Nutrition interventions for people with severe mental illness: do we need more dieticians?

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Elena Marcus considers a brand new systematic review, which evaluates the impact of nutrition interventions for people with severe mental illness.

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What impact are psychotropic drugs having on our physical health?

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John Baker summarises the findings of a recent review of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. The study looks at the adverse effects on physical health of psychotropic drugs (antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers).

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Periodontitis and obesity: review suggests an association

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This review looks at the association between periodontitis and obesity. It included 13 studies (8 cohorts; 5 clinical trials) and suggests that overweight, obesity, and weight gain, may be a risk factors for developing periodontitis.

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Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: updated NICE guidance for 2014

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While the organisation’s name may change frequently, currently National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), its role remains constant – to provide clear published guidance on the role of treatment options within the NHS. The publication of new NICE guidance represents a significant event as clinical recommendations shape the nature of provided care nationally [read the full story…]

Combination of treatments may improve smoking cessation

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Smoking is a major cause of morbidity and mortality across the world and accounts for over 60% of deaths in people who do smoke. The World Health Organisation estimates that tobacco kills almost 6 million people per year, with 5 million as a result of direct tobacco use. Innovative treatment approaches aimed at improving smoking [read the full story…]

Atypical antipsychotics can lead to weight gain in children and adolescents, but more evidence needed about metabolic side effects

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Atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics are used to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions. Although they have fewer side effects than first-generation antipsychotics, weight gain and other metabolic problems (such as high blood pressure and diabetes) remain common side effects of taking atypical antipsychotic medication (Mind, 2012). The Mental Elf has previously blogged about a Canadian report [read the full story…]

Do interventions proven to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes work for individuals with severe mental illness?

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Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have shortened life expectancies compared to the general population. This is partly down to higher rates of chronic physical illness. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among patients using mental health services. It is assumed that interventions used to reduce CVD are similarly effective in patients with [read the full story…]

Behavioural weight-loss interventions can be effective for people with serious mental illness, says new RCT

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People with serious mental illness have mortality rates 2-3 times as high as the general population. The primary cause of death is cardiovascular disease, which in turn is due to an extremely high prevalence of obesity (twice that of the overall population). Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and weight gain from psychotropic medication are all factors [read the full story…]

Non-pharmacological interventions can help prevent and reduce weight gain in people who take antipsychotics

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The reduced life expectancy (15-20 years less) often faced by many people with schizophrenia is frequently a result of cardiovascular disease. Lifestyle choices (smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet) can increase the risk of these diseases, but people who take antipsychotic drugs often have the additional problem of weight gain that is caused by [read the full story…]