Prenatal SSRI exposure and autism risk: a dilemma for mums-to-be with depression

shutterstock_pregnant and tablets

Amy Green summarises a population-based study of young children which looks at prenatal exposure to SSRI antidepressants and the social responsiveness symptoms of autism.

[read the full story...]

Mental disorders after critical illness: depression, PTSD and functional disability in survivors of intensive care

shutterstock_155305655-150x150

The BRAIN-ICU prospective cohort study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine looks at mental health outcomes and functional disabilities in a general ICU population. It explores the hypothesis that depressive symptoms after discharge are more often somatic (i.e. bodily complaints) than cognitive-affective (i.e. thought-related and mood-related complaints).

[read the full story...]

Lifetime risk of treated mental disorders

shutterstock_195703586

This new study concludes that approximately one-third of the Danish population will receive treatment in secondary care for a mental disorder across their lifetime. Should we be talking about 1 in 3, rather than 1 in 4?

[read the full story...]

Preventing serious adverse outcomes in schizophrenia

shutterstock_160959176

People diagnosed with schizophrenia are 7.4 times more likely to be convicted of violent offences, 8.1 times more likely to die prematurely, and 20.7 times more likely to kill themselves.

[read the full story...]

Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

shutterstock_150668030

John Baker reports on the first population based report of the positive effects of antipsychotic medication and mood stabilisers on reducing the risk of a conviction for violent crime, published in the Lancet in May.

[read the full story...]

Childhood nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking and psychotic experiences

shutterstock_184539221

I was a terrible sleeper as a child. I remember lying awake on one particular occasion because I had read a book about space and thought that the sun might swallow up the earth. I was intrigued then, when I was asked to review a paper for the Mental Elf about parasomnias and childhood psychotic [read the full story...]

“Psychokiller, qu’est-ce que c’est”. The risk of violent re-offending among prisoners with psychotic experiences

shutterstock_124193854

In England and Wales, the Mental Health Act (1983, revised 2007) allows for the detention of individuals to hospital for a period of assessment (Section 2) or treatment (Section 3) if it is deemed that they suffer with a mental disorder of a nature or degree sufficient to warrant admission to hospital and it is necessary [read the full story...]

Critical illness and risk of psychiatric diagnosis

shutterstock_155305655

Out in the woodland we are pleased that recent advances in medical care mean that more patients are surviving critical illnesses within intensive care units (ICU).  “But what does that have to do with the Mental Elf?” I hear you say. Well, we Mental Elves are wondering whether this advancement in medical technology and technique are actually putting people [read the full story...]

New evidence on antidepressants and suicide risk in children and young people

shutterstock_179919953

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is unfortunately a relatively common condition in children and adolescents.  Depression is estimated to affect 2% of pre-pubertal children and 5-8% of adolescents (Son et al, 2000). As you might expect, depression has a significant negative impact on the development, functioning and risk for suicide in individuals affected, as well as [read the full story...]

Could measuring cortisol levels become a biological test for risk of depression in adolescent males?

shutterstock_156460130

Is it possible to work out which of two adolescents sitting before you complaining of unhappiness, which one will go home and sleep it off and which will go on to develop an episode of major depression? Has the biological revolution in psychiatry finally come to fruition with a useful biomarker for making treatment decisions? [read the full story...]