Cognitive functioning in psychosis: is neuropsychological decline continuous, generalised, and specific to schizophrenia?

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Emmeline Lagunes Cordoba and Derek Tracy explore a case control study that looks at cognitive change in people with schizophrenia and other psychoses in the decade following the first episode.

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Cannabis use in the developing brain: evidence from a recent cross-sectional meta-analysis

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Joe Barnby considers the findings of a recent meta-analysis of cross-sectional observational data, which explores the association of cannabis with cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults.

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Early life deprivation, neurodevelopment, mental health and resilience: ERA study

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André Tomlin summarises the latest instalment of the ERA (English and Romanian Adoptees) study, which explores the neurodevelopmental and mental health trajectories of Romanian orphans who experienced severe levels of early life deprivation.

Today’s blog features a podcast interview with lead author of the ERA study: Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke.

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Antidepressants don’t help with many cognitive impairments, even when they do improve mood

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Lucas Shelemy on a recent randomised longitudinal study that explores the effect of antidepressant treatment on cognitive impairments associated with depression.

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Medication for cognitive impairment in traumatic brain injury: little evidence to support its use

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Eleanor Kennedy summarises a recent Cochrane review of pharmacotherapy for chronic cognitive impairment in traumatic brain injury, which finds insufficient evidence to support its use.

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Can social networking alleviate loneliness in later life?

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Farhana Mann appraises a cross-sectional survey of social networking site usage, loneliness and mental health in community-dwelling older adults.

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Cognitive impairment in dementia need not prevent shared decision making

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In her first blog for the Social Care Elf, Caroline Struthers looks at research on cognitive impairment and shared decision making for people with dementia and offers useful tips on understanding research reviews. She also shares some of her own personal experience of the research topic and reminds us about reliable evidence having real-life applications.

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Are there any effective interventions for preventing falls in older people with mental health problems?

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Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year (College of Optometrists, 2011) and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This fact alone should be giving us the drive to look for ways to prevent falls in healthcare settings. A systematic review recently published in BMC Nursing (Bunn et al, 2014) is [read the full story…]

Short-term recovery from mild cognitive impairment is possible, but an increased risk of further cognitive decline remains

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The symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) include problems with cognitive functioning such as day-to-day memory. In some individuals it is the first sign of dementia, whereas in others it may be due to resolvable factors such as being the side-effect of medication (Alzheimer’s Society, 2012). At present it is unclear how many people with [read the full story…]

Apathy secondary to stroke is more frequent than depression

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Some days even the most committed of Elves can be a little reluctant to return to work in the woodland. What must it be like though to feel like that every day?  Apathy (diminished motivation, lack of emotion, interest or concern) is thought to be a frequent complication of stroke associated with poorer outcomes, but [read the full story…]