Mark Horowitz

Mark Horowitz
Mark is a training psychiatrist from Australia who is completing a PhD, at King’s College London, regarding the link between stress and depression. He would like to understand the biological mechanisms underlying this connection and this currently involves torturing human neural stem cells in a dish with stress hormones and inflammatory molecules, and investigating the extent to which antidepressants and fish oils can reverse these effects. He hopes to contribute to reducing the burden of depression through clinical practice, research and public engagement. He recently won the national competition ‘I’m a neuroscientist get me out here’ which impressed his mum.

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Do happy people live longer?

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Mark Horowitz looks at the prospective UK Million Women Study and wonders if happiness itself has a directly impact on mortality.

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A fish a day keeps depression away?

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Mark Horowitz fires up the barbecue and slices some lemons as he summarises a recent meta-analysis which concludes that higher fish consumption was found to be associated with a reduced risk of depression.

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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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Could measuring cortisol levels become a biological test for risk of depression in adolescent males?

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Is it possible to work out which of two adolescents sitting before you complaining of unhappiness, which one will go home and sleep it off and which will go on to develop an episode of major depression? Has the biological revolution in psychiatry finally come to fruition with a useful biomarker for making treatment decisions? [read the full story…]

Be Mindful of the Gap: What we know about ‘third wave’ cognitive behavioural therapies compared to other psychological therapies

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Breathe. Hold in your mind your view of what constitutes the most effective psychological therapy for acute depression. Try not to identify with your favourite therapy but simply observe it and let it be. Wish it well. And breathe again. This was not the approach of the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group when it [read the full story…]

Is ‘natural’ better? Evidence for the efficacy of complementary therapies for antenatal depression

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Can we encourage patients to continue taking complementary and alternative (CAM) treatments for antenatal depression or should we be firmly discouraging them from doing so? We already know from surveys that 11% of primary care patients with anxiety and depression are taking complementary or alternative therapies, which is around the same proportion of people who [read the full story…]

Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of non-fatal illness worldwide

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Data from the largest and most comprehensive survey of causes of illness worldwide has been published in the Lancet. This paper represents the latest analysis of the data set collected in the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010) and focuses on the global burden of illness due to mental [read the full story…]