Is the Dodo finally dead?

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There’s been a lot of chatter here in the woodlands about the role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in psychosis – what do service users think of it? Can it be used in place of antipsychotics for some people? Outside of the woodlands, CBT for psychosis has also been generating a lot of attention: Does [read the full story...]

Does group CBT treatment reduce social anxiety disorder? Possibly, perhaps, maybe not!

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Social Anxiety Disorder used to be called Social Phobia and is generally regarded as the most prevalent form of common anxiety disorder. Estimates of lifetime prevalence vary but according to a US study, 12% of adults in the US will have social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives (Kessler et al, 2005). According [read the full story...]

CBT and motivational interviewing are effective treatments for comorbid alcohol use disorders and depression, says new meta-analysis

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Alcohol use disorder is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, and the disease burden associated with this dual diagnosis is considerably greater than that attributed to each disorder in isolation. This creates a problem for clinicians who are trying to treat depressed problem drinkers, because many services are set up to deal with only one [read the full story...]

Psychological treatment may be useful in reducing depression and anxiety in people with dementia, says new Cochrane review

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Depression and anxiety are both common conditions in patients with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with some studies finding around 30% of patients show at least some depressive symptoms (Enache et al, 2011). Similarly, a study on vascular dementia found around 70% of participants had two or more symptoms of anxiety (Ballard et al, 2000). [read the full story...]

Recent review suggests Agomelatine is as effective as other antidepressants, but controversy persists

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In spite of widely available different antidepressants, major depression does not respond adequately in up to one third of patients. Overall, the need for both reliable and well-tolerated treatment has remained unmet for a sizeable proportion of people with depression. In the past couple of years, there has been controversy about the suitability of Agomelatine (Valdoxan) [read the full story...]

Cochrane review finds that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy and electrostimulation show little benefit for smoking cessation

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Despite being on the decline, smoking is still one of the largest causes of preventable morbidity and mortality in the world. According to recent World Health Organisation data, smoking directly kills around 5 million people every year.  The NHS spends almost £90 million on cessation efforts to combat the £5 billion treatment cost. Recent research [read the full story...]

Little differences among antidepressants regarding sexual dysfunction, but bupropion performs best

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Antidepressant treatment is associated with a variety of side effects, including emotional changes, weight gain or fatigue. As pharmaceutical treatment has evolved, clinicians have become increasingly aware of another major adverse effect of modern antidepressants: sexual dysfunction. Current figures estimate that up to every second patient will, at some stage, experience reduced sexual function, which [read the full story...]

Quitting smoking is associated with decreased anxiety, depression and stress, says new systematic review

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It is well known that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world (WHO, 2011). However, the associations between smoking and mental health are less well established. Smokers often want to quit, but the belief that cigarettes can be used to regulate mood can often deter them, and this is especially true [read the full story...]

Does staying in hospital longer make you better?

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De-institutionalisation, the advent of community care and development of psychotropic medicines are implicated in the reduction in hospital bed numbers and mean length of stay. There remains a huge variance in length of stay and outcomes across the UK and beyond (NHS Confederation, 2011). Figures on length of stay and service configuration are difficult to [read the full story...]

Trying to understand brain networks associated with depression is hampered by how variable the condition is

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At the start of using neuroimaging to try and understand mental health problems, the focus was on a specific area of the brain that might be different.  As the methods have become more sophisticated, the ability to look at how different areas of the brain are linked into functional networks has developed.  Whilst damage to [read the full story...]