Serotonin hypothesis of depression: balance (and imbalance) is in the eye of the beholder

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The 2022 review by Moncrieff et al on the serotonin theory of depression received a great deal of media coverage. In this blog, Rebecca Wilkinson and Sameer Jauhar shed fresh light on this research and what it means for mental health science and practice.

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Mental health care and the benefits system: linked data provides opportunities for new research

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Becky Appleton explores the potential of new data linkage opportunities for understanding the intersection between mental health service use and receipt of benefits in a South London service user population.

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Is cognitive behavioural therapy the best we’ve got for depression?

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Camilla Babbage and Maria Loades summarise the largest meta-analysis to date on the effectiveness of CBT for depression.

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Youth mental health interventions: umbrella review presents efficacy and acceptability data

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In his debut blog, Nick Meader tackles a huge umbrella review of youth mental health interventions, which presents the efficacy and acceptability of 72 different approaches to help children and young people.

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Ketamine “shows promise” as an anti-suicidal ideation agent, but will this promise ever be realised?

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Rosalind McAlpine and Karel Kieslich summarise a recent systematic review which focuses on the rapid anti-suicidal ideation effect of ketamine.

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Exposure to air pollution increases mental health service use, according to new UK study

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Wajeeha Raza and Peter Coventry review a retrospective cohort study exploring the association between air pollution exposure and mental health service use among individuals with first presentations of psychotic and mood disorders.

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Lamotrigine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder

Lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant drug, is licensed in the United States for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder and in the UK to prevent depressive episodes in bipolar disorder. Hashimoto and colleagues (2021) performed a Cochrane Intervention Review to explore whether lamotrigine is effective and safe compared to the most established maintenance treatment, lithium, and placebo.

Michael Ostacher critically appraises and summarises a recent Cochrane systematic review, which presents the latest best evidence on the efficacy of lamotrigine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

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Mental health: at what cost?

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In their debut Mental Elf blog, Martin Knapp and Gloria Wong summarise a systematic review of cost-of-illness studies, which explores the distribution of the costs between different mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions.

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Home treatment by crisis resolution teams can prevent hospital admission, according to Swiss research

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Emmeline Lagunes Cordoba and Magdalena Skowronska review a recent Swiss RCT, which found that crisis resolution teams led to fewer hospital days per patient, but did not prevent hospital admission entirely.

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