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

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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?

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

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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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Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in severe mental illness

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Andrew Jones reports on a recent systematic review and network meta-analysis of the efficacy and tolerability of pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation in severe mental illness, which finds a promising but low quality result for bupropion and varenicline.

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Mental health crisis care: clinical and cost effectiveness of models of care

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Caroline Leah publishes her debut blog on crisis care for people with mental health issues, which concludes that better quality evidence is needed to support the overall effectiveness of crisis care interventions.

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Psychotropic medication in pregnancy: new evidence may help achieve a safe balance

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Joanne Wallace considers a recent health technology assessment on the risks and benefits of psychotropic medication in pregnancy, which supports previous associations between valproate and adverse child outcomes.

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Cannabis and mental illness: it’s complicated!

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Suzi Gage considers the findings of a big new US cohort study, which investigates the relationship between cannabis use and various substance use, mood and anxiety disorders.

The blog also features a podcast interview with Suzi Gage talking about this new study and her own work in this field, plus a short conversation with Ian Hamilton highlighting his forthcoming #CannabisMatters event.

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