Tourette’s syndrome is characterised by tics caused in many by premonitory urges; sensations which give patients compulsion to act to relieve discomfort. Habit reversal therapy conditions patients into heightened awareness of premonitory urges and forced counteraction of the tic. New research in Cognitive Neuroscience examines the effect on Tourette’s sufferers when exposed to their own image for a prolonged period. Could introduction of patients’ self-image reduce tics due to heightened self-awareness and subsequent self-imposed tic control? Or might watching themselves increase inclination to tic? Will making the patient perceive tics induce actual tics? Two studies were undertaken to observe outcomes and findings are hoped to have positive implications for future behavioural interventions in Tourette’s syndrome patients.
Although depression and substance use disorders commonly co-occur in adolescents, little is known about how depression influences adolescent substance use disorder treatment retention and outcomes. With this issue in mind, a team of American researchers reviewed the available scientific literature and suggested four important considerations to maximize the clinical impact of future research regarding adolescent depression symptoms and substance use. Their review is published in the newest special issue of Substance Abuse journal.
In a world where many children spend hours a day playing computer or console game, researchers are starting to utilize those habits for the better. The use of gamification -- using game design elements to teach lessons, engage, and motivate -- is starting to increase in popularity. The article “Gamification for Behavior Change: Lessons from Developing a Social, Multiuser, Web-Tablet Based Prevention Game for Youths” illustrates how gamification concepts and principles were applied to the development of an online, multiuser, substance abuse, and relationship violence prevention game for youths. The article appears in Journal of Technology in Human Services, published by Routledge.
Meteorology meets fire science in a recent Weatherwise article exploring the violent whirlwinds that are known to wreak havoc in the nation’s west.