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April 4, 2006

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Researchers are still left confused despite making in-depth ...
... These include oppositional defiant, mood, anxiety, bipolar and conduct disorders, depression, epilepsy and Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder ...

Hallucinations During Lamotrigine Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Am J Psychiatry
Lamotrigine is increasingly used for patients with bipolar affective disorder. We report a case with visual hallucinations as a ...

New York Post
... arrest and died. Davenport's father, Herman, said his son was bipolar, and was taking a number of anti-depressant medications. Even so ...

A crime, penalty and illness
His crime was stalking Lauren Bush, the president's niece. His problem is that he suffers from bipolar disorder. Prior to the incident, 32-year-old Lucas Schloming was not taking his anti-psychotic medication. He had no job, and he was living at his parents' home in Cambridge, Mass.

Madness, medication and motherhood
I have bipolar disorder. I want a child, but I am terrified of going off my meds -- and of birth defects. Do I dare trust this body to create another one?

Harvard Brain Bank, World's Largest, Seeks a Few Good Cerebella
April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Almost anyone with a brain can get into Harvard. Harvard University's brain bank at McLean Hospital, the world's largest repository of brains for scientific study, is facing a shortage.

A Chance Find, and Voilà! Goodbye, Hot Flashes. Hello, Sleep.
New York Times
Neurontin was approved by the F.D.A. in 1994 to treat epileptic seizures, but it may also provide relief for women suffering hot flashes.

A legacy of ethics
Louisville Courier-Journal
Barry Bingham Jr., who led The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times to national acclaim and three Pulitzer Prizes before seeing his family's media empire collapse in the 1980s, died yesterday at his Glenview home.

Mental patient to sue MEC and hospital
Independent Online
A woman who was allegedly raped by a male nurse and a male patient at a state mental hospital is planning to sue the Gauteng health MEC and the hospital for failing to protect her.

Personality breakdown: Will scientists be able to determine what we'll be like from traits we exhibit as kids and teens?

Newsday (Melville, NY); 4/3/2006

Byline: Jamie Talan

Apr. 3--Scientists studying personality are working to figure out if traits exhibited by a child or teenager can provide clues to who they become as adults. Long-term studies are identifying personality traits in children and following them throughout adulthood. Scientists also are trying to figure out whether extremes in personality lead to behavior that can be classified as a disorder. "We are re-discovering an old clinical idea," said Drew Westen, a personality researcher at Emory University in Atlanta. "We think that the ways people fall ill psychologically are dependent on personality." Westen was part of a think-tank discussion this weekend at a conference on personality disorders in adolescents, sponsored by The Personality Disorders Institute at Cornell University Weill Medical College. Only recently have experts attempted to diagnose personality disorders in young people. The thinking has long been that personality is a work in progress until adulthood. Genes are laid down, but environment plays an important role in shaping how someone feels about themselves and responds to their world. By adulthood, personality becomes virtually fixed for life. This is quite different from mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorders that also can begin in young people, but have an identifiable beginning and end. "Personality explains a huge chunk of why someone is depressed in adolescence," Westen said. "Just knowing that a kid has problems with his conduct tells us very little about who he is or what his adult life will be like," Westen said. "But personality ... that will tell us a great deal." How a person reacts to others and the environment itself comes under genetic and environmental control, said Dr. Katherine Halmi, a professor of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. As an eating disorders specialist, Halmi has seen that many of her patients with anorexia seem to share a personality trait marked by perfectionism. They master their anxiety by starving themselves, she said. Certain traits make people vulnerable to specific mental illnesses, she said. For example, distrust, anxiety and interpersonal avoidance can be linked to paranoia. Harvard University's Jerome Kagan says a diverse culture allows many different personality types to take shape. Family and culture sculpts them. Take two temperamentally similar children and put them in different types of families and the outcomes for these children will be vastly different, said Kagan, who has been following babies and children into adulthood. "We are still studying them to see how their life itinerary changes," Kagan said.

Patricia Cohen, a researcher at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, has been doing similar research. Following 821 people since early childhood, Cohen found that 10 percent to 15 percent had a diagnosable personality and/or mood problem. Many are now in their 30s and early 40s and these problems resonate in the next generation. What Cohen learned is that children with any mental disorder at 13 were less likely to be settled in their careers or relationships in their 30s. They had less education and were less likely to be raising a family. Paul Costa Jr., chief of the intramural laboratory of personality and cognition at the National Institute on Aging, says it's almost impossible to tell what a 10-year-old will be like at 30. But by 19, it is much easier to predict his future. "The stress-prone will remain stress-prone, but they will mellow with age," he said. "It is a fit of trait and environment."

Copyright (c) 2006, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.),

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COPYRIGHT 2006 Newsday

This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.

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