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‘Mental Health – The Nutrition Connection’ Seminar: May 17th, Hammersmith, London

Taking place at St Paul’s Centre, Hammersmith, London on May 17th 2014, Brain Bio Centre’s Education Day: 'Mental Health – The Nutrition Connection' is an information packed event covering depression and anxiety; Alzheimer's and dementia; schizophrenia and related symptoms; plus a focus on children's health in regards to autism, ADHD, learning and behaviour.

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Vitamin-mineral treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial

Background:
The role of nutrition in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is gaining international attention; however, treatments have generally focused only on diet restriction or supplementing with one nutrient at a time.


Aims:
To investigate the efficacy and safety of a broad-based micronutrient formula consisting mainly of vitamins and minerals, without omega fatty acids, in the treatment of ADHD in adults.


Method:
This double-blind randomised controlled trial assigned 80 adults with ADHD in a 1:1 ratio to either micronutrients (n = 42) or placebo (n = 38) for 8 weeks (trial registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000308291).


Results:
Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant between-group differences favouring active treatment on self- and observer- but not clinician-ADHD rating scales. However, clinicians rated those receiving micronutrients as more improved than those on placebo both globally and on ADHD symptoms. Post hoc analyses showed that for those with moderate/severe depression at baseline, there was a greater change in mood favouring active treatment over placebo. There were no group differences in adverse events.


Conclusions:
This study provides preliminary evidence of efficacy for micronutrients in the treatment of ADHD symptoms in adults, with a reassuring safety profile.

19th March 2014

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Causal link found between vitamin D, serotonin synthesis and autism in new study

Serotonin and vitamin D have been proposed to play a role in autism, however, no causal mechanism has been established. Now, researchers show that serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, three brain hormones that affect social behavior related to autism, are all activated by vitamin D hormone. Supplementation with vitamin D and tryptophan would be a practical and affordable solution to help prevent autism and possibly ameliorate some symptoms of the disorder.

3rd March 2014

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Piloting and validation of a novel self-administered online cognitive screening tool in normal older persons: the Cognitive Function Test

Background
Subtle cognitive changes have been described that may predate the onset of clinically recognizable Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect pathological changes in the brain that are detectable up to 10 years before the onset of AD. Early screening for cognitive status can have benefits in terms of early management and prevention strategies for cognitive decline.

Method
A novel computerized cognitive screening tool, the Cognitive Function Test (CFT), was compared with established paper tests of episodic memory, executive function and processing speed, domains previously shown to be predictive of AD, with 50 normal participants, Mini Mental State Examination ≥24, mean age 58.1, SD 5.6 years (range 50–65). An online version, self-administered by 195 eligible respondents without significant memory complaints or dementia, was assessed.

Results
Significant correlations (r = 0.75, p < 0.0001) were found between the CFT and paper tests in a pilot study, showing concurrent validity. The pilot computerized tests were compared with the online version, and no differences were found in mean scores on the total test and domain-specific scores using an algorithm derived from the pilot CFT scores, thus showing internal consistency and reliability of the online format. Norms and 1.5 SD cut-offs for the CFT are presented.

Conclusion
The online CFT was shown to be suitable for self-administration in online format (with a mouse response mode) for this midlife age group. Individuals may wish to monitor their cognitive performance before memory concerns are sufficient to warrant visiting a GP or memory clinic. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

21st January 2014

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