Latest Science and Society News

A new study of patients with bipolar disorder finds that 36 percent of those who were admitted to a Rhode Island psychiatric hospital  in 2010 were receiving “complex polypharmacy” — four or more psychotropic medications — from their community providers. The polypharmacy rate was significantly higher for women. Including prescriptions for other conditions the patients may have had, the average patient was on six medications.

 

Adolescents with high media use, reduced sleep and low physical activity comprise an 'invisible-risk' group that has high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms, according to a large international study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet. The results of the study are published in the February issue of World Psychiatry.

 

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal, nightmares have greater emotional impact than bad dreams do, and fear is not always a factor. In fact, it is mostly absent in bad dreams and in a third of nightmares. What is felt, instead, is sadness, confusion, guilt, disgust, etc. For their analysis of 253 nightmares and 431 bad dreams, researchers obtained the narratives of nearly 10,000 dreams. “Physical aggression is the most frequently reported theme in nightmares. Moreover, nightmares become so intense they will wake you up. Bad dreams, on the other hand, are especially haunted by interpersonal conflicts,” write Geneviève Robert and Antonio Zadra, psychology researchers at the Université de Montréal, in the last issue of Sleep.

 

Do scientific papers written by well-known scholars get more attention than they otherwise would receive because of their authors’ high profiles? A new study co-authored by an MIT economist reports that high-status authorship does increase how frequently papers are cited in the life sciences — but finds some subtle twists in how this happens.

 

Someone with access to firearms is three times more likely to commit suicide and nearly twice as likely to be the victim of a homicide as someone who does not have access, according to a comprehensive review of the scientific literature conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

 

Have you ever left a doctor’s office feeling ashamed or guilty? Chances are one in two that you answered “yes,” according to research from the University of California, San Diego. And what happened next? Perhaps you were motivated to make changes in an unhealthy behavior. Or, did you just lie to that doctor on subsequent visits? Avoid him or her? Maybe even terminate treatment entirely?