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Certainty in Our Choices Often a Matter of Time, Researchers Find

When faced with making choices, but lack sufficient evidence to guarantee success, our brain uses elapsed time as a proxy for task difficulty to calculate how confident we should be, a team of neuroscientists has found. Their findings help untangle the different factors that contribute to the decision-making process.

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Severely Mentally Ill Criminals: Who Goes to Prison and Who Goes to Psych Institutions?

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“We found a clear difference between people with a mental illness who are incarcerated for a crime and those declared not criminally responsible for a crime and then hospitalized at a psychiatric institution.” - Dr. Alexandre Dumais

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Cocaine, Amphetamine Users More Likely to Take Their Own Lives

Stimulants use such as cocaine and amphetamine is associated with a nearly two-fold greater likelihood of suicidal behaviour amongst people who inject drugs, say researchers at the University of Montreal and the CHUM Research Centre. Drug addiction had already been identified as a major risk factor for suicide, and it is in fact the cause of ten percent of deaths among drug users. The data from this groundbreaking study could help develop and evaluate more appropriate suicide prevention efforts in this highly vulnerable population.

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Study Links ADHD and Conduct Disorder With Increased Alcohol and Tobacco Use in Young Teens

A new study links ADHD and conduct disorder in young adolescents with increased alcohol and tobacco use. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study is among the first to assess such an association in this age group.

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Hogg Foundation Releases Complete Guidebook of Mental Health Services to Increase State Funding

The Hogg Foundation of Mental Health has created a free comprehensive guidebook on Texas’ entire mental health care system. The goal of the book is twofold: To help consumers of mental health understand their options, and to help policymakers and advocacy groups build a case for increasing more state funding for services and programs.

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Science

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'Darwinian' Test Uncovers an Antidepressant's Hidden Toxicity

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The organismal performance assay detects subtle toxic effects by subjecting mice to a relentless, Darwinian competition for food, shelter and mates. If there is a defect in any physiological system, it is more likely to stand out if test animals have to compete for resources.

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Mental Illness Is the Wrong Scapegoat After Mass Shootings

In the shadow of the two year anniversary of one of the worst mass shootings in American history, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, an extensive new study by two Vanderbilt University researchers challenges common assumptions about gun violence and mental illness that often emerge in the aftermath of mass shootings. When a mass shooting occurs there seems to be a familiar narrative that untreated mental illness is the primary cause for the terrifying act. But a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health by Dr. Jonathan Metzl and Kenneth T. MacLeish finds that an isolated focus on mental illness is misguided.

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The Medical Minute: Many Different Factors Can Trigger Holiday Depression

While the holidays are a time of merriment and festivities for many, some people struggle with depression during this time of year. Dr. Erika Saunders, interim chair of psychiatry at Penn State Hershey, says there are some distinct warning signs to watch for.

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Laughing Gas Studied as Depression Treatment

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, has shown early promise as a potential treatment for severe depression in patients whose symptoms don’t respond to standard therapies. The pilot study, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is believed to be the first research in which patients with depression were given laughing gas.

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Early Results Indicate Potential for Focused Ultrasound to Treat OCD

A recently published report in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry supports the potential of focused ultrasound to treat certain patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

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