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Psychiatry in the news – 7 April 2009

Guardian reports that Legalisation of drugs could save UK £14bn, says study but it’s hard to imagine that this will do anything to change Jacqui Smith’s position.  Transform discuss further

The Today Programme reported today that care home children whose behaviour during the 1970s/80s was controlled using large doses  of medication have subsequently given birth to children with birth defects.   The drugs in question included Haloperidol, Droleptan and Depixol.  The BBC have Professor Jeffrey Aronson, professor of clinical pharmacology at Oxford University who says that high doses of such drugs can cause genetic damage.  Presumably he’s suggesting that the drugs cause damage to unfertilized eggs – rather than being teratogenic.  These drugs can currently be given to women of child bearing age.  It’s obviously concerning that large doses of sedatives should be given to anyone without a mental health disorder (or even with…) but if they’re right (nb: it doesn’t sound like a very rigerous report and there could be other causes for what they’re suggesting has happened) this would have wide ranging implications.

14 April 2009 Update: I emailed Aronson but as yet no reply.  A very well known academic clinical pharmacologist where I work said to me that he’d never heard of antipsychotics causing oocyte damage. 

Not strictly on psychiatry, but on the subject of this Government’s ongoing project to give us all anxiety disorders, check out the latest Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist tube advert.  New Campaign to urge Londoners to report suspicious activity 

Reds under the bed all over again – reminds me of a Viz cartoon I once read where Jack Black knew that the new bearded people who’d moved into his sleepy, Daily Mail reading village were terrorists because they read the Guardian.

14 April 2009 Update: this annoyed me so much I wrote a full post about it.

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