WNPR

Mental Health

Vince Alongi

Alzheimer’s is predicted to be the defining disease of the baby boom generation.

It’s an incurable brain disorder that destroys memory, as well as the ability to speak and function.  It also slowly eats away at loved ones who serve as caregivers.  

A University of Connecticut professor has been studying two treatment therapies for post traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on the military community which sees a disproportionate number of PTSD cases.

Aging Vigorously

Dec 1, 2011
Roy Rowan

The population of those 90 and over in America has nearly tripled in the last 30 years.

And (surprise!) Connecticut is in the top five states with the largest number of people over 85 years old. A recent census study had to add a whole new category for these “oldest old” folks. So what does it mean that more people will be living well into their 90s?

Today we’ll talk to 91 year old former journalist and author Roy Rowan who says he isnt “aging gracefully” - but aging “vigorously” and “actively.”  

Decisions, Decisions

Nov 17, 2011
Rex Roof, Creative Commons

When you make a decision, do you carefully deliberate? Or do you go with your gut?

It seems as though those are our choices...but as scientists dig deeper into the human mind, they’re discovering that this is not actually how the brain works.

Our best decisions - they find - are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation.

State lawmakers and policy leaders met in Hartford on Tuesday to outline challenges facing Connecticut’s children.   Some of the key issues may come up in the 2012 legislative session.

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Jewell Mullen listed several areas of particular concern.  "They include the disproportionate incidence of infant mortality, particularly in New Haven, but in our urban areas and increasingly in our smaller cities; the rising prevalence of childhood obesity;  also, needing to put a new focus on preventing violence and injury."

Chion Wolf

There is one part of the autism spectrum with a specific name: Asperger’s Syndrome.

Asperger’s is a relatively new diagnosis - it was just added to the DSM in 1994.

It’s said to be a “milder” form of autism... Those with Asperger's may face social challenges and sometimes develop unusual behaviors and interests.

However, they typically do not have many of the problems with language or intellectual disability normally associated with autism.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Ars Electronica

Airdate: October 17, 2011 A recent Pew Center study of U.S military in the post 9-11 era found 37 percent of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress. For those diagnosed with PTSD and who are getting care at a VA facility, one of the treatments used is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR. It's therapy to resolve trauma related disorders.

Veterans are among college students heading back to class this fall. At the University of Connecticut, more than 400 students have military experience. They're considered non-traditional students given the fact many enroll after multiple deployments. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on one way campuses are working to accommodate their needs. 

Roots of Prejudice

May 16, 2011
Linda, Creative Commons

Prejudice is one of the more troubling and baffling aspects of human nature

It has been the subject of scientific study for years.  But while social psychologists have learned a great deal about attitudes and societal influences that cause intergroup conflict, little effort has been devoted to understanding how adult humans come to have these biases in the first place.  So a Yale study set out to discover the roots of human prejudice, by studying groups of rhesus monkeys.

Casey Serin, Creative Commons

About one in five prisoners in Connecticut is receiving mental health treatment .

According to the 2010 recidivism report recently released by the state, inmates with mental health problems are significantly more likely to end up back in jail once they get out.

The statistics reveal a flawed system of treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally ill in the state’s justice system - but it’s not confined to Connecticut.  

creative commons, t.spang

Chion Wolf

Today's show was occasioned by a controversial New York Times page one article about Dr. Donald Levin.

It said: "Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient."

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