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Two-minute questionnaire could detect the disorder in children earlier than anything else

  • *The Rutgers University team created a two-minute questionnaire that could detect autism in toddlers earlier  
  • *The PDQ-1 questionnaire asks parents whether their child points or gestures to show interest, responds to their name, and relates to others
  • *The 10-question survey had an 88 percent likelihood of correctly identifying children with autism
  • *Since there isn’t a medical test to diagnose the disorder, pediatricians have to look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis 
  • *Many children aren’t diagnosed with autism until they are at least 5 years old


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The fear response is triggered when facing danger. The “danger” could be not measuring up to a desired or imposed standard, not getting done what you set out to do, not fulfilling expectations (your own or someone else’s), being seen as less than perfect or failing at something. There is also the “danger” of not fitting in and being noticeably different from the norm. All these fears and anxieties stem from questioning your ability to cope with life’s challenges and people’s responses to your actions.


External messages from the media and authorities are also powerful triggers of anxiety and fear. Believing the world to be a dangerous place creates a pervading sense of powerlessness that undermines your personal power and inner strength in many different ways.

  • *Fear manipulates you into forgetting how strong and competent you really are.
  • *Fear negates your resilience. Feelings of helplessness trick you into believing that you do not have what it takes to tolerate hardship and bounce back from adversity.
  • *Fear narrows your focus to mainly notice problems, damage, hurt or harm.
  • *Fear impairs realistic thinking so the scale and likelihood of potential danger is often overestimated. Unless you live in a war zone, a dangerous neighborhood, an abusive relationship or have just experienced a significant natural disaster, most commonly assumed dangers are less prevalent or disastrous than imagined.
  • *Avoidance is one of the responses to fear. Self-imposed restrictions on where you go or what you do limit your options and shrink your world.
  • *Fear sabotages creative self-expression. Instead of aiming for your aspirations and dreams you may censor yourself and remain within the safety of your comfort zone.


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How Fear Traps You into Being Someone You Are Not

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The messages we give to ourselves every day have enormous power. Anything that is repeated and repeated and repeated can become “truth” — even when it isn’t. Any coach will tell you that practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect but it certainly does make permanent.


Repeating negative messages can wear down our sense of self as surely as a constant stream of water will wear down even the hardest stone. Repeating positive messages, on the other hand, is more like creating a pearl in an oyster. With each additional positive message, our confidence and competence grows.


Positive psychologists have studied this extensively. As long ago as the 1950s, Abraham Maslow said that a self-actualized person is someone who focuses on her talents and strengths. Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center Dr. Martin Seligman, who has been called the father of positive psychology, has found that when people identify and use their top strengths regularly, they can be more productive and can experience a high level of self-esteem. (If you’d like to identify your top strengths, you can take Dr. Seligman’s free quiz).


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I am now retired and conducting research on killing in combat zones. I served as a medic in the Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base (AFB) in the emergency room of Malcolm Grow hospital. I served from Nov. 1969 to Nov. 1973. There I was, also part a team who started to process prisoner of war (POW) airmen. I also served temporary duty (TDY) at Lackland AFB treating airmen who were transferred out of Vietnam and presenting with substance use disorder (SUD). I never served in Nam. Upon discharge and with the GI Bill, I obtained my advanced degrees in clinical social work and psychology.


During my 1977 thruough 2000 stint at the Altoona Hospital as a BHC clinician, I had the privilege of conducting psychotherapy in our outpatient clinic and treated some of my comrades referred to us from our local veteran affairs (VA) center. I did therapy with the armed combatants who killed and some of the field medics and corpsmen that killed; but far more importantly, could not save some of their brothers from death.


Prior to my military service, I studied psychology in college. I paid some attention to the Vietnam War and was comforted by my deferment from the draft. The day I graduated from college, my protection ended. I did not go into teaching and would have had an additional deferment.


During my time in college, I had serious reservations about Vietnam and war in general. Though others protested Vietnam, I never did because of my respect for all men and women in the military. I detested those who protested as they directly, maybe not willingly, were supporting our enemy. So, once I lost my deferment protection, I enlisted in the Air Force mainly because my chances of having to kill someone were greatly reduced. After completing basic, I enrolled in medical training at Sheppard AFB. By the grace of God, my first and only duty station was Andrews.


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You wake up, and already feel absolutely drained. It’s as though the energy has been sucked out of your body. It’s as though your brain left the building while you were sleeping. You’re having a hard time concentrating. You can’t seem to find anything, from your keys to your bag to your lunch. Everything feels extra difficult.


For Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and ADHD expert who also has ADHD, a difficult day is when he feels out of control. “Unexpected traffic, my computer malfunctioning, feeling way behind on the to-do list or too many days of sleep debt create a sense of chaos and stress.”


When this happens, Olivardia turns to his personal three-step process. First, he checks in with his mindset and says, “I can only do so much.” Second, he reviews his list of values, which are written down, to see where he stands in relation to them. He reflects on these questions: “Am I taking care of my health? Have I had enough leisure time?” One of his values is staying healthy so he can be available for his family and his patients.


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Alcohol helps remove damaging waste from the brain.


A couple of alcoholic drinks can help clear the brain of toxins, new research finds.


Low levels of alcohol — the equivalent of around 2.5 standard drinks per day — may help to remove waste linked to Alzheimer’s disease and reduce inflammation in the brain.


Dr Maiken Nedergaard, who led the study, said:

“Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of ethanol is known to have adverse effects on the central nervous system.However, in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain’s ability to remove waste.”


The study helps support the view of some research that suggests low levels of alcohol intake can be beneficial.


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The Amount Of Alcohol That’s Good For Your Brain

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 Published online: February 02, 2018
A treatment that provides rapid relief to patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar depression flies under the radar.
While it has been known for decades that patients with clinical depression often report feeling better after staying up all night, psychiatrists do not routinely prescribe sleep deprivation as a treatment. In recent years, however, European psychiatrists have begun to explore an approach that manipulates the sleep-wake cycle, known as chronotherapy, as a possible treatment for mood disorders.
In the United States chronotherapy is used to treat some types of sleep disorders, but few facilities offer this treatment for mood disorders, including seasonal affective disorders. Chicago Psychiatry Associates (CPA) is one of these clinics, where a regimen called triple chronotherapy is used. The therapy consists of three components: wake therapy, bright light treatment, and sleep phase advancement.
A striking feature of chronotherapy is the rapid relief of mood symptoms. “We see patients feel better within 12 to 36 hours after the treatment,” John Gottlieb, M.D., the medical director of CPA, told Psychiatric News. He is also a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
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Propranolol may interfere with the reconsolidation of traumatic memories brought forth during the reactivation session, thus making them less potent and fear-inducing.


It would be a tremendous breakthrough in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if patients were able to rid themselves of unwanted traumatic memories. Researchers and clinicians once believed that weakening memories might be an impossible task; however, studies over the past decade have found that when stored memories are retrieved, or reactivated, they temporarily enter a malleable state. Once a person stops thinking about a memory, the memory returns to a stable form, a process known as reconsolidation.

A drug that interferes with the reconsolidation of a reactivated traumatic memory could potentially weaken or even erase the retrieved memory. A study published January 12 in AJP in Advance suggests that the beta-blocker propranolol might be able to block memory reconsolidation.


Adults with PTSD who actively recalled their traumatic event under the influence of propranolol once a week, for up to six weeks, reported a substantial decrease in PTSD symptoms compared with participants who took placebo. This decrease was evident from both the perspective of the patient and clinician.


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Chart: Past Year E-Vaporizer Use and What Teens Are Inhaling
Published online: January 29, 2018


The findings from the Monitoring the Future survey show that nearly 1 in 3 high school seniors vaped in 2017—and not always using nicotine.


About 13 percent of 8th graders, 24 percent of 10th graders, and nearly 28 percent of 12th graders at U.S. schools reported using a vaping device in the past year, according to data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey. The survey results, which were released in December 2017, found that while most of these students said they mostly vape flavoring liquids, 1 in 10 reported vaping nicotine, and 1 in 20 reported vaping marijuana.


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