Concussions, whether from an accident, sporting event, or combat, can lead to permanent loss of higher level mental processes. Scientists have debated for centuries whether concussions involve structural damage to brain tissue or whether physiological changes that merely impair the way brain cells function, explain this loss. Now, for the first time, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have linked areas of brain injury to specific altered mental processes caused by concussions. The research, described in the August 26 edition of Radiology, provides compelling evidence that concussions involve brain damage.
A recent report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women with depression first consider psychotherapy before taking antidepressants, the Wall Street Journal reports. The report said that risks of untreated depression to the fetus also should be taken in account because depressed pregnant women might have more stress and take poorer care of themselves, which can affect fetal development. The report was published Friday in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. The recommendations say that pregnant women who have experienced moderate to severe depressive symptoms, including thoughts of suicide, or repeated bouts of depression should continue taking medication.
From giving directions to a stranger to cooking a meal for loved ones, sharing is an essential part of the human experience. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research unravels the complexities of sharing and examines how changes in our culture affect sharing. "Sharing is a fundamental consumer behavior that we have either tended to overlook or to confuse with commodity exchange and gift giving, " writes author Russell Belk (York University, Toronto). In his study, Belk explores differences between sharing, gift giving, and exchanging marketplace commodities. "Rather than absolute distinctions, I see these as categories that share fuzzy boundaries, " writes Belk.
Pregnant women with depression face complicated treatment decisions because of the risks associated with both untreated depression and the use of antidepressants. A new report from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) attempts to help doctors and patients weigh the risks and benefits of various treatment options. Based on an extensive review of existing research, ACOG and APA offer recommendations for the treatment of women with depression during pregnancy. The report, "The Management of Depression During Pregnancy: A Report from the American Psychiatric Association and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, " is published in Obstetrics & Gynecology (September 2009) and General Hospital Psychiatry (September/October 2009).
UQ researchers have found certain drugs can change how the brain processes language in a finding that has implications for new treatments of communication disorders. In the first study of its kind, functional MRI was used to study patterns of brain activity while healthy individuals performed a language task and were given Levodopa, a drug that increases levels of dopamine, a common neurotransmitter in the brain. Dr David Copland, from UQ's Centre for Clinical Research and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Dr Katie McMahon and Dr Greig de Zubicaray from UQ Centre for Clinical Research. The team found the drug improved the speed of language processing in regions of the brain associated with language and through activating brain regions more commonly associated with attention.
Today leading mental health charity Mind has helped to redraw the boundaries in our understanding of psychiatric medication, with the launch of new book Psychiatric Drugs (1). Drawing heavily on individuals' experiences, it is the first book of its kind to explore what it is like to take antidepressants and other drugs from the viewpoint of the patient, and it contains new and provocative material about people's relationships with some of the most debated and controversial medications around. From the launch of 'wonder drug' Prozac in the 1980s to the scandals around side-effects and drug trials in recent times, psychiatric drugs have been surrounded in controversy since they first came on the market.