Friday, October 08, 2010

Watch this, then watch what you watch

Thanks to Lori Shuldiner Schor for sending this great video my way. Take a look. Pass it along.

NEDA, here I come!

Looking forward to meeting some of you at NEDA this weekend. Tonight is a dinner for the PFN--I'll be there along with my ch-chair at Maudsley Parents, Jane Cawley. Saturday night there's a meet and greet and signing for authors at the conference--I'll be signing Brave Girl Eating. And I'll be presenting along with Dr. Walter Kaye on Sunday afternoon at 3. Hope to see you there and around the conference!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Serotonin and depression

I just couldn't resist reposting* this link to a blog that questions the relationship between serotonin levels and depression. The conventional wisdom is that antidepressants like sertraline and fluoxetine increase levels of serotonin in the brain and that's what alleviates depression. This blog asks why, then, antidepressants don't work right away, since they begin raising those levels immediately. And if you've ever started an antidepressant feeling rather desperate, you're extremely aware of every day it's not working.

It's all about neurogenesis, according to this blogger—the ability of the brain to generate new cells. Depression may be linked to lower levels of neurogenesis. One thing antidepressants do—after several weeks—is increase neurogenesis.

Fascinating stuff.

*Thanks to Carrie Arnold at Ed Bites for the original link.

University of Wisconsin Medical School talk

I find it uber-creepy to watch myself on video, so I'm linking this talk I gave last week at the UW Medical School without actually watching it.

If you happen to take a look, let me know how it looks. I'll take it down if it's not very good.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The study results are in!

And they're clear and well-supported: For teenagers with anorexia nervosa, the first-line treatment should be family-based treatment (FBT), also known as the Maudsley approach.

I think the days of FBT being labeled as a marginal, alternative, or "very special" treatment for "very special families" are officially over. For a high percentage of teens with anorexia, FBT works--they recover, and they stay recovered.

Does it work for every single family? Nope. But then neither does chemotherapy, or penicillin, or other mainstream treatments we don't question. (For an inside look at how it worked for our family, see my new book, Brave Girl Eating.)

Now, the hard part: Training enough FBT therapists so that more families have access to them. Luckily, someone's already on the case.

We still need more research. We still need better techniques. But there's no question that this is big news, and important news, for families and clinicians.

Big congratulations to Dr. Daniel le Grange and Dr. James Lock, who co-authored the study.