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Friday Roundup – High-5 to DSM-5, Gangs Need Love Too, New Diagnostic Device for ADHD, and Don’t Retire Just Yet

Attention lovely readers! We at Healthshire will be providing you with a weekly Friday roundup of the latest in mental health news. Let us do all the work and be your one-stop-shop for all things current!

High-5 to DSM-5, Gangs Need Love Too, New Diagnostic Device for ADHD, and Don’t Retire Just Yet

The Latest  in Mental Health Research (and other stuff)

Clinicians Find the DSM-5 Easy to Understand and Use

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Field research conducted in routine clinical practices demonstrates that clinicians find the recently released DSM-5 to be understandable and easy to use. A sample of 621 psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and other mental health professionals were involved in the research. Results show that the revised criteria were easy to use overall and useful in assessing patients.

So for all you practitioners who find the DSM-5 difficult to read and unhelpful…no one cares.

Mental Illness and Gang Membership

A British study recently published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in Advance finds mental illness to be highly prevalent among urban gang members. Researchers surveyed close to 5 thousand men aged 18-34. The questionnaire covered gang membership, violence, psychiatric diagnoses, and use of mental health services. The participants were separated into three groups for further analysis: gang members, violent men, and nonviolent men.

Researchers found that gang members and violent men were much more likely to have a mental disorder than nonviolent men. Based on self-reported data, 85% of gang members had antisocial personality disorder, 67% were dependent on alcohol, 25% were positive for psychotic symptoms, more than 50% were dependent on drugs, and 34% had attempted suicide.

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Paul Applebaum, M.D., chair of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Committee on Judicial Action and a member of the APA Council on Psychiatry and the Law encourages U.S. replication of these studies, with stronger methods for addressing psychopathology. He states that similar studies are important for two reasons: “1) the self-reported rates of psychopathology are so high that one must wonder about the accuracy of gang members’ responses—screening instruments based on self-report often identify cases that would not qualify for a formal diagnosis; and 2) whether British gangs differ in some systematic way from their American counterparts.”

Device Approved to Diagnose ADHD in Children

Marketing for the first medical device to help diagnose Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents aged 6-17 has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System is based on brain function that calculates theta and beta wave frequencies, the ratio of which have been shown to be higher in children in ADHD.

The FDA stated that NEBA should be used in conjunction with a thorough medical and psychological evaluation to help confirm a diagnosis of ADHD. It is important to note that the NEBA should not be perceived as a substitute for a complete clinical examination. According to Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, “the Neba system along with other clinical information may help healthcare providers more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of a behavioral problem.”

Retiring at a Later Age May Reduce Risk for Alzheimer’s

According to a CBS news report, a study in France shows that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s decreased with every additional year a person worked. The research was conducted by analyzing the health records of almost 500,000 people. The average age of the participants was 74 and were retired for an average of 12 years.

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Findings indicate that almost 3 percent of individuals had dementia, but the risk decreased for each year of retirement age. An individual who retired at 60 had a 15% higher rate of developing dementia than one who retired at 65. The development of dementia is reduced by 3% for each extra year of work.

So for all you individuals who are just about ready to retire, good luck with that.

Recovery Assessments Need More Refinement

Measuring recovery in mental health is a very difficult process. Recovery looks different to every individual who seeks mental health services. There is no unanimous recommendation for reliable and valid instruments to measure recovery in the mental health field.

As published in Psychiatric Services in Advance, researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, however, recommend two tools that currently provide the most effective methods to evaluate recovery.

Developed in the United Kingdom, the Questionnaire About the Process of Recovery measures hope, meaning, identity, connectedness, and empowerment. The Recovery Assessment Scale, the most-published instrument and developed in the United States, measures orientation to success, hope, and self-confidence.

So for all you other recovery assessment tools out there…boo.

Telling our Stories

In an effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows and reduce stigma, we are especially interested in hearing about you and your stories related to mental health. Be sure to visit Healthshire’s “telling our story” section. Spend some time reading the stories or submit your own!

 

Happy 200th Day of the Year!! Only 165 days until 2014! Wee!

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