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New York Times Examines Declining Fees For Mental Health Therapists

The New York Times on Sunday examined how mental health practitioners "are feeling an economic pinch, partly because of insurance reimbursement schedules that they say have not kept pace with their expenses." The Times profiles several mental health professionals who maintain that fees negotiated by insurance carriers have forced them to increase their patient loads or look for other sources of income. In addition, social workers say they are facing reduced fees, late payments and "inappropriate assessment of the needs of patients," the...
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Bipolar Depression Test

Researchers have developed a simple three-question screening test to sort bipolar depression from unipolar depression.

There are important reasons to distinguish between the two, such as that different treatments are necessary, the symptoms of bipolar depression are slightly different, and mood stabilizers and other preventative...
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Study: Schizophrenia Linked to Autoimmune Disorders

A study published in the March American Journal of Psychiatry found a stronger association between schizophrenia and autoimmune diseases than previously suspected.

Dr. William W. Eaton, of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed information about 7,704 schizophrenia patients and their parents from three databases (the Danish Psychiatric Register, the National Patient Register, and a register with socioeconomic information) and compared the data with a sample of matched comparison subjects and their parents. They found that a family history of any autoimmune disease...
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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A study just released boasts dramatic improvements in ADHD symptoms in children who took fish oil supplements, which contain Omega 3 fatty acids.

94% of the children in the study, aged 12-15, started out with moderate or severe ADHD, an inattention scale rating of 94% and a severe impulsivity rating of 89%. After three months of taking the fish oil supplement, severe ADHD and severe impulsivity were reduced to 28%, and severe inattention fell to just 17% among the students. Overall, 47% of the...
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Bipolar Depression

McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web is a great site hosting articles written by John McManamy, a medical journalist who also has bipolar disorder. Among his archives is this story about the prominence of depression in bipolar disorders.

Only in recent years has research shown that people with bipolar disorders spend more time depressed than manic or hypomanic - his article cites research that finds people with Bipolar 2 spend 37 days depressed for every one day hypomanic, and another study indicating that Bipolar...
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Why Won’t the Journal ‘Nature’ Release Its Data?

This month, Britannica released a response (PDF) to an article that appeared in the Dec. 15, 2005 issue of Nature. The one disturbing issue in this response from Britannica (agree, disagree, I don't care) is that Nature refuses to provide Britannica with the raw data from the experiment.

The minute an organization or author is unwilling to provide raw data for an experiment is the minute red flags are raised about the validity and reliability of that data. Researchers who falsify data...
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Is Drug Treament for Early Psychosis Necessary?

A research review study by John Bola, assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, found no solid evidence that untreated early episodes of psychosis cause long-term harm. This will undoubtedly stir controversy over the current American Psychiatric Association's recommendation that schizophrenia patients receive antipsychotic drugs for at least the first year after diagnosis.

“There is a lack of good-quality evidence to support a conclusion that long-term harm results from short-term postponement of medication in early episode schizophrenia,”...
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Continuous Partial Attention

Levy: (Some) Attention Must Be Paid!

Continuous partial attention is a term to describe a specific phenomenon, which was coined by Linda Stone, a former Apple and Microsoft executive. The phenomenon is familiar to anyone who has a Blackberry or finds themselves continuing to type (an email, an IM, whatever) in their computer while talking to someone in their office, listening to the radio, or watching television. Many people have learned, for better or worse, to give continuous partial attention to the tasks...
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