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Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young persons in Sweden and globally. The last decades have seen an increasing proportion of the youth population engaging in university level education. The university period usually coincides with other important life events such as moving away from home. Early adulthood is furthermore a period when severe mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, may become symptomatic.
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects over 10% of adults worldwide. Mental health is an important yet under-recognized issue in patients with CKD. Depression is common and related to poor prognosis in CKD patients, but previous research has primarily focused on dialysis patients, leading to an insufficient understanding of depression in earlier stages of CKD.
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Women who suffer depression during or after pregnancy have a higher risk of death by both natural and unnatural causes, a new study of childbirth in Sweden published in The BMJ reports. The increased risk peaks in the month after diagnosis but remains elevated for as long as 18 years afterwards.
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The mhGAP guideline supports countries to strengthen capacity to deal with the growing burden of mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) conditions and narrow the treatment gap. These recommendations were first published in 2010 as part of the mhGAP intervention guide. The third edition of the mhGAP handbook, reflecting 15 years of investment, covers 11 modules on various mental health disorders and related conditions.
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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder, affecting around 20% of the population worldwide. Several causes that can lead to MDD, and patients display a wide range of symptoms as well as responses to treatments. This diversity makes it challenging to pinpoint the root causes, understand the underlying mechanisms, and tailor treatments effectively. Suicide is a pressing public health concern, impacting not only individuals living with MDD but also the general population.
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Gambling addiction can increase the risk of long-term sick leave for several years, according to a new study published in Psychological Medicine. Researchers from Karolinska Institutet behind the study point to the need to detect people with gambling addiction in time to avoid financial and health problems.
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More and more researchers understand the importance of including the patients' experiences when planning scientific studies. Meet three people who have been hired as experts in their own illness.
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KI researcher Carl Sellgren has been awarded the Bjarne Ahlströms Minnesfonds pris 2023 (Bjarne Ahlström Memorial Fund Prize 2023) for his research in clinical neurology and how the loss of synapses (contacts between cells) in the brain could be a possible cause of schizophrenia.
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Mania is a possible but rare side effect of treatment with antidepressant medication in adults, but little has previously been known of this risk in depressed children and adolescents. A newly published paper in JAMA Psychiatry investigated this, finding no evidence of mania/hypomania induced by antidepressants by 12 weeks after treatment initiation. However, caution is necessary in treatment for children with more severe depression or where a parent has bipolar disorder.
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Sten Lundin set his apartment on fire and was convicted of arson. It turned out that he had bipolar disorder and the care he got helped him on feet again. "Life can sometimes turn around. I want everyone to know that", says Sten Lundin.
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She was deprived of liberty for over ten years. "I feel a great deal of sadness that it took so long before I received proper care", says Jenny.
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Who is at the highest risk of committing violent acts - and who is not? Forensic psychiatrist Jonas Forsman's researches involves an instrument that can, in a best case scenario, simplify the assessment of most forensic psychiatric patients.
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Anette Johansson conducts research on what separates psychotic people who commit crimes from psychotic people who do not.
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7.5 years That is the average treatment time for a person who has been sentenced to forensic psychiatric care. This is 2.5 years longer than what previous figures has lead us to believe.
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In 2022, roughly 350 people were sentenced to forensic psychiatric care. There is a unique borderland between the judicial system and healthcare, in which a person who has completed their medical treatment can be prevented from being discharged. At the same time, many patients are saying that they have benefited from the care. And fewer people relapse into crime after they have received forensic psychiatric care than they do after being imprisoned.
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It is quite common that individuals who have one psychiatric condition, also qualify for other psychiatric conditions. This observation questions the conventional belief that different diagnoses are independent, and instead implies the possibility of a set of factors that increases risks for several types of mental health problems.
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New research from Karolinska Institutet published in JAMA Psychiatry shows how suicide attempts among people with depression is associated with higher mortality and impaired functionality.
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Bipolar disorder underlies roughly five percent of all suicides among young people. Previous studies also show that there is often a long delay between the onset of bipolarism and its correct diagnosis and treatment. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now show that fewer boys commit suicide in Swedish regions where bipolar diagnoses are more common. The study, which is published in JAMA Psychiatry, could contribute to more proactive care for reducing the number of suicides.
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A Scandinavian collaboration led by KI researchers shows that of individuals treated in specialist care for major depressive disorder (MDD), many have a severe prognosis, for instance experiencing recurrence, developing other psychiatric disorders, requiring inpatient treatment, and some even dying by suicide. This research was based on 273,000 individuals with MDD in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The findings are published in Lancet Regional Health Europe.
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Medical sleep treatment may reduce self-harm in young people with anxiety and depression, an observational study from Karolinska Institutet suggests. The risk of self-harm increased in the months preceding melatonin prescription and decreased thereafter, especially in girls. The study is published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
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Rumours spread faster than ever nowadays thanks to social media, and it is easy to get carried away. Some people are also inherently more vulnerable to conspiracy theories. However, sceptics’ concerns should be addressed, not dismissed, say researchers who are studying people’s willingness to take different kinds of vaccines.
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A new study published in BMC Public Health, shows that screening in schools can improve psychotic symptoms in adolescents. The study is partly produced by researcher at the National centre for suicide research and prevention at Karolinska Institutet.

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The interplay between sex steroid hormones, psychiatric- and neurodevelopmental disorders and adverse behavioral outcomes is in focus in a new thesis from Karolinska Institutet.
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Hi Sandra af Winklerfelt Hammarberg, PhD student at the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care. On February 17 you will defend your thesis "Aspects of common mental disorders in primary care" what is the main focus of the thesis?
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The diagnosis exhaustion disorder accounts for the majority of all long-term sick leave in Sweden. However, a research review indicates that the scientific evidence behind the diagnosis is weak.
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Depression is common in individuals with endocrine-metabolic disorders and vice versa. In a study involving 2.2 million people in the Swedish population, researchers at Karolinska Institutet confirmed that individuals with endocrine-metabolic disorders have increased rates of depression and found that there are also higher rates of depression in their siblings. The study is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
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Patient-initiated brief admission as a complement to outpatient psychiatric care is appreciated by nurses and patients, and can reduce levels of anxiety in people with emotional instability and self-harm, a new thesis from Karolinska Institutet reports.
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Six predictors could help determine the amount of lithium needed to treat patients with bipolar disorder, according to a large study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The study, published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, also pinpoints genetic markers that seem to influence how quickly the body eliminates lithium from its system.
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Children with migration backgrounds in Sweden are less likely than other children to receive recommended treatment for psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD and depression, a paper from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences reports.
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Scientists have analysed DNA from more than 300,000 people with and without the psychiatric disorder in the largest genetic study of schizophrenia to date and have identified a great number of specific genes that could play important roles in the psychiatric disorder. A companion paper published in parallel strengthens these findings by pointing to a similar genetic and biological basis for this disorder. Both studies are published today in the leading international journal Nature.
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Sexual and gender-based harassment in the workplace can contribute to the development of mental ill-health requiring treatment with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports.
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Use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) does not lead to poorer mental health in children across adolescence and young adulthood, according to a large observational study led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found a slightly higher risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder for those born after ART but this was explained by parental background factors.
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It remains a central challenge in psychiatry to reliably judge whether a patient will respond to treatment. In a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany show that moment-to-moment fluctuations in brain activity can reliably predict whether patients with social anxiety disorder will be receptive to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
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Patients with bipolar disorder who experience manic episodes are more likely to show abnormal brain changes over time, according to one of the largest longitudinal brain imaging studies in its field to date. The study, led by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and University of Gothenburg in Sweden, also confirms links between bipolar disorder and accelerated brain ventricle enlargement. The findings are published online in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
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The discovery that the anaesthetic ketamine can help people with severe depression has raised hopes of finding new treatment options for the disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now identified novel mechanistic insights of how the drug exerts its antidepressant effect. The findings have been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
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Depressed children and teenagers have an increased risk of suffering from premature death and a wide range of illnesses later in life. That is according to a large observational study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The findings highlight the need to look for other potential diseases following childhood or adolescent depression. Other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and substance misuse, can explain part of the association. The study is published in JAMA Psychiatry.
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Migrants from Africa and the Middle East and their children are more likely to be placed under compulsory care than the Swedish-born population when admitted to hospital for psychosis for the first time. That is according to a large, nationwide study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University College London in the U.K., published in the journal Psychological Medicine.
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Researchers at Karolinska Institutet show that different measures of psychopathology can be combined into a single factor, “p”, which predicts the patient’s prognosis and need of extra support. The general factor of psychopathology reflects the overall risk of adverse psychiatric outcomes with an accuracy equal to that currently used for intelligence, they report in a paper published in World Psychiatry.
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Pregnant women with eating disorders should undergo extended pregnancy screenings considering their increased risk of complications. That is the conclusion from a study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. The researchers were, for example, able to show that children to mothers with eating disorders had an increased risk of premature birth and being born with a small head circumference.
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People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who also have depression are more likely to suffer debilitating symptoms early than people with MS who are not depressed, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that is published in the journal Neurology. The findings highlight the need for early recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms in patients with MS.
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Refugees and other migrants who move to Sweden are initially less likely to be diagnosed with alcohol or drug addiction than the native population but over time their rates of substance abuse begin to mirror that of the Swedish born population. That is according to a new study by researchers at UCL in the U.K. and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal PLOS Medicine.
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Title: The comorbidity between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders: aetiology, treatment and outcomes
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Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) run a greater risk of psychiatric disorders, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers claim that more psychological support and longer follow-up is needed for the children affected and their parents.
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Psychiatric comorbidity may play an important role in the increased risk of premature death in people with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), according to a new extensive registry study conducted at Karolinska Institutet and Örebro University in Sweden. The results, which are published in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that improved awareness and care of psychiatric comorbidities such as substance use disorders may help reduce serious outcomes associated with ADHD.
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An initial gene analysis may yield better outcomes when patients are treated with the antipsychotic drugs risperidone and aripiprazole. A novel study shows how the activity of a specific enzyme, which metabolises the two drugs, affects the individual dose that should be given for optimal treatment. The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry and has been conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.
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Hi there Linda P. Sturesson, PhD student at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics. Your new book "Diskvalificering av det positiva" (Disqualification of the positive) was released on April 11th.
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For reasons that are unclear, schizophrenia patients have fewer connections between the neurons in the brain. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, have now succeeded in creating human cell models that show that there is an excessive degradation of connections in the brain of these patients, and they have been able to link this to a genetic risk variant for the disease.
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KI webbförvaltning
09-06-2023