Mental health apps for young people: an evidence-free zone?

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Natalie Nelissen from mHabitat publishes her debut elf blog on a recent systematic review of mental health apps for young people, which highlights the current dearth of reliable research to support the efficacy and safety of mobile apps.

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Antidepressants for bipolar depression: weighing up the benefits and harms

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Murtada Alsaif considers a recent systematic review on the safety and efficacy of adjunctive second-generation antidepressant therapy with a mood stabiliser or an atypical antipsychotic in acute bipolar depression.

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Risperidone versus placebo for people with schizophrenia

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Joanne Wallace summarises the recent Cochrane systematic review on risperidone versus placebo for schizophrenia, which concludes that the best available evidence does not show that the benefits of risperidone outweigh the harms.

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Periodontal treatment: effectiveness of intra-pocket anaesthesia

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This review of intra-pocket anaesthesia for patients having scaling and root planing included 11 trials and demonstrated a benefit over placebo.

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People’s experiences of taking antidepressants

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Alison Faulkner reflects on the findings of a qualitative study from New Zealand that explores users’ diverse experiences of taking antidepressants.

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Infraorbital nerve block for postoperative pain following cleft lip repair in children

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This Cochrane review of Infraorbital nerve block for postoperative pain after cleft lip repair includes 8 trials providing low to very low quality evidence that infraorbital nerve block with lignocaine or bupivacaine may reduce postoperative pain more than placebo

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Does the placebo effect inflate the effectiveness of psychotherapy?

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Sarah Knowles reviews a recent meta-analysis about the effects of blinding on the outcomes of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for adult depression.

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Is the NICE guideline for bipolar disorder biased in favour of psychosocial interventions?

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Guy Goodwin reviews a new paper in the Lancet Psychiatry by Jauhar, McKenna and Laws, that calls into question the trustworthiness of the NICE bipolar disorder guidance.

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Antidepressants vs placebo for depression: forget the gap

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Ioana Cristea considers the possible causes responsible for the apparent narrowing of the drug-placebo gap, which over the last 30 years has seen estimates of depression symptom reduction from antidepressants fall from 70% to 30%.

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Placebo responding and µ-opioid brain functioning predict efficiency of antidepressants

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Dan-Mikael Ellingsen explores the neurochemistry of placebo effects in major depression, as he reviews a recent study of the association between placebo-activated neural systems and antidepressant responses.

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