Grabbing a quick nap may not only be refreshing but may also increase your ability to solve problems creatively, according to US researchers who suggest that REM (rapid eye movement) sleep directly enhances creative processes more than any other sleep or wakeful state. The study was the work of a leading expert on the positive effects of napping, Dr Sara Mednick, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and colleagues, and is published online in the 8th June issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The researchers said their findings are important because they show that sleep, and REM sleep in particular, helps the brain to form "associative networks".
As advocates for people living with mental illnesses, we strongly urge the FDA to carefully consider the importance of viable treatment options for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in pediatric and adolescent populations. Access to safe and effective treatments, including more information about all treatment options, is crucial to treating these serious and complex conditions in children and adolescents. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are very real, life-threatening diseases which can appear in childhood and adolescence. For example, federally funded research (STEP-BD) found that, of 3, 658 adult patients studied, 68% reported bipolar disease onset in childhood or adolescence.
Children and especially boys diagnosed with intermittent exotropia, a condition in which the eye turns outward (away from the nose) only some of the time, appear more likely to develop mental illness by young adulthood than children without strabismus (when the eyes deviate or are misaligned when looking at an object), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "Intermittent exotropia occurs in approximately 1 percent of developmentally healthy children in the United States and, given its predominance over esodeviations [when the eye turns in] among Asian populations, it may be the most prevalent form of strabismus worldwide, " the authors write as background information in the article.
Both boys and girls have issues, but boys seem to be the ones getting the raw deal. According to Judith Kleinfeld, professor of psychology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the US, issues affecting boys are more serious than those affecting girls, but they have been neglected by policy makers. Her review1 of issues characterizing American boyhood, how they compare to those affecting girls, and the lack of initiatives in place to address them has just been published in the June issue of Springer's journal Gender Issues. Professor Kleinfeld's paper reviews the different viewpoints surrounding the debated existence of a so-called 'boy crisis'.
University of Queensland research is uncovering why a flutter on the pokies can lead to bigger problems for some older adults. Professor Bill von Hippel, from UQ's School of Psychology, has conducted research suggesting gambling problems among older adults may result from decreased self-control brought about by age-related decline in the frontal lobes of the brain. This research was published in the latest issue of the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. "These results raise the possibility that increased gambling among older adults might not always be an issue of personal choice, " Professor von Hippel said. "Some older adults might have difficulty engaging in self-control when gambling due to losses in frontal lobe functioning.
Experts in criminology will discuss 'Alternatives to Custodial Sentencing' at a Parliamentary seminar organised by the British Psychological Society and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Services and Policy. The event takes place at Westminster on Tuesday 16 June (4.30 - 6.00 p.m.) The seminar will consider the challenges of bringing in alternatives to custody, looking at the relative effectiveness of different approaches, how they could be brought in across the country and the likely public response to such a change. Chaired by Alan Simpson MP, chair of the All-Party Group, the event will include presentations from Prof. Mike Hough, Prof.