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August 2018
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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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ASAN January Update
Dear friends, 

Last year we saw a tremendous groundswell of disability advocacy from all corners of the country. Now, with 2017 just out of range of our rearview mirror, we can look ahead to what 2018 has in store for us. Here’s how we are continuing our work to defend and ensure basic human rights for all disabled people:

  • *At the beginning of January, we released a statement opposing the introduction of work requirements for Medicaid.
  • *In March, we’ll be holding our annual Day of Mourning at sites around the country. You can sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil coordinator here.
  • *Applications are now available for our 2018 Autism Campus Inclusion Summer Leadership Academy, a week-long advocacy training in Washington DC. If you know an autistic college student interested in developing their leadership and advocacy skills, let them know!
  • *We’re also pleased to announce the recipients of our 2018 Autistic Scholars Fellowship, a project that supports autistic college students who demonstrate a commitment to disability rights. We’re looking forward to supporting their advocacy work this year and in the future.
Although we kicked off the year with record-breaking cold temperatures across the country, we can already feel the warmth of fired-up activists spreading nationwide. We’re excited to work with you again this year and make our message heard: nothing about us without us! 


Julia Bascom
Executive Director
Autistic Self Advocacy Network

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Ulric Neisser


What can one say about an article that explores self in terms of stage theories (5 stages that match my own stage theoretic framework), has references to infantile autism and paranoia , and even references Carol Dweck‘s entity vs incremental intelligence theories and George Lakoff‘s ‘idealized cognitive model‘- all focuses of this blog…Well I just love this article by Ulric Neisser titled ‘Five kinds of self-knowledge’. That artcile gives me an opportunity to integrate and synthesize many of the prominent threads of this blog in a coherent narrative.


Let me start with core thesis of Ulrich that there are at least five different types of selves that we gradually become aware of in developmental time frame. Because Ulrich does such a nice job of presenting his findings , I’ll quote at length from him.

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Five kinds of self/self-knowledge

Mysterious path


Who doesn’t enjoy a walk outdoors in nature? The fact that nature settings are less and less accessible to those who live in cities should be concerning, especially with respect to overall health and well-being. The fact is, however, that continuing research shows nature has multiple benefits for your well-being.


More than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that proportion is projected to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Despite many benefits of urbanization, studies show that the mental health of urban dwellers is negatively affected by their city environment, with greater prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders and an increasing incidence of schizophrenia. Finding that bit of green space in cities or spending time in nature visiting rural areas may do more than provide a temporary escape from concrete, steel and glass.


Being in nature improves creativity and problem-solving.


Ever been stumped, hit a wall, unable to arrive at a well-reasoned decision? Most people have, at one time or another. It isn’t coincidence that talking time out to be in nature can result in a subsequent creativity surge and/or the sudden realization of a workable solution. Beyond that, according to 2012 research published in PLoS One, there is a cognitive advantage that accrues from spending time in a natural environment. Other research published in Landscape and Urban Planning found that complex working memory span improved and a decrease in anxiety and rumination resulted from exposure to natural green space.


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7-8 March 2018


About the conference


Be inspired and learn from world-renowned experts

This annual two-day conference is a unique opportunity for senior professionals to discuss best practice and share learning. Hear the latest information from leading experts in the field and learn from case studies illustrating best practice. With four different seminar streams to choose from, you can select the seminars which are most relevant to your work. 


Don’t miss out!
Places are limited so book now to secure your place.


Key topics

Some of the key topics this conference will cover include:

  • *recognising and treating anxiety
  • *helping parents to improve their child’s sleep patterns
  • *employment for autistic adults
  • *using speech and language tools to aid communication
  • *developing a new adult diagnostic tool
  • *eating disorders in autistic women
  • *autism and epilepsy
  • *techniques for coping with bullying.


Confirmed speakers

Our top international speakers will give you unique insight and understanding into autism. Among our expert speakers and panelists are:

Michelle Garcia Winner

Yo Dunn

Christine Lenehan

Mark Lever

William Mandy

Chris Oliver

Rohit Shankar

Owen and Cornelia Suskind

Jack Welch

Penny Williams




Hypertension is a pervasive and growing threat to global health. The number of adults with hypertension has nearly doubled from 442 million to 874 million worldwide in the past 25 years.1 Among those with hypertension, many take antihypertensive drugs from multiple classes (such as thiazide-type diuretics and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors) to control their blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk.2 Although the addition of a second (or third) class of antihypertensive drug to a patient’s hypertension treatment regimen is done routinely in clinical practice, the incremental benefits and risks of each additional drug class remain controversial. It is commonly believed that the addition of a new drug class to a patient’s regimen will result in progressively smaller reductions in blood pressure while increasing the risk of adverse events.345 Because of physiologic limitations or drug-drug interactions, escalation of the number of antihypertensive drugs has been postulated to produce diminishing benefits and increasing harms.6 Such concerns are particularly pronounced for older patients78 or those for whom some drugs might prove less effective, such as patients with resistant hypertension91011 or black patients.1213 Others have argued that adding a drug from a new class that targets a distinct and complementary mechanism, however, could reduce blood pressure at lower doses of each drug, improving therapeutic benefit and lowering side effects.1415


BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 22 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5542

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