This week's news from the Mental Elf includes a new systematic review about reducing stigma in schizophrenia and a cohort study that explores the risk of cardiac disease in people with schizophrenia.
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Welcome to our first free weekly newsletter!

Every week from now on, I will be sending out a summary of the latest blogs from the Mental Elf website. I hope you find this interesting and useful.

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New NICE guide to commissioning mental health services

NICE have published a new guide to help commissioners, clinicians and managers who commission services for people with common mental health disorders. Here’s the blurb from the NICE press release: Approaching the commissioning of mental health services as part of an integrated care pathway and illustrated with service models, the NICE guide for commissioners identifies [read the full story...]


Statins do not slow down the decline of Alzheimer’s disease, says randomised controlled trial

Previous studies have suggested that statin therapy might be a useful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. This randomised controlled trial conducted by a team of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine set out to determine if the lipid-lowering agent simvastatin slows the progression of symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease. They recruited 406 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s [read the full story...]


Middle-aged smokers with schizophrenia are significantly more likely to die from cardiac disease

We know from epidemiological studies that people with schizophrenia are 2-3 times more likely to smoke than the rest of the population. We also know that schizophrenia is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. This retrospective cohort study carried out by researchers from the University of Maryland set out to explore the impact [read the full story...]


Quetiapine monotherapy helps people with generalised anxiety disorder, but side effects may limit its use

People with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) often fail to achieve remission (recovering fully from their disease) despite standard treatments. This systematic review examines the efficacy and tolerability of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) for generalised anxiety disorder as either: augmentation therapy, i.e. using it alongside other treatments monotherapy, i.e. using it as a stand-alone treatment The reviewers [read the full story...]


Simulated hallucinations increase empathy towards people with schizophrenia, but also increase the desire for social distance

It’s well documented that people with severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, suffer from stigmatisation on a regular basis. Stigma can be caused by ignorance or a lack of knowledge about a disease. As the actress Shirley Maclaine once said: Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends. Researchers have developed a number [read the full story...]


New guidance on aripiprazole as a treatment for bipolar mania

Aripiprazole (brand names Abilify and Aripiprex) is an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat a number of mental health disorders including schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder. This new guidance has been written by a group of Pan-European experts who have come together to review new clinical guidelines for the management of mania and the role of aripiprazole [read the full story...]


The reasons why veterans stop taking antidepressants

Adherence to drug treatment is a constant challenge for mental health practitioners, so any research that explores why patients stop taking their medication is usually of interest. There are many published studies that look at the reasons why people decide to stop taking their antidepressants, and these range from finding it difficult to cope with [read the full story...]

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