Post Of The Week – Saturday 21st April 2018

1) Genes For OCD

This research came out in October last year but I only just found it.

There’s a brief article here. The problem with understanding OCD to this point is that the evidence has been fragmentary. We know about genes, brain areas and serotonin but don’t know how they fit together. By isolating four genes relevant to the working of the basal ganglia and linking one of them to the function of serotonin, this team has started to join the dots.


2) Beck On The History Of CBT

On our course, we look at Beck’s triad and Ellis’ ABC model as explanations of depression. We assume that CBT as currently practised is an expression of the ideas from both models. This video featuring Aaron Beck serves to validate that assumption. Beck was influenced by Ellis in the development of CBT.


3) Boozy Mum Culture

When looking at risk factors for the development of addiction, the risk factors we look at are within or close to the individual: genes, personality, stress, family and peers. This article suggests that we need to look more broadly, specifically to the way in which alcohol is presented to women. It’s an argument for taking a more holistic, socio-cultural view of addiction.


4) Depression And Inflammation

There’s been some interest in the media this week in the idea that depression is caused by inflammation. Ed Bullmore from the University Of Cambridge is about to publish a book about it. Here’s a useful summary about this idea from a few months ago. It represents an important challenge to the cognitive explanation of depression as a disorder of thought.


5) CBT

Here’s a useful summary.


6) Asperger

There have been some disturbing revelations this week about the connection between Hans Asperger and the Nazi regime. This is the best and most accessible thing that I have read. It’s not just that Asperger was on the edge of some brutal treatment of children, which would be bad enough. It’s that his conception of autism comes out of Nazi ideology, specifically concerns about individual and collective. That, in my view, has some connections to our ideas about definitions of abnormality which need to be explored.

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