The NYT Sunday edition for 10-26-15 published a commentary by Richard Friedman, MD, which provides an excellent update on research outcomes for “brain hygiene.” In the article, “Can You Get Smarter?”, Dr. Friedman disputes the idea that we can increase our intelligence with various brain training exercises, but he also reports on research that supports the actual (limited) benefits of brain training programs, and also reviews the (more substantial) brain benefits of exercise and an active social life in our later years. He also reviews the (limited) benefits of antidepressant and stimulant medication for general brain health.
As reported in an NPR article published on 10-23-15, “In Maryland, A Change In How Hospitals Are Paid Boosts Public Health,” Maryland hospitals have been offered a voluntary capitated payment system, and, remarkably, every hospital in the state has signed up. The program has saved an estimated hundred million dollars in the first year of the program. The program is a collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The program emphasizes a flexible approach, rules that promote fairness and access to healthcare, establishing uniform policies and processes across hospital systems, support for the social mission of hospitals,
The treatment of schizophrenia has focused on medication and social support services, but recent research, reported in the New York Times, has supports the benefits of psychological treatment. “Talk Therapy Found to Ease Schizophrenia” describes a major study that found that more emphasis on one-on-one talk therapy provided more benefits for patient recovery than the usual drug-focused treatments.
Sleep problems are often part of our patients’ symptoms, and recent research has provided a better understanding of why it is important for mental health professionals to ask about sleep and include treatment for sleep problems in our treatment plans.