Research Digests

  • Identifying imaging biomarkers in the neonatal brain

    The past decade has seen great improvements in magnetic resonance imaging technologies, such that it is now possible to image the developing brain in utero. In 2018, Dafnis Batalle and colleagues compiled an Annual Research Review for the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, where they evaluated the current status of neuroimaging research in neonates and paediatrics to determine the origins of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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  • Coupled delta-beta wave activity might predict social anxiety in children

    Researchers from McMaster University, Canada, have examined whether individual differences in salivary cortisol levels at baseline and parent-reported social anxiety levels are associated with resting, coupled delta–beta frontal wave activity.

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  • Neuroscientific insight can boost learning: neuro-fact or neuro-fiction?

    Earlier this year, Professor Michael Thomas and colleagues compiled an Annual Research Review for the JCPP, highlighting the contributions that neuroscience can make to understanding learning and classroom teaching. Here, we summarise their main findings, the current challenges to the field and the future of educational neuroscience.

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  • A mother’s touch: a key player in fine tuning the function of our genome

    There is debate as to the importance of genetics in determining our behaviour. This debate has become enshrined perhaps due to the early focus of genetics on searching for DNA variation in our genome (termed a polymorphism) that affected protein structure, the hypothesis being that such a protein variant would not be working optimally in our body throughout our life.

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  • What does a CAMHS MDT need to know about the genetics of psychiatric disorder?

    Our knowledge of the genetics of psychiatric disorders has increased rapidly in recent years. Discover what has been learnt, focusing on some of the psychiatric disorders commonly seen in CAMHS, before going on to discuss how these findings may be relevant to clinical practice.

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  • Psychotic Experiences: what they are and why we care about them?

    Over the past 20 years, findings from the field of psychosis research have shed new light on the prevalence of PEs among children and adolescents, revealing that about 17% of children and 8% of adolescents report experiences of these phenomena.

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  • The association between anxiety and poor school attendance

    School plays a key role in children’s development, and frequent absence from school increases the likelihood of a range of adverse outcomes in childhood and later life. This includes poor academic performance, social isolation, economic deprivation and unemployment in adulthood. There are many risk factors for frequent school absence, including factors related to the child and their family, school and community.

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  • A theory of youth mental health recovery

    Mental health disorders have a negative impact on the individual, society and global economy. The prevalence of mental disorders is increasing in young people, and if unaddressed, research has shown that they may develop into severe and chronic illnesses. Despite this, research into youth mental health recovery is limited.

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  • The experiences of healthcare transitions between child and adult services for young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a review of evidence

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. It affects around 5% of children, and can be a long term condition, with research showing that up to two thirds of young people with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. However, many young people with ongoing healthcare needs do not make the necessary transition from child to adult mental health services.

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  • Reporting of depression symptoms in children with ADHD: do parents know best?

    ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by hyperactive-impulsiveness and inattention. ADHD often co-occurs with emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Depression in particular is prominent amongst adolescents with ADHD, and can be difficult to identify as it can have similar features both to ADHD itself and to some of the side effects of ADHD medication.

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