References for "Autism spectrum disorders revisited"

Croen LA, et al. "Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders," Archives of General Psychiatry (July 4, 2011): Electronic publication ahead of print. Gardener H, et al. "Perinatal and Neonatal Risk Factors for Autism: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis," Pediatrics (July 11, 2011): Electronic publication ahead of print. Hallmayer J, et al. "Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs with Autism," Archives of General Psychiatry (July 4, 2011): Electronic publication ahead of print. (Locked) More »

References for "Mind over matter"

Chiesa A, et al. "Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis," Psychiatric Research (May 2011): Vol. 187, No. 3, pp. 441–53. Maki PM. "New Data on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Hot Flashes: How do Alternative Therapies Compare with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors?" Menopause (June 2011): Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 596–98. Rapgay L, et al. "New Strategies for Combining Mindfulness with Integrative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder," Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (June 2011): Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 92–119. (Locked) More »

References for "Natural supplements for mental health"

Freeman MP, et al. "Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Major Depressive Disorder: The American Psychiatric Association Task Force Report," Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (June 2010): Vol. 71, No. 6, pp. 669–81. Kessler RC, et al. "The Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies to Treat Anxiety and Depression in the United States," American Journal of Psychiatry (Feb. 2001): Vol. 158, No. 2, pp. 289–94. Fava M, et al. "Evidence for Folate in Combination with Antidepressants at Initiation of Therapy," Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 71, No. 11, electronic publication. (Locked) More »

Autism spectrum disorders revisited

The conventional wisdom has always been that the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) develop mostly because of genetic rather than environmental factors. Indeed, the ASDs are usually considered among the most "heritable" psychiatric disorders, with studies in twins suggesting that genetic factors account for at least 90% of the risk of developing an ASD — much more than the genetic risk of depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions. Now the largest population study in twins so far has turned the accepted wisdom on its head by suggesting that environmental factors may be more important in the development of ASDs than previously realized. Several other studies have identified possible environmental culprits: the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or lack of folic acid early in pregnancy, and a variety of complications near or shortly after giving birth. All of the studies need to be replicated by independent teams — and it's clear that genetic risk still matters — but leading researchers are rethinking what causes ASDs and how to prevent them. The genetic study in particular is a "game changer," says Dr. Joseph Coyle, the Eben S. Draper Chair of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and editor in chief of Archives of General Psychiatry, which published the paper. "For the first time, we have credible evidence that environmental factors may be as important as genetic factors." "This new research is a reminder of just how complex the autism spectrum disorders are," says Dr. Leonard A. Rappaport, the Mary Deming Scott Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston. "It's likely that multiple genetic vulnerabilities are interacting with multiple environmental factors all at the same time. The picture that is emerging is still blurry, and it's full of moving targets." (Locked) More »

Natural supplements for mental health

Even the best available medical treatments don't work for everyone. Seeking other sources of relief, roughly four in 10 Americans — and as many as half of those with psychiatric disorders — use herbal supplements and other types of complementary or alternative medicines (CAM) in any given year. Recognizing how widespread such "alternative" medicines have become, the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry convened a one-day conference on the topic. What follows is a quick review of safe — and often effective — natural therapies used for a variety of mental health problems. (Locked) More »

Mind over matter

Life is full of stress, and more often than not, people feel it physically as well as mentally. Although the stress response begins in the brain, it is a full-body phenomenon. When someone encounters a threat — real or imagined — the brain triggers a cascade of stress hormones. The heart pounds, muscles tense, and breathing quickens. One of the best ways to counter stress is to pay attention to what is going on. That may sound counterintuitive, but paying attention is the first step toward cultivating mindfulness — a therapeutic technique for a range of mental health problems (and physical ones). More »