More Evidence Insomnia Contributes to Cognitive Decline

A new study provides more evidence that insomnia may contribute to cognitive decline in older adults and shows that difficulty falling asleep in midlife may be most indicative of future cognitive impairment. Investigators found that having trouble falling asleep most nights (vs rarely/never) was equivalent to the effect of 2 to 3 years of aging … Read more

Brain Imaging Validates Cognitive Problems After Lyme Disease

New imaging data show distinctive brain changes that appear to explain memory and cognitive problems following Lyme disease. Using fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques, investigators found changes in white matter and other brain tissues in patients with posttreatment Lyme disease (PTLD) in comparison with healthy control persons who did not have a history … Read more

It’s Just a Superstition — but Is It Harmless?

Airports typically exclude Gate 13. Some buildings skip the 13th floor. And Friday the 13th is not known as a lucky day. The fear of the number 13 is a superstition with a complicated name — triskaidekaphobia. The idea the number 13 is unlucky isn’t rational, of course, and for most, any unease about the … Read more

Why We Just Can’t Look Away

Halloween Ends? Yeah, sure. Like that’ll happen. The market for horror remains robust 44 years after the original Halloween movie premiered. Part of the reason (besides Michael Myers’s charm) is that we humans appear to be hard-wired to enjoy getting scared. Whatever happens in Halloween Ends, the latest entry in the long-running film series, you’ll … Read more

Higher PTSD, BPD in Transgender vs Cisgender Psych Patients

Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals with mental illness appear to have higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) compared with their cisgender counterparts, new research shows. Although mood disorders, depression, and anxiety were the most common diagnoses in both TGD and cisgender patients, “when we compared the diagnostic profiles [of … Read more

Suicidal Ideation Associated With Increased Alcohol Use During Pandemic

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians were more than twice as likely to report suicidal ideation if they had increased alcohol consumption, according to a new report. Men and adults over age 65 were the most likely to have links between alcohol consumption and suicidal thoughts. Mélanie Varin “Suicide is an important … Read more

Folic Acid Tied to a Reduction in Suicide Attempts

Prescription folic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B9, may provide a safe and effective approach for decreasing suicidal ideation, new research suggests. After adjusting for multiple factors, results from a large pharmaco-epidemiological study showed taking folic acid was associated with a 44% reduction in suicide events. Dr Robert Gibbons “These results are really putting … Read more

Brain Shrinkage in First-Time Dads: It’s a Good Thing

First-time fathers appear to experience a loss of cortical volume following the birth of their child, new research suggests. Investigators associated with the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain, and the University of Southern California compared MRIs of the brains of 40 new fathers (half located in the United States and the … Read more

Mental Health Toll of COVID-19 Pandemic Varied Worldwide

People across the world have experienced elevated mental health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, with major differences seen across several countries and continents, according to a new report. North Americans reported more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder, whereas Europeans had more insomnia and Latin Americans had more psychological distress. Anxiety and depression … Read more

Detachment Predicts Worse Posttraumatic Outcomes

Feelings of detachment following a traumatic event are a marker of more severe psychiatric outcomes, including depression and anxiety, new research suggests. The results highlight the importance of screening for dissociation in patients who have experienced trauma, study investigator Lauren AM Lebois, PhD, director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean Hospital … Read more