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Global News

January 12, 2012 Nicotine replacement therapies up in smoke? (USA)

A new study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and University of Massachusetts discovered that nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) – which include patches, gum, inhaler and nasal sprays – on their own do not help people to quit smoking over the long term. In fact, investigators found that NRTs are not more effective than simply quitting cold turkey.

January 12, 2012 Seclusion and restraints not recovery-oriented care (USA)

The Copeland Centre, known for the development of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), has released a new position paper calling for the elimination and/or reduction of seclusion and restraints in psychiatric services.

January 12, 2012 Phys ed may be good for the body and the mind (Netherlands)

The January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine contains the results of a Dutch-led study on the relationship between exercise and school performance. After reviewing 10 observational and four intervention studies, and qualifying two as sufficiently high quality, researchers found significant evidence of a positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance.

January 12, 2012 Vitamin D and depression (USA)

Psychiatrists from the UT Southwestern Medical Centre believe that low levels of vitamin D are linked to depression. Psychiatrists at the Centre have been looking at data in conjunction with researchers from the Cooper Centre Longitudinal Study. The study followed almost 12, 600 participants from 2006 until 2010 and is believed to be the largest investigation of its kind.

January 12, 2012 Intimate partner violence is widespread and public health problem (USA)

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that intimate partner violence is common in the United States. Conducted for the first time in 2010, the study finds that on average, 24 people per minute experience sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, and that one in five women have been raped at some point in their life. Based on these findings, the CDC has identified sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence as an important and widespread public health problem for the United States.

December 15, 2011 Children in foster care and concurrent antipsychotic meds (USA)

Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore have discovered that children in the foster care system in the United States are prescribed concurrent psychotic medications, for extended periods, at alarming rates. According to the researchers, treatment regimes prescribing overlapping psychotics are not supported by evidence whereas the adverse metabolic effects of antipsychotics are well documented.

December 15, 2011 Field guide for LGBT patient- and family-centred care (USA)

A new field guide provides hospitals with strategies and tools to improve health outcomes and be a safe and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients. The resource was developed by the Joint Commission, a US-based non-profit organization, with support from the California Endowment.

December 1, 2011 DSM-5 proposed disorders under scrutiny (USA)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), to be published in 2013, is receiving push back from some experts in the form of an open letter and on-line petition.

December 1, 2011 Raise drinking age now, lower suicide and homicide rates later (USA)

In a study to be published in the February 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers will show that a lower drinking age is associated with several adverse, long-term outcomes that include suicide and homicide. While this may not come as a surprise, the novel discovery is that youth who were legally permitted to drink between the ages of 18 to 21 years showed an ongoing, elevated risk for suicide and homicide throughout their entire lives, particularly amongst women.

December 1, 2011 Increased risk for diabetes for kids on antipsychotics (USA)

A new study by the University of Massachusetts finds that children who take antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of bipolar disorder, autism and other mental disorders may be at an increased risk of diabetes. Previously conducted research has linked “second-generation” antipsychotics to increased risk of developing diabetes amongst adults but this new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, raises concerns that medications may also lead to diabetes amongst children.