How can genetics help us better understand, diagnose and treat mental illness? An interview with Andrew McIntosh


This World Mental Health Day, we share a Wellcome Trust interview with Professor Andrew McIntosh, who has a £4.7 million award to explore why people develop depression. He tells Wellcome how he hopes his work will improve the lives of people with mental health conditions, and how he looks after his own mental wellbeing.

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Bipolar disorder in older men linked to increased risk of dementia


Elena Marcus presents a recent study that shows how older Australian men with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of dementia and early death.

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Exercise in severe mental illness: barriers and motivating factors

classic vintage racing bike

Joanne Wallace considers a recent systematic review of exercise in severe mental illness, which focuses on the factors that motivate people to exercise, and the barriers that can prevent physical activity.

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Supported employment for people with severe mental illness


Raphael Underwood highlights a recent international systematic review of individual placement and support for people with serious mental illness who are seeking to return to work.

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Lithium for bipolar disorder: the best maintenance mood stabiliser protection against self-harm and suicide?


Michael Ostacher provides a robust appraisal of a recent UK cohort study that suggests bipolar disorder patients taking lithium had reduced self-harm and unintentional injury rates, when compared with patients taking valproate, olanzapine or quetiapine.

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Can pharmacotherapy help smokers with severe mental disorders?


Andrew Jones reports on an ecological pragmatic clinical trial, which suggests that it is feasible to support smoking cessation in people with severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Evidence-based guidelines for treating bipolar disorder


Joseph Hayes summarises the recent British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines for the treatment of bipolar disorder, and compares their recommendations with those found in the NICE bipolar disorder guidance from 2014.

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IAPT: does improved access lead to increased complexity?


Mark Smith presents the early findings of the PROMPT naturalistic cohort study, which looks at the clinical characteristics of patients assessed within an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service.

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Psychiatric disorders: what’s the significance of non-random mating?


Marcus Munafo considers the implications of a recent Swedish population study, which explores patterns of non-random mating within and across 11 major psychiatric disorders.

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Childhood maltreatment and bipolar disorder


Emily Currell writes her debut Mental Elf blog about a recent Lancet Psychiatry systematic review, which reports that childhood maltreatment is associated with an unfavourable course of bipolar disorder in adult years.

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