The effect of trauma/PTSD in people with Schizophrenia was investigated in this study (n=292). The researchers didn’t find evidence of cognitive impairment (using a neuropsychological test battery). However there was evidence of an increase in depression in the group with trauma/PTSD compared to those without.
Researchers investigated the addition of I-methylfolate to augment SSRI’s in this double-blind placebo-controlled trial (n=148). The researchers used two doses of I-methylfolate and found a significant advantage for the higher dose of I-methylfolate in response rate and symptom improvement. The study period was 60 days.
In this cross-sectional study, researchers investigated the relationship between hyponatraemia and bone mineral density in people with anorexia (n=404). The researchers found that people with anorexia and hyponatraemia had a significantly lower bone mineral density at several sites including the hips than people with anorexia without hyponatraemia. The researchers suggest hyponatraemia may lead to osteopenia in people with anorexia and it will be interesting to see the results of further research.
One approach in psychotherapy trials involves a cross-over design. As the psychotherapist is integral to the therapy, cross-over trials involve the same psychotherapist delivering different forms of psychotherapy. One potential confounder is that psychotherapists may favour one treatment over another which may influence outcome. In this meta-analysis, the researchers identified 39 cross-over trials. In those studies were therapist allegiance was controlled for the researchers found no influence of therapist allegiance on therapy outcome. Therapist allegiance did influence therapy outcome in studies in which therapist allegiance was not controlled for. These findings are important in informing research trials.
A number of people in the field of mental health have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list including Professor Simon Wessely, Professor Jacky Hayden, Dr Edward Ritson, Professor Janet Treasure, Vanessa Cameron, Professor David Clark and Fay Deadman.
There is an interesting piece on the Turkish artist Eşref Armağan who uses touch to sense his surroundings and paint. Armağan has been investigated by researchers and has undergone functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging while painting (showing activity in the visual cortex).
Psychcentral feature #12 mental health videos from 2012.
There is an interesting article on the expansion of open-access publishing in 2012.
Researchers have been analysing an area inhabited by Peking Man approximately 300,000 years ago. Using the pattern of wear on stones and other data the researchers hypothesised that Peking man was utilising wood, attaching spear heads to wooden shafts and fashioning hide possibly with the intention of using this as clothing. Previous research suggests that 68% of the population had a life expectancy of less than 14 years of age.
Professor John Hawks has an interesting piece on Neanderthal subsistence. He hypothesises that Neanderthals were able to cook foods but in the absence of ceramic cooking vessels adapted organic materials much as people do for certain modern dishes.
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