A Canadian meta-analysis looked at the use of high frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the treatment of Depression. This approach to treating Depression has been examined in the research setting. The authors of this study compared actual treatment with sham treatment. The meta-analysis included a cumulative total of 392 people with Major Depression. At the end of the study period for the trials the researchers found that the remission rate for treatment was higher than that for sham treatment. For those receiving the treatment there was a 53.8% remission rate compared to 38.64% in those receiving sham treatment. The odds ratio was 2.42 with a 95% confidence interval of 1.27-4.61 (p=0.007). Although the study does show benefit this does not mean that it would be used in routine clinical practice. This would depend on a number of factors including an evaluation of the technology in relevant policies.
The March 2013 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry includes a meta-analysis of non-pharmacological interventions in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, a meta-analysis of Metabolic Syndrome comorbidity in Bipolar Disorder and a Swedish cohort study looking at comorbidity in Schizophrenia. There is an accompanying podcast.
The February 2013 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry features clinical trials of Desvenlafaxine in major Depression and Lurasidone in Schizophrenia, the use of high frequency Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (see above) as well as a prevalence study on attenuated psychotic symptoms. There is an accompanying podcast.
In America, the Associated Press have released guidelines on the coverage of mental illness. These guidelines have the potential to reduce mental illness related stigma. The guidelines state that mental illness labels should not be used to describe non-health issues and also provide guidance on other unhelpful associations.
Psychiatrist Dr Alex Mitchell gives an excellent overview of clinical Depression for the general public in this video.
A new UK Department of Health website is being launched in March 2013 and more details can be found here.
There is coverage of a remarkable technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which amplifies motion in videos at the New York Times. In the examples, respiratory rate and heart rate can be determined from the processed footage. The video below illustrates the technology.
There is an interesting study in which researchers applied transcranial direct current stimulation to the Prefrontal Cortex in research subjects and measured the effect on a problem solving task. Not only did the subjects generate responses more quickly (by as much as 1 second) but they produced many more responses. There is a detailed write-up of the study here.
The Neurocritic and Vaughan Bell had guest posts at Nature Communications as part of Brain Awareness Week.
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