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Attachment style is thought to play a role in one-to-one relationships. Now, a new study suggests that it also applies to social networks such as Facebook. [...]
Mon, Jul 24, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
In Animal Study, High Fat Diet in Pregnancy Ups Risk of Mental Health Issues in Offspring
New research suggests a healthy diet during pregnancy is good for the mother and also her offspring. Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University tested the effect of a maternal high-fat diet on nonhuman primates, tightly controlling their diet in a way that would be impossible in a human population. The findings suggest a high-fat diet alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of the baby and has a long-term impact on offspring behavior. The new study links an unhealthy diet during pregnancy to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression in children. “Given the high level of dietary fat consumption and maternal obesity in developed nations, these findings have important implications for the mental health of future generations,” the researchers reported. The research appears in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology. The study was led by Elinor Sullivan, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Division of Neuroscience at Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU. Researchers discovered behavioral changes in the offspring associated with impaired development of the central serotonin system in the brain. Further, it showed that introducing a healthy diet to the offspring at an early age failed to reverse the effect. Previous observational studies in people correlated maternal obesity with a range of mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. The new research demonstrates for the first time that a high-fat diet, increasingly common in the developed world, caused long-lasting mental health ramifications for the offspring of non-human primates. In the United States, 64 percent of women of reproductive age are overweight and 35 percent are obese. The new study suggests that the U.S. obesity epidemic may be imposing transgenerational effects. “It's not about blaming the mother,” said Sullivan, senior author on the study. “It's about educating pregnant women about the potential risks of a high-fat diet in pregnancy and empowering them and their families to make healthy choices by providing support. We also need to craft public policies that promote healthy lifestyles and diets.” Researchers grouped a total of 65 female Japanese macaques into two groups, one given a high-fat diet and one a control diet during pregnancy. They subsequently measured and compared anxiety-like behavior among 135 offspring and found that both males and females exposed to a high-fat diet during pregnancy exhibited greater incidence of anxiety compared with those in the control group. The scientists also examined physiological differences between the two groups, finding that exposure to a high-fat diet during gestation and early in development [...]
Mon, Jul 24, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
In this article, learn about functional neurological symptom disorder. What are the causes, what are the symptoms, and is it commonly misdiagnosed? [...]
Sun, Jul 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Hearing voices can be prevented from becoming a distressing occurrence if the voices fall in line with the hearer's life goals, a new study suggests. [...]
Sun, Jul 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
Memory creates a hierarchy of different timescales, all of which provide relevant information when necessary, so they must all be available simultaneously. [...]
Sun, Jul 23, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Psychology/Psychiatry
A Third of Dementia Cases Are Preventable
A profound new study suggests managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension, and depression could prevent one-third of the world's dementia cases. Moreover, researchers discovered nonpharmacologic interventions such as social contact and exercise can mitigate symptoms associated with dementia. The report by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017. Study findings are published in The Lancet. “There's been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease,” says Lon Schneider, M.D., professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. “But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.” The commission brought together 24 international experts to systematically review existing research and provide evidence-based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia. About 47 million people have dementia worldwide and that number is expected to climb as high as 66 million by 2030 and 115 million by 2050. Interestingly, reducing dementia risk can begin in childhood. The commission's report identifies nine risk factors in early, mid- and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. About 35 percent of dementia — one in three cases — is attributable to these risk factors, the report says. By increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity in midlife, the incidence of dementia could be reduced by as much as 20 percent, combined. In late life, stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social contact, and managing diabetes could reduce the incidence of dementia by another 15 percent. “The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have,” Schneider says. “Mitigating risk factors provides us a powerful way to reduce the global burden of dementia.” The commission also examined the effect of nonpharmacologic interventions for people with dementia and concluded that they had an important role in treatment, especially when trying to address agitation and aggression. “Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression, but there is substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation,” Schneider says. The evidence showed that psychological, social and environmental interventions such as social contact and activities were superior to antipsychotic medications for treating dementia-related [...]
Fri, Jul 21, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Positive Attitude Toward Aging = Better Mood
A new study of older adults finds that having a positive attitude toward aging enhances resiliency and the way people feel about themselves. However, researchers found that a person's attitude toward aging is not static and that day-to-day experiences do affect an individual's awareness of age-related change (AARC). Moreover, this awareness does affect one's mood. Investigators discovered that while a positive attitude helps people reduce negative experiences, when a loss does occur, it may significantly affect a person's feelings on that day. “People tend to have an overall attitude toward aging, good or bad, but we wanted to know whether their awareness of their own aging — or AARC — fluctuated over time in response to their everyday experiences,” says Shevaun Neupert, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper on the study. The paper, “Aging Attitudes and Daily Awareness of Age-Related Change Interact to Predict Negative Affect,” is published in the journal The Gerontologist. For the study, researchers enrolled 116 participants between the ages of 60 and 90. Each participant took a survey to establish baseline attitudes toward aging. In the following eight days, participants kept a log of daily stressors (such as having an argument), completed a daily evaluation of age-related experiences (such as “I am becoming wiser” or “I am more slow in my thinking”), and reported on their affect, or mood. “We found that people's AARC, as reflected in their daily evaluations, varied significantly from day to day,” says Jennifer Bellingtier, a recent Ph.D. graduate from North Carolina State and co-author of the paper. “We also found that people whose baseline attitudes toward aging were positive also tended to report more positive affect, or better moods.” “People with positive attitudes toward aging were also less likely to report ‘losses,' or negative experiences, in their daily aging evaluations,” Neupert says. “However, when people with positive attitudes did report losses, it had a much more significant impact on their affect that day,” Neupert says. “In other words, negative aging experiences had a bigger adverse impact on mood for people who normally had a positive attitude about aging.” The study expands on previous work that found having a positive attitude about aging makes older adults more resilient when faced with stressful situations. Source: North Carolina State University [...]
Fri, Jul 21, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Urbanisation and the electrification of homes do not decrease the amount that we sleep, a new study in the journal Scientific Reports finds. [...]
Fri, Jul 21, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia News
New study links duration of estrogen exposure with increased vulnerability to depression: Longer exposure to estrogen shown to provide protection. [...]
Fri, Jul 21, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression
Participation in the Arts Improve Mental Health
New research found that participation in arts-based groups benefit the emotions of both healthy adults and those experiencing mental health conditions. In the study, art-based involvement included participation in activities that involved choir singing and creative writing. Investigators discovered participants reported a significant increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions during the arts-based activity compared with other times during the day. Interestingly, the influence on positive emotions was short-lived while the effect on negative emotions lasted until evening. Saliently, adults with chronic mental health conditions were equally able to derive emotional benefits as healthy adults. Furthermore, study participants described numerous ways in which their participation in the arts-based groups enhanced their individual and interpersonal emotion regulation. “People with chronic mental health conditions tend to experience difficulties with emotion perception and regulation, which can have a big impact on their social relationships. These symptoms are not well treated with medication or psychotherapy,” explains Dr. Genevieve Dingle, corresponding author of the British Journal of Clinical Psychology study. “The findings of this study are exciting because they clearly show the potential for participation in arts-based groups to influence emotions and emotion regulation in positive ways.” Source: Wiley/EurekAlert [...]
Thu, Jul 20, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy Anxiety News
Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression in their early teens have a higher risk of developing marijuana-use disorder at age 18, says study. [...]
Wed, Jul 19, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
University of California San Diego scientists have linked specific wiring in the brain to distinct behavioral symptoms of depression. [...]
Wed, Jul 19, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression
New Methods Help Predict Violent Behavior Among Individuals At Risk for Psychosis
Researchers have developed a new screening battery which can predict violent behavior among individuals who may go on to develop psychosis. In the study, investigators from Columbia University Medical Center followed young persons at clinical high-risk of developing psychosis and identified measures of violence potential. Researchers believe the new metrics will be useful in predicting both the increased risk of future violent behavior and the actual development of psychosis. The article, A Longitudinal Study of Violent Behavior in a Psychosis-Risk Cohort, by Gary Brucato, PhD, Ragy Girgis, MD and colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center, appears in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Researchers explain that public often has misconceptions about individuals with psychosis committing acts of violence. The reality is that persons with mental illness account for a very small proportion of violent crime in the U.S. Nevertheless, studies have shown that people with psychotic disorders are more prone to acts of mass violence involving strangers or intrafamily violence if they have not received effective treatment. “It is important that we acknowledge that violence can be fueled by mental illness and that steps be taken to identify those people who might be prone and treat them accordingly. That is why these findings are so important as they demonstrate that screening people with sensitive instruments can detect which people in the incipient stages of mental disorders are at greatest risk of violence,” noted Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The study followed 200 individuals at high-risk of psychosis over a period of two years. Twelve (6 percent) of them reported acts of violent behavior in the six months before joining the study, fifty-six (28 percent) reported violent ideation at the time of entry into the study, and eight (4 percent) committed acts of violence during the two-year follow-up period. As a result of the study evaluation, the study staff provided treatment and took preemptive action for ten additional individuals whose thoughts had developed into plans for violent acts. The results of the study showed that both thoughts of violence and recent violent behavior were associated with future incidents of violence, which occurred within an average of seven days of when the person developed psychotic symptoms. Only information contained in the description of the person's symptoms predicted the violent behavior, and not direct questions of “whether you want to hurt anyone”. The authors suggest that this is [...]
Tue, Jul 18, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
Recent guidelines are right to recommend screening high risk patients for cirrhosis, say liver specialists Mark Hudson at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Nick Sheron at Southampton General... [...]
Tue, Jul 18, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Alcohol/Addiction/Illegal Drugs
People who are underdeveloped in the brain region that is linked with inhibition after age 30 may be more likely to experience psychological problems. [...]
Tue, Jul 18, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression
A series of studies sheds new light on the racial disparities among Americans living with Alzheimer's disease. Stress and social adversity play a key role. [...]
Mon, Jul 17, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Care Management Program + Medication = Improved Daily Function for People with Alzheimer's
New research suggest an approach that includes a commonly-prescribed drug for Alzheimer's disease with a specific care management program can dramatically improve daily function. New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center researchers discovered the care management program multiplies the medication's ability to improve daily function by about 7.5 times, mitigating several of the disease's most damaging effects. These are the findings from a randomized trial presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2017 in London. “Alzheimer's and dementia clinicians have known for some time that medication alone is not enough to stop disease progression,” says research principal investigator Barry Reisberg, M.D., professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone. “Our new research shows that a comprehensive, patient-centered care program brings significant benefits in daily activities, which are important to individuals with Alzheimer's and those who care for and about them.” Reisberg was the first author of a 2003 New England Journal of Medicine paper that was used in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of memantine, making it the first treatment for the later stages of Alzheimer's disease. Now, after more than 13 years of research, he and his team have shown that combining this drug with a comprehensive disease management system achieved significantly greater therapeutic effects than what was observed in the original study. With no significant new drug for Alzheimer's having been approved since memantine in 2003 — and a number failing clinical trials this year — the study authors argue that the time has come for the field to pay more attention to methods that can dramatically improve the impact of existing drugs. The new study measured the added therapeutic benefits in patients taking memantine among patients also placed in a Comprehensive, Individualized, Person-Centered Management program (CI-PCM). The CI_PCM system of care includes caregiver training, residence assessment, therapeutic home visits, and caregiver support groups. The program was developed and conducted by study co-investigator Sunnie Kenowsky, DVM, co-director of the Fisher Alzheimer's Disease Program and clinical instructor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone. In a 28-week, blinded, randomized controlled trial, 10 patient-caregiver groups enrolled in the CI-PCM were compared against 10 pairs receiving standard community care. Standard care included a clinic visit, referrals to resources for caregiver training, care counseling, physical, speech and occupational therapy, medic-alert bracelets training, day care centers, and support group programs. All patients were taking memantine. The two groups were compared at the end of 28 weeks using a recognized tool called Functional Assessment [...]
Mon, Jul 17, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
New Report Outlines National Strategy to Reduce Opioid Epidemic
A new report from the esteemed National Academies suggests containment of opioid abuse will require years of sustained and coordinated efforts. Experts say a prolonged effort is necessary to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of prescription and illicit opioid epidemics. These trouble areas are currently intertwined and getting worse, explains a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access to opioids for patients suffering from pain whose providers have prescribed these drugs responsibly. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended actions the FDA, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and health-related organizations should take. Strategies include promoting more judicious prescribing of opioids, expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder, preventing more overdose deaths, and weighing societal impacts in opioid-related regulatory decisions. Moreover the experts recommend investing in research to better understand the nature of pain and develop non-addictive alternatives. “The broad reach of the epidemic has blurred the formerly distinct social boundary between prescribed opioids and illegally manufactured ones, such as heroin,” said committee chair Richard J. Bonnie, director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. “This report provides an action plan directed particularly at the health professions and government agencies responsible for regulating them. This plan aims to help the millions of people who suffer from chronic pain while reducing unnecessary opioid prescribing. We also wanted to convey a clear message about the magnitude of the challenge. This epidemic took nearly two decades to develop, and it will take years to unravel.” As of 2015, at least two million people in the United States have an opioid use disorder involving prescription opioids — meaning they are addicted to prescription opioids — and almost 600,000 have an opioid use disorder involving heroin. An average of about 90 Americans die every day from overdoses that involve an opioid. While the annual number of deaths from prescription opioids remained relatively stable between 2011 and 2015, overdose deaths from illicit opioids — including heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl — nearly tripled during this time period, partially in connection to a growing number of people whose use began with prescription opioids. Drug overdose, driven [...]
Mon, Jul 17, 2017
Source Psych Central Psychotherapy News
In this article, learn about adult ADHD and how it differs from childhood ADHD. We cover the symptoms of adult ADHD, and how it is diagnosed and treated. [...]
Mon, Jul 17, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Anxiety and Stress
Depression is a common mental illness that can impact daily life. In this article, learn about the foods and nutrients that can help to treat depression. [...]
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
Source Medical News Today: Depression

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