Study: brain damage and religious fundamentalism

Study uncovers how brain damage increases religious fundamentalism  discusses a recent study that found that “lesions in a particular brain region, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex,  tend to increase religious fundamentalism.” To cut to the chase, the authors review the functioning of this brain part and conclude: damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex appeared to cause an increase in religious fundamentalism by reducing cognitive flexibility – meaning the ability to update our beliefs in light of new evidence – along with lowering the personality trait of openness. The article’s author concludes: “The new research helps elucidate the links between the functioning

Parent Therapy the Best Treatment for Disruptive Kids?

From Medscape Psychiatry, Parent-Based Therapy Tops All Others for Disruptive Behavior, was posted on 5-4-17. This article reviews a study by the CDC which reviewed 64 studies of treatment for childhood disruptive behavior problems, and found that only group therapy focused on parenting skills and “individual parent behavior therapy with child participation” meet criteria as evidence-based therapies.

Study Supports Weight Loss Surgery for People with Mental Illness

From BariatricNews.net, Mental health does not affect weight loss after bariatric surgery, posted on 5-2-17.  This article reviews a study that found good outcomes for weight loss for bariatric patients with mental illness, for a population that had psychological screening prior to surgery, results support the benefits of psychological screening.

BMI May be a Factor in How Depressed People Respond to Medication

BMI, Other Patient Factors Help Pinpoint Best Antidepressant, posted by Medscape Psychiatry one 5-5-17, reviews research that finds that depressed patients with high BMIs respond better to venlafaxine-XR (Effexor) and escitalopram (Lexipro) in comparison to other antidepressants.  The researchers theorized that depression with anxiety tends to contribute to weight gain due to excessive eating, and these medications affect appetite. This info may be used by mental health professionals treating patients with depression and obesity by suggesting that they consult their prescriber about possibly use of these medications. Accessing the article requires a subscription, which is free.