreciated as a public health problem. Raphael Underwood’s blog summarises the data for all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders.

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Children of older fathers have an increased risk of psychiatric and academic problems, says new cohort study

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Research suggests that the risk of developing psychiatric problems (such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or schizophrenia) may be linked to increased paternal age at the time of conception. This seems quite plausible given that advancing age in men is associated with increased genetic mutations in sperm. However, studies so far have generally not [read the full story...]

ADHD and the importance of healthy sleep

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Good sleep is a crucial part of our physical and mental well-being. We typically spend about a third of our lives asleep but when we miss out on sleep, we can feel fatigued and struggle to concentrate. Sleep problems are generally quite common and have been reported as one of the most common health conditions [read the full story...]

Atomoxetine for adult ADHD: the harms outweigh the benefits, according to new systematic review

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental neurological condition affecting functioning in a number of domains, but in particular, the ability to focus and concentrate, and regulate activity levels.  This is a common disorder with 2.5-4.0% of adults meeting diagnostic criteria for ADHD (Fayyad et al, 2007), and this condition has significant impact on a persons [read the full story...]

Estimating heritability in 5 psychiatric disorders: a 21st Century family study

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It has long been established that psychiatric disorders have a genetic component. In the early days of genetic research, twin and family studies were used to estimate heritability (the proportion of variance explained by genetic factors). The Psychiatric Genetics Consortium has recently published a paper in Nature Genetics to assess the heritability and co-inheritability (relationship between [read the full story...]

Cohort study links early exposure to intimate partner violence with poor mental health outcomes, but longer follow-up is needed

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Negative childhood experiences have always been a big topic in psychology and psychiatry, as they tend to be associated with poor mental health outcomes in later life. Intimate partner violence (IPV) harms not only the adults directly involved in it, but also the children – witnessing IPV as a child is a known risk factor [read the full story...]

Cutting across diagnostic categories: Does stimulant medication improve ADHD symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder?

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Until fairly recently, it was thought that autism spectrum disorder (ASD; previously known as PDD or pervasive developmental disorder) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were two entirely separate childhood-onset conditions and that they could not both be diagnosed in one individual. Numerous studies in the last decade have shown that, in reality, a number of [read the full story...]

Systematic review of dropout rates from clinical trials of methylphenidate for adult ADHD

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by inattention, excessive activity levels and impulsive behaviours. Although it is an early developmental condition and is associated with childhood, in many instances, it is a lifelong condition. ADHD in adulthood is increasingly being recognised. Clinical guidelines and research suggest that the stimulant drug methylphenidate can reduce ADHD [read the full story...]

NICE publish new Quality Standard and Evidence Update on ADHD

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioural disorder in the UK, with sufferers experiencing inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is estimated to affect 3-9% of school aged children and young people in the UK (those aged 3 to 18), and 2% of adults worldwide (DSM-IV criteria). Typically ADHD will continue from childhood [read the full story...]

Evidence-based youth psychotherapies: better than usual care, but only for less severe cases

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Young people presenting with psychopathology may receive a wide range of treatments, such as family or cognitive behavioural therapy, skills training or behavioural contracting. Clearly it is important to know which of these interventions are best supported by evidence that they are effective in treating the presenting problem. Since some treatments have a significant evidence [read the full story...]