The featured blog is ‘Dr Jeff’s and Dr Tanya’s Blog‘. The authors are psychiatrists Dr Jeffrey Speller and Dr Tanya Korkosz who write on a variety of psychiatry related issues and include news items and educational material in their blog. They have very generously included their material under a creative commons license at the time of writing. The home page contains articles displayed in the main pane in black text on a white background. The reader is able to subscribe to an RSS feed, complete a poll on the left hand pane, rate the blog and select articles from the blog according to the category of the article. There are also medical feeds from other sources displayed on the left hand pane.A new feature is that the posts are read aloud and converted into audio files which can be downloaded and listened to on an i-pod. I was initially impressed by this. Then on listening to the posts I realised that they were synthetic voices. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the synthesised voice which pronounced most of the words clearly and with what I found to be an almost authentic sounding use of intonation.
Their blog begins in May 2008. They have a number of articles covering research studies. These articles are broad in their range and a number of the studies covered are quite interesting. Indeed some of the articles I found interesting included the use of Omega-3 fatty acids in depression, a study looking at prophylactic use of antidepressants in stroke, personality types and long life, exercise and depression, benefits of relaxation training in anxiety disorders, the influence of genes on metabolism of escitalopram, acute physical trauma and PTSD, personality traits associated with improved outcome in depression, glucose usage and family history of Alzheimer’s Disease, prevention of antisocial behaviours with childhood programs, self-help techniques in depression, the Mediterranean diet and risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, muscarinic therapies in Schizophrenia, gender and response to an antidepressant, long term alcohol consumption and brain volume, the brain’s transcriptome, improving cognitive health in older americans, cortisol’s effect on memory and learning in diabetes, effects of cognitive training on memory impairment, epidemiology of dementia, MCI and health-related decision making, social isolation and brain structure. The authors produce a helpful summary at the end of the articles reporting research. They also create a number of factsheets and similar articles for the lay audience. In September 2008 we see that Speller and Korkosz have been highly productive from the large number of factsheets and other resources they have assembled.
The authors have produced a very useful resource and have been highly productive within the relatively short span of time in which the blog has been active. There are a number of patient resources highlighting useful additional information. Additionally the blog is highly structured and creates articles that are accessible to the general public.
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