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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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Study finds psychiatric diagnoses to be ‘scientifically meaningless’

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Psy­chi­atric diag­no­sis ‘sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly mean­ing­less’ (Sci­ence Dai­ly):

A new study, pub­lished in Psy­chi­a­try Research, has con­clud­ed that psy­chi­atric diag­noses are sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly worth­less as tools to iden­ti­fy dis­crete men­tal health dis­or­ders.

The study, led by researchers from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Liv­er­pool, involved a detailed analy­sis of five key chap­ters of the lat­est edi­tion of the wide­ly used Diag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­u­al (DSM), on ‘schiz­o­phre­nia’, ‘bipo­lar dis­or­der’, ‘depres­sive dis­or­ders’, ‘anx­i­ety dis­or­ders’ and ‘trau­ma-relat­ed dis­or­ders’ Read the rest of this entry »

5 Must-Read Articles, and an Online Course, to Help Children with ADHD

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– Dr. David Rabin­er, Research Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Psy­chol­o­gy and Neu­ro­science at Duke Uni­ver­sity and founder of the Atten­tion Research Update.

Giv­en the ongo­ing changes and con­tro­ver­sies sur­round­ing ADHD diag­no­sis and treat­ment, let us high­light 5 key arti­cles writ­ten by Duke Uni­ver­si­ty’s Dr. David Rabin­er to sum­ma­rize recent sci­en­tif­ic find­ings and their impli­ca­tions, plus a very rel­e­vant online course to help par­ents and pro­fes­sion­als help chil­dren with ADHD.

1. Study finds large gaps between research and prac­tice in ADHD diag­no­sis and treat­ment

  • Key insight: Evi­dence-based guide­lines from the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Pedi­atrics on the eval­u­a­tion and treat­ment of ADHD are fre­quent­ly not fol­lowed. Many chil­dren are diag­nosed with ADHD in the absence of clear­ly meet­ing DSM diag­nos­tic cri­te­ria, and behav­ioral treat­ment is rarely rec­om­mend­ed.
  • Key data point: Pedi­a­tri­cians pre­scribed ADHD med­ica­tion to rough­ly 93% of youth diag­nosed with ADHD. Doc­u­men­ta­tion that behav­ioral treat­ment was rec­om­mend­ed, how­ev­er, was present in only 13% of the charts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Fewer than 19% of ADHD treatment plans monitor treatment response according to guidelines

adhd-workingmemoryWhat did they find (at a recent study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Pedi­atrics, sur­vey­ing com­mu­ni­ty-based ADHD diag­noses and treat­ments)?

  • For around 30 per­cent of chil­dren diag­nosed with ADHD, the evi­dence that DSM cri­te­ria were met was miss­ing.
  • ADHD rat­ing scales were col­lect­ed from par­ents and teach­ers for only 56 per­cent of youth with an ADHD diag­no­sis.

Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Harness Neuroplasticity with Enthusiasm, Exercise & Personalized Medicine

Time for Sharp­Brains’ Feb­ru­ary 2012 eNewslet­ter, fea­tur­ing in this occa­sion mul­ti­ple and com­ple­men­tary per­spec­tives on how to har­ness neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty: with enthu­si­asm, BOTH phys­i­cal AND cog­ni­tive exer­cise, and (once tools become bet­ter stan­dard­ized and wide­ly avail­able) brain-based per­son­al­ized med­i­cine.

Fea­tured Per­spec­tives:

What’s New and Mean­ing­ful:

Sharp­Brains News:

Final­ly, let us men­tion that Brain Aware­ness Week is approach­ing (March 12–18th, 2012), and that you can now add com­ments to Sharp­Brains arti­cles via Face­book (see below). Look­ing for­ward to a great month of March!

Personalized Medicine in Psychiatry: from DSM to brain-based RDoC, iSPOT‑D and biomarkers

(Edi­tor’s Note: this is Part 2 of the new 3‑part series writ­ten by Dr. Evian Gor­don draw­ing from his par­tic­i­pa­tion at the Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine World Con­gress on Jan­u­ary, 23, 2012 at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty.)

Most Per­son­al­ized Med­i­cine research in Psy­chi­a­try using mol­e­c­u­lar mea­sures alone have failed to repli­cate. Whilst dis­ap­point­ing, this is not sur­pris­ing, since 80% of human 25,000 genes have some effect on the brain.

There are there­fore grow­ing efforts expand­ing Genom­ic Bio­mark­ers in Psy­chi­a­try to Neu­roimag­ing (all Brain-based bio­log­i­cal and cog­ni­tive mea­sures). Some approach­es tar­get Read the rest of this entry »

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