Botox to aenethetise patients from disgust or sadness

12 April 2013
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In an update on our recent post about the social and health impact of smiles, Cardif University has just released a paper at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Harrogate which has confirmed that the use of Botox to reduce facial lines has a significant impact on the feelings associated with the facial expressions which are impacted by the treatment. For example, where crows feet were treated with the toxin, subjects were less able to produce an intense smile, as a result of they reported being more depressed. The same facial feedback loop that effects us when we smile...

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,...

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...

Therapy apps on smart phones. Do they work?

08 January 2013
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With depression on the rise and 50% of the US population owning a smartphone, it is unsurprising that a search on the Apple App Store brings up a huge number of solutions, targeted at relieving stress, or fighting depression. The question is if these techniques work and if mental health practitioners can implement solutions of this kind into their treatment programmes. Read more on the BBC here

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,...

Deterioration in male mental health in the UK linked to recession.

18 October 2012
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A Medical Research Council study, published on BMJ Open on the 17th October,  indicates that levels of anxiety and depression in men rise significantly during times of recession, hitting 16.4% in 2009 and with a similar peek during the 1991-3 recession. The effect can be seen even in those men not directly effected by unemployment or reduced family income. “These recent analyses confirm that the threat of unemployment is in itself harmful” Prof Justine Schneider Read more here:

The UK set to become global leader on dementia research

13 October 2012
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As part of the British Government’s “Challenge on Dementia” a showcase, event (UK Dementia Research: Addressing the Global Challenge) was held on the 10th October 2012 to bring together more than 150 potential international partners in order to promote the UK’s unique research university facilities, combined with NHS patient data. “The UK wants to be a world-leader in dementia research, but only by international collaboration can we tackle the global challenge of this condition.” Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister Read more here

A whole new way of thinking about memory consolidation theory

10 October 2012
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A recent study at the UCLA has demonstrated that there is persistent activity within the entorhinal cortex during sleep, and charted the sequence of neurone influence through differing areas of the brain.  “The big surprise here is that this kind of persistent activity is happening during sleep, pretty much all the time.” “This is a whole new way of thinking about memory consolidation theory. We found there is a new player involved in this process and it’s having an enormous impact” Mayank R. Mehta, UCLA (The whole article is available on Nature Neuroscience) Read...

One quarter of the British workforce have been diagnosed as depressed

09 October 2012
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Despite the highest diagnosed rate of depression in Europe, British workers may be no more likely to suffer from the condition then those in other European countries. Do the results of this study really indicate that the NHS is just better at diagnosing patients with depression? If 26% of the population have been diagnosed, what is the real number of sufferers? “People themselves have got better at recognising it, and doctors have got better at diagnosing it and supporting patients.” Emer O’Neill, chief executive of Depression Alliance Read more in the Telegraph

Illuminating the mythology of the mind

08 October 2012
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Tonight is your chance to discover the truth behind the popular myths about our minds. Does listening to Mozart during infancy improve intelligence, do people behave differently during the full moon? Claudia Hammond presents Mind Myths on BBC Radio 4 at 21.00 GMT and explains all! Read more here.

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