Commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs: do they work?

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John Baker summarises a review of commonly prescribed medication that covers seven psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, methylphenidate and cholinesterase inhibitors.

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Cognitive tests for dementia: MMSE, Mini-Cog and ACE-R

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Akshay Nair explores the results of a systematic review of cognitive tests for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, which focuses on the MMSE, Mini-Cog, ACE-R and MoCA instruments. Along the way he explains how diagnostic tests work and how sensitivity and specificity are useful measures to get your head around.

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New study demonstrates effectiveness of antipsychotic Pimavanserin for Parkinson’s disease psychosis

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When we think of Parkinson’s disease (PD), hallucinations and delusions are probably not the first symptoms that come to mind. And yet, it is estimated that nearly half of all patients with PD experience psychotic symptoms at one time or another. Although deficits in motor function are seen as the hallmark of PD, it is [read the full story…]

Effective support from health and social services could improve carer well-being, study suggests

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This paper is particularly pertinent to commissioners of both health and social care, as it addresses the needs of informal carers of people suffering from long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs), such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Motor Neuron Disease (MND), and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Implications of long-term neurological conditions LTNCs get progressively worse, with sufferers becoming more and [read the full story…]

Depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem: new update from NHS Evidence

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NICE published a clinical guideline on the treatment and management of depression in adults with chronic physical health problems in 2009. This new evidence update refreshes that guidance by searching for new systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials on the subject and summarising them in a short (16 page) document. The authors searched a range [read the full story…]