Joanna is a PhD student at Cardiff University and is conducting research in the field of childhood development and psychiatry. Her PhD research concerns the co-occurrence and overlap of neurodevelopmental difficulties, such as childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After she finishes her PhD, she is hoping to continue to do research in this area. Joanna has a BSc in Experimental Psychology from the University of Bristol. In her spare time, she blogs about life as a PhD student.
Research suggests that the risk of developing psychiatric problems (such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or schizophrenia) may be linked to increased paternal age at the time of conception. This seems quite plausible given that advancing age in men is associated with increased genetic mutations in sperm. However, studies so far have generally not [read the full story…]
Good sleep is a crucial part of our physical and mental well-being. We typically spend about a third of our lives asleep but when we miss out on sleep, we can feel fatigued and struggle to concentrate. Sleep problems are generally quite common and have been reported as one of the most common health conditions [read the full story…]
Until fairly recently, it was thought that autism spectrum disorder (ASD; previously known as PDD or pervasive developmental disorder) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were two entirely separate childhood-onset conditions and that they could not both be diagnosed in one individual. Numerous studies in the last decade have shown that, in reality, a number of [read the full story…]
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by inattention, excessive activity levels and impulsive behaviours. Although it is an early developmental condition and is associated with childhood, in many instances, it is a lifelong condition. ADHD in adulthood is increasingly being recognised. Clinical guidelines and research suggest that the stimulant drug methylphenidate can reduce ADHD [read the full story…]
Clinical depression is one of the most common mental health problems occurring in children and adolescents. It is often accompanied or followed by additional negative outcomes, including social and academic problems, anxiety and substance use. Many depressed adolescents continue to have recurring problems throughout adulthood. A variety of antidepressant drugs, such as tricyclics and selective [read the full story…]
It is well-documented that there are gender differences in mental health (see for example this Men’s Health Forum publication (PDF) about key mental health issues affecting men). In early development, boys are at a significantly higher risk than girls for meeting diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as other developmental problems (e.g. developmental [read the full story…]
Human pregnancy is considered to be full-term when it lasts between 37-42 weeks. Anything shorter is considered to be a pre-term birth and anything longer is considered post-term. Longer pregnancies can be a risk to both the mother and infant and so labour tends to be induced if a pregnancy goes on past 42 weeks. [read the full story…]