Bipolar disorder and leadership: evidence from a total population study

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Elena Marcus writes her debut blog on a total population study that finds some interesting associations between bipolar disorder and leadership potential, executive roles and political professions.

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Ketamine for depression: new review highlights the need for an RCT

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Helge Hasselmann reviews a new systematic review of ketamine for depression, which highlights the need for an RCT to provide reliable data on the safety, tolerability and best route of administration.

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Exercise for severe mental illness: new review finds few benefits

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This new systematic review concludes that exercise programmes can lead to an improvement in exercise activity, but have no significant effect on mental health symptoms or body weight in people with severe mental illness.

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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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Antipsychotics and mood stabilisers may reduce violent crime

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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.

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We don’t know if general health advice improves physical health for patients with serious mental illness

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For me, one of the most infuriating aspects of health care is the relegation of mental health problems, and mental health services, as secondary to physical health. There are a myriad of examples of this, from the classic stigma that people with mental health problems receive compared to those with physical health problems (fantastically illustrated [read the full story...]

No support for peer support?

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In this blog, I’m going to be discussing a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of “peer support for people with serious mental illness” (Lloyd-Evans et al, 2014). It’s something of a personal (as well as an academic) interest, as I am a carer and have been involved in mutual peer support groups myself. I have given [read the full story...]

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...]

Ketamine for severe depression: what can we conclude from a small open label study?

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Last week the media reported widely on a study of ketamine for depression (McShane et al, 2014). As usual the headlines made bold assertions, the Telegraph running with “Horse tranquilliser Ketamine could cure severe depression” (Knapton, 2014). But what did the paper authored by an Oxford group and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology really [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...]