Keyword: psychology

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Multiple sclerosis and the psyche

Depression speeds up appearance of MS symptoms

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who also have depression are more likely to suffer debilitating symptoms early than people with MS who are not depressed, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that is published in the journal Neurology. The findings highlight the need for early recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with MS. More than 2 million people…

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Dangerous fever

Febrile convulsions: an early indicator for epilepsy in children?

Children who suffer repeated febrile convulsions have an increased risk of developing epilepsy and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression later in life. This is shown by a comprehensive register-based study from Aarhus University. The risk of febrile convulsions increases with the child’s fever, and approximately four per cent of Danish children suffer from febrile…

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Public health in the UK

'Every Mind Matters': NHS launches mental health campaign

A new awareness campaign launched by the National Health Service (NHS) aims to tackle the growing issue of mental disorders in the UK. 'Every Mind Matters' encourages adults to be more aware of their mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign offers free, NHS-approved mental health resources, via the One You website, which…

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Nature vs. nurture

Oh! Are our emotional vocalisations learned or innate?

Are emotional expressions shaped by innate specialised mechanisms that guide learning, or do they develop exclusively from learning? In a classic ‘nature versus nurture’ study, social psychology researcher Disa Sauter from the University of Amsterdam explores whether people can recognise emotions from the sounds deaf people make when they express their feelings. Her research was now published…

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Psychological treatment

New PTSD meds take advantage of body's own cannabinoids

A medication that boosts the body’s own cannabis-like substances, endocannabinoids, shows promise to help the brain un-learn fear memories when these are no longer meaningful. This according to an early-stage, experimental study on healthy volunteers at Linköping University. The new findings give hope that a new treatment can be developed for post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. “We have…

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LSD & Psilocybin

Microdosing drugs – exploring risks and benefits

The practice of taking small, regular doses of psychedelic drugs to enhance mood, creativity, or productivity lacks robust scientific evidence, say scientists. The process, called microdosing, has been lauded by some, with high profile proponents in Silicon Valley. But to date, scientific evidence to support or even fully explore claims of the benefits and safety, has been lacking. Now, an…

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Diagnostic disorder

Psychiatric diagnosis ‘scientifically worthless’, says study

A new study has concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders. The study, published in Psychiatry Research and led by researchers from the University of Liverpool, involved a detailed analysis of five key chapters of the latest edition of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), on ‘schizophrenia’,…

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Addiction

Ten percent of hospital inpatients are alcohol dependent

A review of evidence by researchers at King’s College London has found high levels of alcohol dependence among hospital inpatients. The researchers estimate one in five patients in the UK hospital system uses alcohol harmfully, and one in ten is alcohol dependent. Currently little is being done to screen routinely for alcohol dependence in hospitals, and services for patients with alcohol…

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Mental health

Does autism increase risk of suicidal behaviour?

The risk of suicide attempts and suicides among individuals with autism spectrum disorders is significantly higher than among the population in general. An especially high risk of suicidal behaviour is noted among women who in addition to autism also have ADHD. These are the findings of a population-based study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Psychological Medicine.…

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Research

Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria

People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published in the journal General Psychiatry. Anxiety symptoms are common in people with mental diseases and a variety of physical disorders, especially in disorders that are related to stress.…

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Psychiatry

Leonardo da Vinci: pure genius or ADHD?

Professor Marco Catani suggests the best explanation for Leonardo da Vinci's inability to finish his works is that the great artist may have had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world’s most iconic art, but historical accounts of his work practices and behaviour show that he struggled to complete projects. Drawing on these accounts, Professor…

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Antisocial behaviour

How the brain of children with conduct disorder is different

Behavioural problems in young people with severe antisocial behaviour – known as conduct disorder – could be caused by differences in the brain’s wiring that link the brain’s emotional centres together, according to new research led by the University of Birmingham. Conduct disorder affects around 1 in 20 children and teenagers and is one of the most common reasons for referral to child…

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Finding the connection

Can air pollution lead to psychosis in teens?

Research from King’s College London provides the first evidence of an association between air pollution and psychotic experiences in adolescence. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, provides a potential explanation for why growing up in cities is a risk factor for psychosis. This is the first time researchers have linked detailed geographical air pollution data with a representative sample…

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Obsessive compulsive disorder

Targeted deep brain stimulation reduces OCD symptoms

The debilitating behaviours and all-consuming thoughts which affect people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), could be significantly improved with targeted deep brain stimulation, according to the findings of a new study. OCD is characterised by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive stereotyped behaviours (compulsions- sometimes called rituals) and often means…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Oral contraceptives

Can birth control pills keep you from recognising emotions?

The pill could be blurring your social judgement ‒ but perhaps not enough so you'd notice. By challenging women to identify complex emotional expressions like pride or contempt, rather than basic ones like happiness or fear, scientists have revealed subtle changes in emotion recognition associated with oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, their study found…

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Psychopathology

Is terrorism based on mental illness?

Were Anders Breivik’s actions the work of a madman? Is Theo van Gogh’s killer Mohammed Bouyeri a psychopath? Much is still unclear about the role of psychological disorders (psychopathology) in terrorism. While some research supports the idea that terrorists are mentally ill, other studies contradict this view. In a study commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre/Dutch Ministry of…

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Under pressure

Physician burnout cases are rising

Longer hours, more demanding working practices, complex cases and increased administration are taking their toll on physicians as growing numbers, across a range of specialties, report signs of burnout. All this despite technological advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid diagnosis, read and interpret images, improve workflow and enhance decision-making. Recognised…

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Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat

Millennials' social media activity may increase depression risk

A new study by a team of Texas State University researchers shows that negative social media behaviors are linked to major depressive disorder (MDD) in Millennials. The findings are published in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research. In the study of 504 Millennials who actively use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Snapchat, individuals who met the criteria for MDD scored higher on the…

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Chronic peripheral inflammation and schizophrenia

The network approach to mental illness research

As European health services are pressured to provide the best possible care for best possible value, some medical fields are now very much the poor relation; this is particularly true for mental health. Mental illnesses represent a great health burden and cause huge financial and societal pressure in terms of direct and indirect costs from repeated hospitalisation and treatment failures, while…

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Traumatized patients

Improving treatment of anxiety disorders

Traumatic experiences can become deeply entrenched in a person's memory. How can fears following a traumatic event be reduced in the long term and prevented from becoming a permanent stress-related disorder? Researchers at the Mainz University Medical Center have recently shed new light on these questions. The key to their approach lies in firmly anchoring new, positive experiences in the…

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Deadly DNA

Suicide: Is it in our genes?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 44,000 people in the country every year, similar to the number of deaths caused by the opioid epidemic. Previous studies show that suicide tracks in families independent of the effects from a shared environment. Researchers at the University of Utah Health are using resources unique to the state to identify…

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Glucose metabolism

Sugar and stress: how are they connected?

Chronic stress is a well-known risk factor for the development of psychiatric illnesses including depression disorders. The brain requires a great deal of glucose, and stress is known to alter glucose metabolism. However, if stress-associated mental impairments are linked to affected glucose metabolism remains to be seen. Researchers at the Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Mainz…

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