From Alzheimer disease treatments to the psychiatric implications of conspiracy theories, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.
This week, Psychiatric Times® covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from Alzheimer disease treatments to the psychiatric implications of conspiracy theories. Here are some highlights from the week.
Raising the False Flag of Conspiracy: What Are the Psychiatric Implications?
Have you heard? The story of Paul Pelosi being attacked was fake—a false flag operation! And the January 6 attack on the Capitol building? Give me a break! That was another false flag operation, orchestrated by the FBI and those radical lefties from Antifa! Oh, yes—and then there were those faked school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida.
Baseless claims like these (which I have paraphrased) are easy to find on Instagram and Twitter, despite some efforts to remove them. It may be tempting to dismiss such “conspiracy theories” as the ramblings of a few addled extremists, but I believe that would be a misreading of the problem. Such “false flag conspiracy theories” (FFCTs) are not uncommon in some subcultures in the United States and represent a subset of conspiracy theories in general. Continue Reading
Lithium: A Narrative Overview and Future Frontiers
Lithium occupies the third position on the periodic table and is a naturally occurring element with the chemical symbol, Li. The name lithium comes from the Greek word “lithos,” meaning stone. It was first discovered in 1817 on the Swedish island of Utö and later found in the mines of Australia and Chile, but it was not until the late 1800s that lithium made its debut in the medical world.
Mineral springs containing lithium were thought to possess healing properties for both mental ailments, like melancholia and mania, and physical ailments like gout. It is one of the most abundant elements in nature with a wide distribution in trace amounts in seawater, rocks, ground, and soils. It is present in drinking water, leafy green vegetables, legumes, pods, and nuts in variable concentrations depending on the geographical location. Continue Reading
Alzheimer Disease: Are the Treatments Worse Than the Illness?
The recent approval of aducanumab caused an uproar: Was it approved too soon? What long-term effects will the treatment have? Is the cost worth it? Are we doing enough to address Alzheimer disease (AD)?
As we grapple with these issues, the problem of AD continues to swell; more than 6 million Americans are living with the disease, and this number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. AD will kill 1 in 3 affected seniors, and is more deadly than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. What are the available and upcoming AD treatments and how can you utilize them to best serve your patients? Continue Reading
Mental Health and the Global Race to Resilience
The scale of climate change and its devastation has become increasingly apparent. As we witness tenuous and inadequate movement toward effective responses, it is clear that both places and people are falling apart. The emotional suffering from climate change is growing rapidly, and it is alarming from more than a humanitarian perspective.
Emotional and social bandwidth is vital for tackling climate change. People must adapt, endure, transform, and find hope through these challenges if they are to survive in a humane and effective manner. The emotional and social challenges of these tasks—our psychiatric work—have been a neglected part of climate efforts. Continue Reading
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