Does teenage cannabis use lower intelligence?

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Ian Hamilton presents his debut blog on a recent prospective cohort study on the relationship between teenage cannabis use, IQ and educational attainment.

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Can higher educational attainment help lower dementia risk?

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Raluca Lucacel summarises a recent meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, which investigates the dose-response between education and the risk of dementia.

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Integrated treatment for first episode psychosis: media hype versus reality

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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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What is the sociodemographic recipe for happiness?

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Mark Horowitz summarises a recent study that investigates the impact that socio-economic gradients have on mental well-being. He finds to his surprise that the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and low mental well-being is not the inverse of the relationship with high mental well-being.

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Social determinants of mental health: how our societies are making us mentally unwell and what we can do about it

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Mark Horowitz summarises the new WHO and UCL Institute of Health Equity (Michael Marmot) report and research paper on social determinants of mental health. He concludes that it’s time to focus on the root causes of mental distress, namely poverty, unemployment, poor education and social isolation.

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Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Caries Prevention: review suggests that education training and fairer payments would increase prevention delivered by dentists

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Seven qualitative studies and 41 surveys were included in this qualitative metasummary of factors that increase or decrease dentists delivery of caries prevention. While the surveys in particular, are of questionable quality some commonality emerges that further education and training coupled with a fairer pay scheme would be a reasonable approach to change the balance in favor of the provision of dental caries preventive measures by dentists

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Cannabis use in young people linked with lower high school completion and degree attainment

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André Tomlin and Douglas Badenoch voice a note of caution about the Lancet Psychiatry meta-analysis of cannabis use in young people. The study links cannabis use in children with low educational attainment, cannabis dependence, illicit drug use and suicide attempts in later life.

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Targeted mental health support can improve borderline-clinical behavioural problems in children

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The statistic that one in four adults in Britain will experience a mental health problem in any given year is well known (if still debated), but a recent report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition revealed a lack of such statistics for children. The report also highlighted that Office for National Statistics [read the full story…]

Guides published for pupils, parents and teachers to help smooth the transition from primary to secondary school

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Making the move from primary to secondary school can be stressful for all involved and if you are a young person with a learning disabilities or other special educational needs these stresses can be magnified. Moving to secondary school often means lots of change at once –  new building, new routes to learn, new classmates, [read the full story…]