It’s a jungle out there: the natural history of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia

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Caroline Struthers scrutinises a systematic review on the longitudinal course of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

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Antidepressants: benefits and harms in children and adults

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Samei Huda discusses the findings of a recent review into suicidality and aggression during antidepressant treatment. The systematic review and meta-analyses were based on clinical study reports and included some important adverse effects of antidepressants in children and young people.

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Behavioural/cognitive-behavioural interventions in aggressive challenging behaviour

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Reported rates of seriously challenging behaviour vary considerably in the literature, but the impact can be significant on the person, their family and their supporters.

Here we look at what a Cochrane review of the evidence from randomised controlled trials has to say about the effectiveness of behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions for what is defined as outwardly aggressive challenging behaviour.

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Patients with learning disabilities visiting psychiatric ED may be sent home with no recorded follow up plans

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Researchers in this Canadian study looked at the factors associated with the use of psychiatric emergency services by people with learning disabilities who were living with their family. They conducted an audit of hospital chart audits for a sample of 20 such individuals with learning disabilities who had visited the emergency department (ED) at the [read the full story…]

Small number of individuals account for the majority of uses of physical restraint in USA study

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This American study set out to look at the use of physical restraint in services for people with learning disabilities. The researchers looked at data on the incidence and implementation of physical restraint for 448 adults with learning disabilities in community-based day services and shared supported housing. They found that physical restraint was used exclusively [read the full story…]

Patterns between psychiatric disorders and challenging behaviours in people with learning disabilities explored

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This study set out to look at associations between psychiatric disorders in people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. The study used a large sample and controlled for sex, age, autism and degree of learning disability. The researchers used data from 47% of all people with learning disabilities who were known to and receiving services [read the full story…]

The experience of violence at work in community learning disability teams

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Researchers in the south east of England set out to look at the experiences of violence at work in of staff in community learning disability teams. Following a brief survey sent to six such teams, the experiences were explored further in a series of in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of respondents. The survey suggested that [read the full story…]

Common behavioural and psychiatric problems in Prader-Willi syndrome identified in review

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This review of existing research looked at behavioural and psychiatric problems in people with Prader-Willi syndrome, a complex genetic disorder. The review found hyperphagia (compulsively overeating over a long period) compulsions/repetitive behaviour, self-injury (especially skin-picking), and aggressive behaviours to be common in people with Prader–Willi syndrome. The most frequently found psychiatric disorders were psychotic, affective, [read the full story…]

What was the respective effectiveness of olanzapine vs. risperidone in treating aggressive behaviours in adults with learning disability?

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  New generation anti-psychotic medications are being used to treat aggressive behaviours in people with learning disabilities, whether or not individuals have a formal diagnosis of a mental health problem. This study set out to evaluate the effectiveness of two such new generation anti-psychotic medications, olanzapine and risperidone. The study looked at how effective these [read the full story…]

Are antipsychotics overused in treating people with learning disabilities with aggressive behaviours?

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The prevalence of psychiatric disorders in people with learning disabilities is very difficult to ascertain with studies varying in their definitions and inclusion criteria. Estimates suggest that it may be as low as 3%, but despite this, antipsychotic medications comprise between 30–50% of all psychotropics prescribed for people with learning disabilities. This literature review set [read the full story…]