Integrated treatment for first episode psychosis: media hype versus reality


Alex Langford reflects on the media hype surrounding a new RCT of the NAVIGATE intervention; a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based treatment approach for first episode psychosis.

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Can early improvement be used to predict later response to antipsychotics in schizophrenia?

The increased risk of mood and anxiety problems found in people taking varenicline with pre-existing mental health conditions, needs to be investigated further.

Tracey Roberts summarises a recent diagnostic test review, which suggests that early improvement can act as a predictor of later response to antipsychotics in schizophrenia.

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What impact are psychotropic drugs having on our physical health?


John Baker summarises the findings of a recent review of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The study looks at the adverse effects on physical health of psychotropic drugs (antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers).

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Can fMRI measuring striatal connectivity help predict response to antipsychotics?


Samei Huda steps into George Clooney’s shoes to discuss baseline striatal functional connectivity as a predictor of response to antipsychotic drug treatment.

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Medication for self-harm: new Cochrane review finds very limited evidence to support its use


Dochka Hristova reports on a new Cochrane review of pharmacological interventions for self-harm in adults, which looks at the treatment effect on repetition of self-harm of antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilisers and dietary supplements.

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Mood Matters: mood instability is common and associated with poor outcomes


Farhana Mann summarises an observational study of mood instability in people with mental illness, which explores its relationship with days spent in hospital, frequency of admissions, the likelihood of being sectioned and the chance of being prescribed antipsychotics and mood stabilisers.

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The antipsychotic drugs don’t work for anorexia nervosa

Refusing pills

Helen Bould appraises a recent meta-analysis of second-generation antipsychotics for anorexia nervosa, which finds that the drugs don’t lead to weight gain or improve eating disorder symptoms. So why are antipsychotics being used in this group of patients?

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Switching antipsychotics in schizophrenia: the OPTiMiSE RCT


Tracey Roberts summarises a recent paper that reviews the existing literature concerned with switching antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia, and goes on to present the ongoing OPTiMiSE RCT in this field, which is due to be published in 2016.

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Treatments for delusional disorder


Andrew Shepherd summarises a Cochrane systematic review of treatments for delusional disorder, which finds only 1 small RCT looking at treating the condition with medication or psychotherapy compared to placebo.

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Tracking psychotropic medication use for management of aggressive behaviour

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Psychotropic medications are prescribed widely to many people with learning disabilities, but there remain many concerns about over, or improper use of such medications.

Here, Kate van Dooren looks at a study which collected data from 100 participants over a period of time to look at psychotropic medication and the relationship between dose, demographic factors and aggression scores.

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