News from around the web includes reports on racism in medicine, mental health stigma in Olympic athletes, sibling bullying, ADHD and autism, physician depression, opioid alternatives, suicide secrecy in the clergy, and tough conversations.
“Many Olympians have talked about various health issues they've overcome, but so few have opened up about living with a mental health condition. This is surprising due to the immense mental component of being an Olympic athlete. Many Olympians have commented that the mental aspect of the game far exceeds the physical. So, coping with symptoms of mental illness would make competing even more challenging, just as a physical injury would. But the simple truth is: Olympians can prove having mental illness doesn’t mean you’re weak.” NAMI • February 9, 2108. Why Don't More Olympians Talk About Mental Illness?
Children who have been bullied have been known to suffer long-term negative consequences, but such abuse in the home can increase risk of mental illness and carry over into adulthood: “Involvement in sibling bullying was associated with psychotic disorder in a dose-response fashion, even after controlling for a range of confounders. Those involved several times a week were 2–3 times more likely to meet criteria for a psychotic disorder . . .” Sibling bullying in middle childhood and psychotic disorder at 18 years: a prospective cohort study. Psychological Medicine • February 12, 2018
A connection between autism and ADHD? “An estimated 30 to 80 percent of children with autism also meet the criteria for ADHD and, conversely, 20 to 50 percent of children with ADHD for autism. Given the size of the overlap, scientists are beginning to rethink the relationship between the two conditions and to look for common biological roots . . . The idea that autism and ADHD are intrinsically entwined stems not just from their frequent co-occurrence, but from observations that they share behavioral features.” Scientific American • February 14, 2018. Decoding the Overlap Between Autism and ADHD.
“There is undoubtedly an unmet clinical need for efficacious analgesics. The current opioids are efficacious in the treatment of severe pain but are limited by the prevalence and severity of their side effects. An endogenous peptide with analgesic properties and minimal side effects could certainly provide benefit to patients suffering from severe pain. However the delivery of peptides to the brain is not entirely without its own challenges. Our work demonstrates that we have solved this peptide delivery problem.” January 28, 2018 • Journal of Controlled Release. Natural Painkiller Nasal Spray Could Replace Addictive Opioids, Trial Indicates
“We are parent caregivers of a unique population of fun, bright, and talented children with incredibly complicated medical issues. Our children are unique; they do not follow a standard, 1-dimensional, format of care. They need constant, specialized, and coordinated care, and they rely on you to support their quality of life.” Includes a list of 10 ways health professionals can help parents of gravely ill children. JAMA Pediatrics • February 5, 2018. What Parents of Children With Complex Medical Conditions Want Their Child’s Physicians to Understand