Jack Bouboushian reports on Courthouse News:
A Texas school district is not liable for a bullied fourth grader’s tragic suicide in the school nurse’s bathroom, the 5th Circuit ruled.
Montana Lance was just 9 years old when he hanged himself with his belt in a bathroom of the school nurse’s office in 2010.
The child had just returned to Stewarts Creek Elementary School after an eight-day stint at an alternative school where he went for pulling a penknife on Stewarts Creek classmates who had threatened him.
Read more on Courthouse News.
How is that we have zero tolerance cases that result in children being suspended for pointing their fingers like guns, but when it comes to students being harassed or bullied, schools that seemingly do not do enough to stop and prevent bullying are not liable?
If children can be held responsible for their conduct, when will we hold the schools fully responsible and accountable for their inaction or lack of safeguards?
The North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Movement Disorders Center will be one of nine sites in the United States taking part in a clinical trial of a new drug for Tourette syndrome, the health system announced today.
The drug, AZD5213, targets the histamine H3 receptor. Histamine is commonly associated with allergies and the immune system, but it also plays a role in regulating dopamine and the neurotransmitter is intimately tied to the symptoms of Tourette.
The trial was sparked by geneticists identifying a rare mutation in a gene for histidine decarboxylase (Hdc) in a family with Tourette syndrome – a father and his eight sons.
The mutation, which blocks histamine production, has only been found in that family, but researchers have created transgenic mice with the same mutation and those animals develop Tourette and compulsive-like behaviors. The animal studies showed that the mutations disrupted dopamine modulation and that histamine infusion reduced the dopamine levels.
“That scientists have replicated it in an animal model validates the hypothesis that the pathophysiology may be similar in human patients,” said Cathy Budman, MD, director of the Movement Disorders Program in Psychiatry, investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and expert on Tourette syndrome who will oversee the study site for North Shore-LIJ.
The study will test safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and efficacy in adolescent patients, between 12 and 17 years old. In addition to safety, the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale will be used to see whether tics were reduced while on the study drug.
“We are hoping that this new investigational drug will prove to be effective for patients,” said Dr. Budman.
According to the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), an estimated three in 1,000 children will develop Tourette syndrome although up to 1/200 may show milder tic symptoms. It is three times as likely in boys as in girls. Most patients experience their worst symptoms during adolescence, but symptoms may persist throughout life. Many patients also suffer from other conditions, including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anxiety, depression and anger control problems can also complicate the disease.
The brain chemistry changes that have been identified in Tourette open the door to the development of effective treatments. AZD5213 may be able to counteract these changes, with the potential to provide symptomatic relief with less of the negative side effects associated with existing treatments, said Dr. Budman.
For more information on the clinical trial, call study coordinator Arif Hafeez at 516-562-3224.
About North Shore-LIJ
One of the nation’s largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 16 hospitals and nearly 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,000 beds, employ more than 10,000 nurses and have affiliations with more than 9,400 physicians. With a workforce of more than 47,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go tohttp://www.northshorelij.com.
About The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Headquartered in Manhasset, NY, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is home to international scientific leaders in many areas including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sepsis, human genetics, pulmonary hypertension, leukemia, neuroimmunology, and medicinal chemistry. The Feinstein Institute, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, ranks in the top 6th percentile of all National Institutes of Health grants awarded to research centers. For more information, visit http://www.FeinsteinInstitute.org.
SOURCE: PRWEB, March 5, 2014
As I’ve done in the past, I am posting a research recruitment notice for the benefit of those who might be interested in participating. The study has nothing to do with me or my websites and is presented only as a courtesy. As in other cases, a copy of the university’s Institutional Review Board approval was submitted with the request to post this announcement.
A new clinical research study for individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at Hofstra University’s Anxiety and Depression Treatment Program is seeking research participants.
The study will provide FREE psychological treatment (Exposure and Response Prevention – ERP) for those who qualify. Research has shown that ERP is the optimal treatment for OCD. The study involves 16 biweekly sessions for the duration of 8 weeks, and is open to individuals who:
- are 18 years of age or older
- suffer with primarily contamination-related obsessions and compulsions
- have not experienced any changes in medication in the past 3 months
- are not currently involved in any other treatment (i.e., ERP, supportive, psychodynamic, etc.) or are willing to temporarily suspend current treatment for the duration of the study.
Interested individuals are welcome to contact the primary investigator, Jennifer Wilson, Doctoral Student in the Department of Psychology, at JenniferAWilson4@gmail.com.
How you represent yourself in the virtual world of video games may affect how you behave toward others in the real world, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Our results indicate that just five minutes of role-play in virtual environments as either a hero or villain can easily cause people to reward or punish anonymous strangers,” says lead researcher Gunwoo Yoon of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
As Yoon and co-author Patrick Vargas note, virtual environments afford people the opportunity to take on identities and experience circumstances that they otherwise can’t in real life, providing “a vehicle for observation, imitation, and modeling.”
They wondered whether these virtual experiences — specifically, the experiences of taking on heroic or villainous avatars — might carry over into everyday behavior.
The researchers recruited 194 undergraduates to participate in two supposedly unrelated studies. The participants were randomly assigned to play as Superman (a heroic avatar), Voldemort (a villainous avatar), or a circle (a neutral avatar). They played a game for 5 minutes in which they, as their avatars, were tasked with fighting enemies. Then, in a presumably unrelated study, they participated in a blind taste test. They were asked to taste and then give either chocolate or chili sauce to a future participant. They were told to pour the chosen food item into a plastic dish and that the future participant would consume all of the food provided.
The results were revealing: Participants who played as Superman poured, on average, nearly twice as much chocolate as chili sauce for the “future participant.” And they poured significantly more chocolate than those who played as either of the other avatars.
Participants who played as Voldemort, on the other hand, poured out nearly twice as much of the spicy chili sauce than they did chocolate, and they poured significantly more chili sauce compared to the other participants.
A second experiment with 125 undergraduates confirmed these findings and showed that actually playing as an avatar yielded stronger effects on subsequent behavior than just watching someone else play as the avatar.
Interestingly, the degree to which participants actually identified with their avatar didn’t seem to play a role:
“These behaviors occur despite modest, equivalent levels of self-reported identification with heroic and villainous avatars, alike,” Yoon and Vargas note. “People are prone to be unaware of the influence of their virtual representations on their behavioral responses.”
The researchers hypothesize that that arousal, the degree to which participants are ‘keyed into’ the game, might be an important factor driving the behavioral effects they observed.
The findings, though preliminary, may have implications for social behavior, the researchers argue:
“In virtual environments, people can freely choose avatars that allow them to opt into or opt out of a certain entity, group, or situation,” says Yoon. “Consumers and practitioners should remember that powerful imitative effects can occur when people put on virtual masks.”
For more information about this study, please contact: Gunwoo Yoon at email@example.com.
The original research article can be found online.
SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science
Study Finds Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Provides Significant Benefits to Patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
In a recent study, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital found significant benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as a treatment modality for patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a common, often severe, and under-recognized body image disorder that affects an estimated 1.7 percent to 2.4 percent of the population. This study demonstrated significant improvement in patients’ BDD symptoms and level of disability, as well as high levels of patient satisfaction with the treatment. The study is published online in advance of print in the journal Behavior Therapy.
Researchers first developed the manualized treatment and then studied 36 adults with BDD who were randomly selected to either receive 22 CBT sessions over 24 weeks, or placed on a 12-week wait list. Assessments were conducted pre-treatment, monthly, post-treatment and at three- and six-month follow-up appointments.
Post-treatment, patients reported high satisfaction with the treatment, and BDD symptoms such as depression; insight regarding inaccurate beliefs about appearance; and disability in work, social life/leisure, and family life/home responsibilities significantly improved.
BDD typically starts during early adolescence. The disorder consists of intrusive, time-consuming preoccupations about perceived defects in one’s physical appearance (for example, acne, hair loss, or nose size) whereas the perceived flaws are actually minimal or even nonexistent in the eyes of others. Individuals with BDD may engage in obsessive grooming, skin picking or plastic surgery (which appears to usually be ineffective). BDD also often leads to social impairments, missed work or school and difficulty forming and maintaining meaningful relationships. It is associated with high lifetime rates of psychiatric hospitalization and suicide.