A recent post up at the Frontal Cortex points approvingly to a study of strollers, prams, toddlers and parental conversation. Jonah Lehrer concludes:

It would be nice to see this research filter down to stroller manufacturers, so that even cheap plastic strollers allow the infant to interact with the parent.

Very interesting. Must be strong evidence, no? And after all, we all want our little wackaballoons to be as smart and advanced as possible, do we not?

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A recent post from PalMD notes that discontinuation from clinical treatment with modern anti-depressant drugs such as the Selective* Serotonin Reuptake-Inhibitors (SSRIs; Prozac/fluoxetine and the like) can result in unpleasant effects.

When many of the newer classes of antidepressants are abruptly discontinued, there is a constellation of symptoms that many patients experience, including headache, dizziness, muscle aches, and nausea. This isn’t one of those “iffy” adverse drug events, for example when a patient treated with a statin complains of a backache and blames the drug. This is a predictable reaction to stopping or skipping a dose of medication.

PalMD then asks a question that is most fascinating to YHN.

In other words, stopping these medications can cause a withdrawal syndrome. Why don’t we just call it that? What’s with this “discontinuation syndrome” thing?

It all comes back to the stigma associated with dependence on recreational drugs and a persistent misconception that it is all merely “psychological” in nature. The overwhelming connotation of “psychological” in the context of substance dependence is a dualist connotation. In this case the notion expressed quite widely from the average layperson to the medical doctor to certain lay areas of substance dependence treatment (AA for example) that substance dependence is a matter of personal willpower or morality. It follows that all that is wrong with the substance dependent person is a deficit of will or morals and that the solution is to support will-power and moral rectitude.
This is pernicious and harmful nonsense.

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