Psychiatry

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AUTISM RATES SOAR 30% IN 2 YEARS,' CDC SAY

The number of US children with autism spectrum disorder has soared approximately 30% in the past 2 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the surveillance summary report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers estimate that 1 in 68 children (14.


DRINKING AGE OF 21: REVIEW CONFIRMS IT SAVES LIVES

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 5,000 US youths under the age of 21 die from unintentional injuries, homicides and suicides related to alcohol consumption every year. But a new review states that if the age-21 drinking law was not in place, these numbers would be even higher.


AUTISM SYMPTOMS 'REVERSED' IN MICE BY 100-YEAR-OLD DRUG

A century-old therapy for African sleeping sickness has been used in a new study to reverse symptoms of autism in a mouse model. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and published in Translational Psychiatry, expands on the theory that autism is caused by a variety of interconnected factors.


NEW APA AUTISM GUIDELINES 'REDUCE DIAGNOSIS BY MORE THAN 30%'

Last year, the American Psychological Association issued new guidelines for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. But new research from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York, NY, suggests that these guidelines could leave thousands of children who have developmental delays without autism diagnosis, meaning they will miss out on social services, educational support and medical benefits.


9 IN 10 PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS REPORT HIGH LEVELS OF DISCRIMINATION

They may have the sun, sea, Hollywood and Disneyland, but in a new study Californians report encountering high levels of discrimination due to psychological stress. Most respondents felt that recovery from mental illness is possible - more than 70% said they are satisfied with life - and that they would seek treatment for mental illness when needed.


10 HEALTH RISKS OF CHRONIC HEAVY DRINKING

Drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis is harmful to your health. Alcohol is a drug that affects every body system, though the detrimental effects vary for each individual. The volume of alcohol consumed, genetics, gender, body mass, and general state of health all influence how a person's health responds to chronic heavy drinking.


AN INTERLOCK DEVICE IN EVERY NEW CAR 'COULD PREVENT 80% OF DRUNK-DRIVING DEATHS'

Every day, almost 30 people in the US lose their lives in an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash. But according to a new study, introducing alcohol interlock devices to all new motor vehicles could prevent more than 80% of these deaths. In 2012, 10,322 people in the US were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, accounting for more than 30% of all motor vehicle deaths.


CDC WARN OF EDIBLE MARIJUANA DANGERS FOLLOWING DEATH OF 19-YEAR-OLD STUDENT

The case of a 19-year-old man who fell to his death from a balcony following the consumption of a marijuana cookie has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as illustrative of the potential danger associated with recreational marijuana use. Recreational marijuana is currently permitted in state law in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.


POLL FINDS THAT 90% OF AMERICANS HAVE CONCERNS OVER POWDERED ALCOHOL

Already banned in several states, a new poll suggests that support for powdered alcohol - which was legalized this year - is low among adults. A new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health cites concerns that the product may be misused by underage youth.


SYMPTOMS OF PTSD IN WOMEN LINKED TO TYPE 2 DIABETES

Post-traumatic stress disorder and type 2 diabetes are both debilitating conditions, but the connection between the two could be stronger than that. New research suggests that women with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder could be at an increased risk of developing the metabolic disorder. Around 1 in 10 women in the US experience PTSD at some point in their lifetime.


COMPUTATIONAL TOOL IDENTIFIES 800 RISK FACTORS FOR PTSD

A new computational tool has been developed by researchers that can identify 800 different ways a person can be at risk from developing post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of PTSD can vary in intensity over time and last for months and even years. The results of the study, published in BMC Psychiatry, could allow for a personalized post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prediction guide for the first time.


UNEMPLOYMENT 'A CAUSE OF 45,000 SUICIDES EACH YEAR'

A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry finds that between 2000 and 2011, unemployment was the cause of approximately 45,000 deaths by suicide around the globe each year, and it accounted for around nine times as many suicides as the recession, which first hit in 2008. Unemployment was found to account for nine times as many suicides as the economic recession.


1 IN 5 HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS 'EXPERIENCE TEEN DATING VIOLENCE'

More than 20% of female and 10% of male high school students in the US have experienced some form of teen dating violence during the past year. This is according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Both sexual and physical teen dating violence was reported in 6.4% of female students and 3.


HOW A 2-MINUTE THERAPY COULD HELP CURE FEAR OF SPIDERS

If the thought of a spider in the same room makes your skin crawl, and you go out of your way to avoid confrontation with the eight-legged beasts, you are likely to be part of the 30% of Americans who have arachnophobia. But according to a new study, this fear of spiders could be eradicated in just 2 minutes with a single dose of a commonly used beta-blocker - and exposure to the creepy critters themselves.


PERCEPTIONS OF BEAUTY ARE 50% INDIVIDUAL

What we find aesthetically pleasing depends largely on previous personal experience, according to research published in Current Biology. Perceptions of beauty depend largely on unique individual experiences. While people disagree on which celebrity or friend is better looking, it now seems that the decision is largely individual.


COULD ABSENCE OF ONE PROTEIN EXPLAIN 1 IN 3 CASES OF AUTISM?

Up to a third of people with autism may be lacking a single protein in their brain, according to research published in Molecular Cell. The discovery, made by scientists at the University of Toronto, ON, could lead to new treatments for some people with the condition. Autism spectrum disorder has been linked to a range of both abilities and genetic factors.


JUST 1 MINUTE OF SECONDHAND MARIJUANA SMOKE IMPAIRS BLOOD VESSEL FUNCTION

A new study finds that you do not have to use marijuana to experience its negative health implications; inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke for just 1 minute may temporarily impair blood vessel function. Researchers found exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke for just 1 minute impaired rats' blood vessel function.


MARIJUANA USE MAY START FROM AGE 11, STUDY FINDS

Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, and its use is particularly widespread among adolescents. Now, a new study has identified the ages at which adolescents are most likely to try the drug, which may have implications for current marijuana intervention programs.


DEPRESSION: 15 GENOMIC REGIONS LINKED WITH DIAGNOSIS

Results from a study published in the online publication Nature Genetics finds 15 genomic regions that are significantly associated with a diagnosis of depression. Identifying genes that increase the risk for depression may help researchers develop new treatments. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.


HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN 2016?

The new year is here, and most of us are likely to have made at least one resolution for 2016. But while the majority of our goals for the coming year will incorporate improvements in physical health - such as hitting the gym and losing weight - have you thought about how you could improve your mental health?