News Roundup: November 2008 1st Edition

In the news there is research on different-tryptophan containing diets and their effects on mood and plasma tryptophan levels as well as the prevalence of psychiatric illness in people with intellectual disability amongst other research.


A multicentre study in China and Britain with 1-4 year follow-up found an association between depression and dementia that was more marked in the younger age group and correlated with the most severe cases of depression. Studies of this type may influence policies for management of depression (STT1).

Depression and Related Conditions

A study has found that a hydrolysed protein form of tryptophan diet significantly increased mood in the short and longer term as well as plasma tryptophan levels when compared with placebo and other forms of administration of tryptophan (STT3).

Schizophrenia and Related Conditions

A recent study has looked at the relationship between psychosis in adolescence and a number of traumatic events in childhood including bullying or being bullied. This adds to an emerging evidence base looking at the additional burden that trauma can cause people with psychosis  (STT3). Social functioning has been suggested as an intermediate phenotype in schizophrenia and in one study, an impairment in adolescence was found to be associated with fathers less than 20 years old or older than 45 years. Increasing paternal age has been associated with a number of conditions.

Anxiety and Related Conditions

An 8-week RCT of Pre-Gabalin (n=273) found a 2-point advantage over placebo in reduction of Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores in people with DSM-IV anxiety disorders (STT4).

Learning Disability Psychiatry

An interesting study in Western Australia using a database registry of 245,749 people with psychiatric and intellectual disability found that 31.7% of people with an intellectual disability had a concurrent mental illness. Such findings should contribute to evaluating the balance of social and mental health care resources that are needed in a learning disability service (STT1). Along similar lines although not in the learning disabled population, a study of Swedish army conscripts found an association between cognitive deficits and a range of psychiatric disorders (STT3).


A recent study has looked at the relationship between a number of factors including level of nursing observations and self-harm in patients (STT4). A small qualitative study of the interviews of 16-psychiatrists suggested that there could be improvements in the sharing of treatment decisions. There are potentially useful implications particularly if this is followed-up by larger studies and evaluation of training and system policies (STT4).


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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