Serious games for mental health: you cannot be serious!


Sasha Danilina is encouraged by the results of the first systematic review with meta-analysis of serious games for mental health, which asks: are they accessible, feasible and effective?

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Tobacco smoking, cognition and first episode psychosis: time for a rethink?


Marcus Munafo appraises a recent cross sectional study of tobacco smoking and its association with cognition in first episode psychosis patients.

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Cannabis: what do we know and what do we need to know?


Ian Hamilton considers a recent literature review published in JAMA Psychiatry, which explores the effects of cannabis use on human behaviour, Including cognition, motivation and psychosis.

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The Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale is a good tool for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations


Clarissa Giebel summarises a systematic review, which concludes that the Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS) has good sensitivity (77.2%) and specificity (85.9%) for diagnosing dementia in multicultural populations.

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Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment

Jake Crawshaw reports on a recent systematic review of cognitive and exercise interventions for older people with and without cognitive impairment.

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Alternatives to medication for agitation in dementia


Andrés Fonseca summarises the findings of a recent systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of sensory, psychological and behavioural interventions for managing agitation in dementia.

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Statins have no beneficial effect on cognition in dementia, but can cause serious side-effects


This updated Cochrane review on statins for the treatment of dementia contains worrying adverse effects data, but Caroline Struthers has to do a significant amount of digging to root it all out.

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Are humans like monkeys? MRI scanning suggests similarities and differences that might help future research


Does a mouse think like a human? Does a cat? Does a macaque monkey? These are fascinating questions to ask on a philosophical level, but they are also of immense practical importance. Current regulations on drug development mean that animal research plays a huge role in deciding what substances might be safe and beneficial to humans.  [read the full story…]

Exercise may help older people with dementia, but more research is needed


Many of our older readers will remember tales of the Great Elf Mother running miles every day, o’er hills and vales, to bring the very latest evidence-based research to us younger elves at the breakfast table. It was she who inspired our National Elf Service, and I’m delighted to say that she’s still going strong [read the full story…]

Measuring treatment effects in dementia studies: towards a consistent approach


It is now well accepted across the health and social care communities that the incidence of dementia is rising as people continue to live longer. The projected prevalence of dementia over the next ten to twenty years is causing widespread concern at all levels of policy making and care provision. There is a very real [read the full story…]