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...]

Longer adolescent duration of worry and low mood predicts problems in adulthood: suggests early intervention important

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Adolescent mental health problems are the cause of deep distress to hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the UK. Young Minds estimates that 850,000 children and young people in the UK have a diagnosed mental health problem, and many more may be suffering in silence.  Statistics on how likely it is that an adolescent with [read the full story...]

Bereavement during childhood, but not before birth, is associated with an increased risk of psychosis

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Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are often conceptualised as arising from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences (Tandon 2008). The impact of social influences on the risk of psychotic experience is undeniable. Recent reviews of this topic have called for a focus on maternal wellbeing as a means of primary prevention for mental [read the full story...]

Is the menopause depressing? Not necessarily

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Some of the lady Elves in the forest have been sharing their concerns about the menopause, and whilst keeping an eye out for hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings; what other changes will the menopause will bring?! Well, Freeman and colleagues have some good news and bad news for us. In November 2013, JAMA [read the full story...]

People who died by suicide are more likely to have been last discharged from a general hospital

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Suicide is a significant public health concern in the UK and globally. Recently it was reported that the UK male suicide rate in 2012 was 3.5 times that of women (Siddique, 2014). In 1981, when the data series these reports were based on began, the male suicide rate was 1.9 times that for women. However, overall [read the full story...]

Bullying is bad for your mental health, even if you are the bully

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Clinicians and mental health researchers have long recognised that there is a link between traumatic experiences in childhood and symptoms of psychosis or non-clinical psychotic experiences presenting in adolescence or adulthood. One type of traumatic experience is the experience of abuse, whether physical, emotional or social in nature.  When it comes to bullying, any or [read the full story...]

Psychiatric illnesses and some chronic physical illnesses are associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicide

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Last month, the Department of Health published the ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which highlighted the importance of better integration of physical and mental health care at every level. The report specifically flagged up the need for frontline services to respond better to people who self-harm, and cited statistics that emphasise the cyclical nature of the [read the full story...]

Do smoking cessation treatments increase the risk of depression and suicide?

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Smoking is a major preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality throughout the world. There are an estimated 460,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in people aged over 35 every year, with an average annual cost to the NHS of £2.7 billion. Many strategies exist to help people give up smoking. The most common are [read the full story...]

Treating antenatal depression could prevent offspring adult depression

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Depression in late adolescence is a major public health concern, not least because it is strongly predictive of persistent, adult depression, which can have a severe effect on socioemotional functioning, education and employment. Increasingly, depression research is turning its attention to the matter of prevention of depression rather than exclusively focusing on treatment options and [read the full story...]

A statistically significant, but small, increased relative risk of learning disabilities in children born via IVF

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In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) is used to help people who experience difficulties in conceiving (see NICE’s guideline for information eligibility). It involves fertilising an egg with sperm in the laboratory, before reimplanting the fertilised egg into the woman’s womb to develop as normal. In cases of male infertility, the sperm can be injected directly in to [read the full story...]