MonthNovember 2014

Reading of the Week: Psychiatry, Technology, and Apps

Case study: Bryan is a 57 year old male who is employed as a graphic designer. He has Bipolar Affective Disorder and has frequent episodes. “Being bipolar is like jumping out of an airplane knowing you don’t have a parachute on. You know you’re going to be hurt, but the high is so euphoric that it’s worth the risk. You can deal with the consequences later.”

Question: Can technology help this patient stay healthy and out of hospital?

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/mental-health-apps/

(Because of firewall issues, this link may not work. The article follows.)

This week’s Reading isn’t from a peer-reviewed journal, it’s from Wired. Continue reading

Reading of the Week: Nature’s special issue on Depression

If the extent of human suffering were used to decide which diseases deserve the most medical attention, then depression would be near the top of the list. More than 350 million people are affected by depression, making it one of the most common disorders in the world. It is the biggest cause of disability, and as many as two-thirds of those who commit suicide have the condition.

“But although depression is common, it is often ignored.

http://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-if-depression-were-cancer-1.16307

First published in 1869, Nature is one of the most cited scientific publications. It is also one of the most read (Nature claims an online readership of 3 million unique readers a month).

This special issue of Nature is dedicated to Depression.

Continue reading

Reading of the Week: Mindfulness, Cancer and Telomeres

To our knowledge, the current study is the first report to demonstrate a potential effect of these psychosocial interventions on telomere length (TL) among distressed breast cancer survivors.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.29063/full

(Because of browser and firewall issues, this link may not work. The paper is attached in PDF format.)

My impression of this paper in two words: seriously cool. Continue reading

Reading of the Week: Collaborative care and depression

An estimated 11% of adolescents have an episode of depression by age 18 (Merikangas et al. 2010) and depressed youth are at greater risk of suicidality (Hawton, Saunders & O’Connor 2012), physical health problems including obesity (Goodman & Whitaker 2002), and high-risk behaviors (Armstrong & Costello 2002). However, only 60% of depressed adolescents receive treatment (Costello et al. 2014).

http://www.thementalelf.net/mental-health-conditions/depression/collaborative-care-for-adolescent-depression-new-rct-shows-promise/

(Because of firewall issues, this link may not work. The article follows.)

With that strong introduction, a recent blog posting on The Mental Elf summarizes a major new JAMA paper on collaborative care for adolescents with depression. Continue reading