‘The Kids Are Not Alright’

A new report shines a light on the toll the pandemic and other stressors have taken on the mental health of US children and adolescents over the last 6 years. The report shows a dramatic increase in use of acute care services for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, especially among teens and preteens. … Read more

Subtle Visual Dysfunctions Often Precede Early-Stage Psychosis

Subtle subjective visual dysfunctions (VisDys) are common and are associated with poorer outcomes of patients with schizophrenia and recent-onset psychosis or who are at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, new research suggests. A multinational group of investigators found that said Vis-more often by patients with recent onset psychosis and CHR than by those with … Read more

Active Shooter Drills May Be Harming Children, but Doctors Offer Help

Gun attacks in classrooms across the nation have led principals and other school leaders to implement “active shooter” drills to try to increase the safety of their students and faculty. The drills can range from staging lockdowns and sheltering in place to quasi dramas with mock shooters roaming the halls. Although the goals of these … Read more

New Studies Show Growing Number of Trans, Nonbinary Youth in US

Two new studies point to an ever-increasing number of young people in the United States who identify as transgender and nonbinary, with the figures doubling among 18- to 24-year-olds in one institute’s research — from 0.66% of the population in 2016 to 1.3% (398,900) this year. In addition, 1.4% (300,100) of 13- to 17-year-olds identify … Read more

Social Activities May Offset Psychosis Risk in Poor Communities

Social engagement such as participation in community or school-based activities may mitigate psychosis risk in susceptible youth living in disadvantaged communities, new research suggests. A study of more than 170 young participants showed reduced hippocampal volume in those living in poor neighborhoods who had low social engagement vs their peers with greater community engagement. Dr. … Read more

Long-Term Cannabis Use Linked to Dementia Risk Factors

Long-term cannabis use is linked to hippocampal atrophy and poorer cognitive function in midlife — known risk factors for dementia. A large prospective, longitudinal study showed long-term cannabis users had an intelligence quotient (IQ) decline from age 18 to midlife (mean 5.5 IQ points), poorer learning and processing speed compared to childhood, and self-reported memory … Read more

Jury Is Out on Universal Screening for Eating Disorders

There is insufficient evidence to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of screening for eating disorders in adolescents and adults, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says in their first-ever statement on the topic. Eating disorders (binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa) can cause “serious harms to physical and psychosocial health … Read more

‘Alarming’ Worldwide Decline in Mental Health

A large global report shows a decline in mental health worldwide, with the poorest outcomes reported in young adults. The Mental Health Million Project of Sapien Labs issued its second report, published online March 15, encompassing 34 countries and over 220,000 internet-enabled adults. It found a continued decline in mental health in all age groups … Read more