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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Common mental health disorders linked with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners


Ian Cummins considers the implications of a new cohort study of convicted prisoners in Sweden, which links psychiatric disorders with violent reoffending.

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Caring for people with severe mental illness: poor research means that carers get a raw deal

Mother and teenage son

Caroline Struthers is frustrated by the lack of high quality research identified by this recent review, which looks at interventions to improve the experience and well-being of those caring for people with severe mental illness.

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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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Smoking cessation for people with severe mental illness


Sally Adams appraises and summarises the SCIMITAR pilot RCT, which investigates smoking cessation for people with severe mental ill health. The paper presents a highly promising bespoke intervention for smokers with bipolar disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia.

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Premature mortality in bipolar disorder


Elena Marcus appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of premature mortality in bipolar affective disorder, which finds that people with bipolar disorder have increased mortality rates compared with the general population.

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Screening for bipolar spectrum disorders (MDQ, BSDS and HCL-32)


Elena Marcus appraises a recent meta-analysis of screening for bipolar spectrum disorders, which concludes that the MDQ and HCL-32 tools are supported by more evidence than the BSDS tool.

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The antidepressant effects of ketamine are confirmed by a new systematic review and meta-analysis


Helge Hasselmann summarises a new systematic review and meta-analysis, which confirms the antidepressant effects of ketamine.

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People with severe mental illness are more likely to be victims of violent and non-violent crime


Vishal Bhavsar summarises a recent cross-sectional study of violent and non-violent crime against adults with severe mental illness, which finds that service users were five times more likely to be victims of assault, and three times more likely to be victims of household acquisitive crime.

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