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Conference report: dementia research and care and its impact in Switzerland

Special article
Leyhe T, Jucker M, Nef T, Sollberger M, Riese F, Haba-Rubio J, Verloo H, Lüthi R, Becker S, Popp J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20376

A Swiss panel of experts met for the Dementia Summit in Brunnen, Switzerland, to discuss the latest scientific findings on basic and clinical research, as well as practical and political approaches to the challenges of dementia disorders in Switzerland. Here, they present the conference summary.

Problems faced by Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland

Original article
Kiselev N, Pfaltz M, Schick M, Bird M, Pernille H, Sijbrandij M, de Graaff AM, Schnyder U, Morina N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20381

Authorities, practitioners and researchers should recognize that Syrian refugees and asylum seekers are strongly affected by a broad range of problems. Besides practical problems, they suffer a multitude of psychological problems, and a significant number of them report, among other issues, symptoms of mental health disorders.

Healthcare professionals’ opinions on psychological screening in follow-up care for childhood cancer survivors

Original article
Harju E, Hendriks MJ, Roser K, Michel G
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20356

There is overall agreement that screening for psychological late effects is not yet standard in follow-up care in Switzerland. It is important to mitigate perceived barriers and concerns of healthcare professionals to enable a successful implementation of psychological distress screening according to the established standards of care.

The new remuneration system TARPSY in Swiss psychiatric hospitals: effects on length of stay and readmissions?

Original article
Hepp U, Raim Gautier C, Baumgartner M, Bridler R, Hoff P, Minder J, Müller M, Savaskan E, Seifritz E, Stulz N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20337

If being evident at all, the effects of the new remuneration system TARPSY on LOS and readmission rates seem to be small. Concerns that declining daily rates in TARPSY would result in early discharges and increased readmission rates did not prove true in adult and geriatric psychiatry.

Time trend of suicide in Swiss male farmers and comparison with other men: a cohort study

Original article
Steck N, Junker C, Bopp M, Egger M, Zwahlen M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20251

The ongoing agricultural reforms present serious challenges for Swiss farmers. This study shows a higher rate of suicide in farmers compared to non-farmers in Switzerland, with the gap widening increasingly after 2006.

Substance use as a function of activity level among young Swiss men

Original article
Diatta ID, Berchtold A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20197

Even though substance users and people with a high level of physical activity are two population groups that have been the subjects of many studies, the general link between substance use and level of physical activity is much less discussed. 

Vulnerability to relapse under stress: insights from affective neuroscience

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Pool ER, Sander D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20151

Decades of research in affective neuroscience have been devoted to identifying the underlying neuropsychological mechanisms that can lead to compulsive reward-seeking behaviours where the amount of effort mobilised to obtain an outcome is no longer justified by its value.

Interventional psychiatry in the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia: a qualitative review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Swierkosz-Lenart K, Mall JF, von Gunten A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20140

Pharmaceutical options for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are limited. This article invetigates the potential role of interventional techniques, considering the possible overlapping role of specific neurocircuits underlying BPSD.

Acute effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on resting brain function

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Müller F, Borgwardt S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20124

In recent years, there has been a revival in research on hallucinogenic drugs. One of the most interesting questions is how the typical effects of LSD are represented on a neuronal level. This question was recently addressed by three clinical trials.

Extracellular matrix: a new player in memory maintenance and psychiatric disorders

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Bach D, Brown SA, Kleim B, Tyagarajan S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20060

Significant strides have been made in developing and refining psychotherapeutic treatments. However, there is significant room to improve them, and they may benefit from innovations such as extracellular matrix modification.

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