“High body mass index (BMI) has been associated with certain health risks, which may now include cognitive impairment, according to preliminary research published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. The study [Read more…] about Study: Higher body mass index (BMI) linked to episodic memory deficits in young adults
The ADHD challenge
The core symptoms of ADHD frequently cause significant impairment in academic, social and behavioral functioning that adversely impact individuals’ quality of life. These symptoms often persist into adulthood, potentially compromising an individual’s functioning over many years. Understanding how ADHD impacts long-term functioning, and whether adverse long-term affects are diminished with treatment, is [Read more…] about ADHD & the brain: Does ADHD treatment improve long-term academic, social and behavioral outcomes?
Obesity linked to Cognition (HealthCanal):
- “Obese people tend to perform worse than healthy people at cognitive tasks like planning ahead, a literature review has found, concluding that psychological techniques used to treat anorexics could help obese people too.” [Read more…] about Study Links Obesity and Cognitive Fitness — In Both Directions
Very interesting new data reinforcing two main themes we have been analyzing for a while:
1) We better start paying serious attention (and R&D dollars) to lifestyle-based and non-invasive cognitive and emotional health interventions, which are mostly ignored in favor of invasive, drug-based options
2) Interventions will need to be personalized. The study below analyzes data at the country level, but the same logic applies to the individual level
- “The telephone survey of 2,678 adults aged 18 and older in the United States, France, Germany, Spain and Poland was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and [Read more…] about Alzheimer’s Disease: New Survey and Research Study on Awareness, Testing and Prevention
Let’s take a brief look at the study at the origin of these articles. Participants were 109 bariatric surgery patients and 41 obese people (controls) who had not undergone surgery. Bariatric surgery refers mostly to gastric bypass surgery, which creates a smaller stomach and bypasses part of the small intestine. The bariatric patients were enrolled in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery project conducted, among others, by researchers at Kent State university and Columbia University.
The memory of the 150 participants was assessed before the surgery as well as 12 weeks after. Results showed that the memory of the surgery patients had improved whereas the memory of the obese controls had declined. [Read more…] about Can weight loss boost memory?
With three years still left until publication, the fights over the new version of the psychiatric diagnostic manual, the DSM‑V, are hotting up and The New York Times has a concise article that covers most of the main point of contention.
- “What you have in the end, Mr. Shorter said, “is this process of sorting the deck of symptoms into syndromes, and the outcome all depends on how the cards fall.
- Psychiatrists involved in preparing the new manual contend that it is too early to say for sure which cards will be added and which dropped.
Although I doubt the DSM committee are using that exact metaphor, it certainly illustrates the point that the process requires a certain degree of value-judgement.
It’s interesting, however, that the public debate is currently focused on whether certain diagnoses should be included or not, rather than whether diagnosis itself is useful for psychiatry.
We’ve had psychometrics for a good 100 years that allow us to measure dimensions of human experience and performance with a much greater degree of accuracy than [Read more…] about Shall we question the brand new book of human troubles