Last resort treatment for the most severe cases of Anorexia Nervosa

07 March 2013
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A recent, small scale, human trial by the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and University Health Network in Canada, has had measured success in treating patients suffering from severe Anorexia Nervosa, who had failed to respond to traditional treatments. The study, involved providing deep brain stimulation, via implanted electrodes, a treatment which has previously had success with treating Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients as well as those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorders. The results of this study were varied, but with three patients having gained and sustained weight,...

Eating breakfast raises child IQ

18 February 2013
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A new research study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing indicates that children whom regularly eat breakfast had “significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores.” The researchers suggested that this may be the combined effect of the brain’s fuel intake and the associated social interaction during this meal. The study was conducted on over 1250 Chinese children. Read more here

ADHD diagnosis on the rise

22 January 2013
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A recent study of 840,000 children in California has indicated a significant rise, of 24%, in the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Dr. Darios Getahun, researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group, confirmed that the instances of ADHD in boys within the study was three times as high as in girls and that it was more prevalent in higher income families: although that this might be accounted for by greater parental interest in their school performance. Dr Benjamin Lahey of the University of Chicago suggests that the study is more...

The psychology of natural disasters

31 October 2012
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The recent storms to hit the US are a reminder to think about the psychological consequences of natural disasters and how they effect children and families.  Survivors tend to look for leadership and stability in the wake of this sort of shocking change to their environment. Children need to understand the event and be returned to a reassuring routine. Read more about disasters in the school context here Read more from the American Psychology Association

What’s it like to have ADHD?

30 October 2012
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A recent study, by biomedical ethicist Dr Ilina Singh, asking children how they feel about ADHD and possible treatment has identified that the children feel that their medication helps them control their reactions and gives them time in which to think before acting. The children also said that they wanted additional treatment options, however: long waiting lists for children’s behavioral treatments means that there is currently little alternative by rely on prescribing drug treatments. “One of the messages that children have is that they want more treatment options outside of medication,...

Parents overestimate their children’s happiness

26 October 2012
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  It has long been recognised that parents tend to exaggerate their children’s intellectual, social and sporting abilities but a recent study indicated that parents are also inclined to see their children as less anxious and more optimistic  than they really are. Kristin Lagattuta’s research indicates that adult’s interpretations of children’s happiness can not be trusted but hopes that it will lead parents to be better attuned to their children’s emotional difficulties. Read more here

The secret behind computer game addiction?

24 October 2012
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The success of the simple puzzle game Tetris may be down to the brain’s desire for tidiness. The Zeigarnik Effect, whereby unresolved problems stick in the mind, even if they are forgotten immediately afterwards, may hold the key to why so many millions of hours have been spent, across the globe on games like Tetris. The same phenomena can also be identified in the prolific expansion of online games such as the Sims: taking advantage of our natural desire to tidy up lose ends. Read more on the BBC here

Three genes determine your child’s academic achievement

11 October 2012
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Kevin Beaver of Florida State University has identified that three genes DAT1, DRD2 and DRD4 predict levels of academic achievement. So does this mean that we are soon to be condemned to a world in which our lives are determined at birth, populated by genetic elites and a DNA underclass? The vision of our future depicted in the 1997 film Gattaca (pictured) highlights the age old struggle between nature and nurture, predetermined potential and the benefits and disadvantages afforded to us by our environment. The 1994 book “The Bell Curve” argues for accepting the determinist view and...

An end to zero tolerance in American schools?

05 October 2012
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School districts across the US have moved towards smarter disciple programmes and away from mandatory expulsions, in an attempt to tackle student discipline. The American Psychological Association reports that the zero tolerance policy has led to an increase in bad behaviour and has not reduced violence nor promoted learning. The new approach employs restorative practices, which enable students to better understand the consequences of their actions and develops inter student and teacher student relationships. Subscribe to our free online seminar on mental health welfare in schools here. Read the...

Teenager creates viral campaign to fight bullying

22 September 2012
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Seventeen-year-old Kevin Curwick, an Osseo High School football team captain, is using Twitter to fight cyberbullies and compliment his classmates, but much to his surprise, now people across the world are returning the favor. Read more

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