Language matters: how should we talk about suicide?

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In her debut blog, Charlotte Huggett summarises a recent online survey which explored views on the language we should use to discuss suicide. The study concludes that the most acceptable phrases are currently: “attempted suicide”, “took their own life”, “died by suicide” and “ended their life”.

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Improving language development: read, play, discuss

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Julia Badger critiques and summarises a recent randomised controlled trial testing the Let’s Talk intervention for improving children’s language development.

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Is schizophrenia a by-product of human evolution?

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Muzaffer Kaser writes his debut elf blog on a recent study, which looks at evolutionary modifications in human brain connectivity associated with schizophrenia.

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

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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…]

NHS Confederation publish definitions for mental health services

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In mental health there has not been a consistent set of definitions that describe what is meant by an inpatient bed. This has led to difficulty in benchmarking and understanding patterns of performance. Understanding how inpatient beds and community services can best be utilised as part of a reshaped pathway, and whether the number of [read the full story…]

Extreme sensitivity to sound mediates pathways for language development in Williams syndrome

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Hyperacusis is an extreme sensitivity to sound, which may have a psychological or organic basis. People with Williams Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, often have this sensitivity to noise. The researchers in this study looked at the extent to which such sensitivity might interfere with perception of speech in children and adults with the syndrome. All [read the full story…]