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Health - Psychology - 21.12.2020
One in three adults drank more alcohol during first lockdown
COVID-19 and lockdown measures drove some individuals more than others to use alcohol to cope with stress, a new study has revealed. While overall alcohol consumption appeared to fall, a study published in  BMJ Open  found that more than one in three adults (36%) increased their consumption during the first lockdown.

Psychology - Health - 10.12.2020
’Psychological toll’ of lockdown peaked in the early weeks
People's levels of anxiety and depression were at their highest (worst) in the early stages of the March lockdown but improved fairly rapidly following the introduction of restrictions, according to new findings by UCL researchers. The study, published today in Lancet Psychiatry and funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, analysed data from over 36,000 adults who had provided responses on their mental health as part of the UCL COVID -19 Social Study on a weekly basis between 23 March and 9 August 2020.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 08.12.2020
Significant increase in depression seen among children during first lockdown
The first lockdown led to a significant increase in symptoms of depression among children, highlighting the unintended consequences of school closures, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge. Our study is one of the first to follow the same children over time during lockdown and suggests that symptoms of depression among children got much worse during this period Giacomo Bignardi In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government implemented a national "lockdown" involving school closures and social distancing.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 30.11.2020
Duchess of Cambridge spearheads early years study involving UCL
The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the findings of the biggest ever UK study on the early years, involving researchers at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. The study marks a milestone moment for her work on the importance of early childhood in shaping the rest of our lives and broader societal outcomes.

Pharmacology - Psychology - 27.11.2020
Treatment for drug addiction - how do patients cope in lockdown?
There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses, finds a new 'early insight' report from researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Bath.

Health - Psychology - 24.11.2020
Young people’s anxiety levels doubled during first COVID-19 lockdown, says study, but easing of restrictions unlikely to bring any improvement to mental health
The number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13% to 24%, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown 1, according to new research from the University of Bristol. The study, using Bristol's Children of the 90s questionnaire data, showed that young people (27-29 years) reported higher levels of anxiety during the early phases of the pandemic in the first national lockdown and this was higher than their parents.

Psychology - Social Sciences - 20.11.2020
High levels of serious mental health difficulties among 17-year-olds
16% of teenagers report high levels of psychological distress at age 17, finds a new study led by UCL researchers based on data collected in 2018-19. The findings also show 24% of young people report self-harming and 7% report self-harming with suicidal intent by age 17. The research, which is being published in a  briefing paper  by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the UCL Social Research Institute provides evidence of widespread mental health difficulties among the UK's Generation Z before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 13.11.2020
The future’s uncertain - but noradrenaline can help us adapt
A brain chemical called noradrenaline is responsible for our responses to uncertain situations - helping us to learn quickly and adapt our behaviour, a new study has found. We found that a brain chemical called noradrenaline plays a role in our inability to predict the future when the state of the world is volatile.

Health - Psychology - 11.11.2020
New survey reveals toll of COVID-19 on mental health in Wales
Wales faces a "wave? of mental health problems in the wake of COVID-19, with younger adults, women and people from deprived areas suffering the most, new research has suggested. That is the warning in a study, led by Cardiff University's Professor Robert Snowden and Swansea University's Professor Nicola Gray, which has examined the pandemic's impact on the mental wellbeing of the Welsh population.

Psychology - Health - 11.11.2020
Low fitness linked to higher depression and anxiety risk
People with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. Low fitness levels also predicted a 60% greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the findings published in BMC Medicine .

Health - Psychology - 10.11.2020
Almost 20% of COVID-19 patients receive a psychiatric diagnosis within 90 days
A new study suggests that having COVID-19 increases a person's risk of developing psychiatric disorders, and that having a psychiatric disorder increases the chance of getting COVID-19.

Health - Psychology - 10.11.2020
Loneliness a leading cause of depression in older adults
Loneliness is responsible for 18% of depression among people over 50 in England, according to a new study led by UCL researchers. The findings, published in The Lancet Psychiatry , suggest that almost one in five depression cases among older adults could be prevented if loneliness were eliminated. The researchers found that people's subjective experiences of loneliness contributed to depression up to 12 years later, independent of more objective measures of social isolation.

Politics - Psychology - 06.11.2020
Game combats political misinformation by letting players undermine democracy
A short online game in which players are recruited as a "Chief Disinformation Officer" and use tactics such as trolling to sabotage elections in a peaceful town has been shown to reduce susceptibility to political misinformation in its users. Fake news and online conspiracies will continue to chip away at the democratic process until we take seriously the need to improve digital media literacy across populations Sander van der Linden The free-to-play  Harmony Square  is released to the public today, along with a study on its effectiveness published in the  Harvard Misinformation Review.

Health - Psychology - 03.11.2020
Earwax sampling could measure stress hormone
A novel method to sample earwax could be a cheap and effective way to measure the hormone cortisol, according to a study led by researchers at UCL and King's College London. The findings, published in the academic journal Heliyon , could point to new ways of monitoring depression and stress-linked conditions.

Psychology - Health - 03.11.2020
Young people recruited to harness smartphones to improve mental health and wellbeing
Young people across Europe are being recruited to a trial to put their smartphone usage to good use, via an app designed to prevent anxiety and depression and improve wellbeing. Researchers at the University of Glasgow are part of the University of Exeter-led, pan-European project to recruit young people aged between 16 and 22 years to use the app.

Health - Psychology - 29.10.2020
Understanding COVID-19’s impact on mental health in Peru
A UCL-led project exploring the impact of coronavirus on older people's mental health in Peru is one of the first to receive new government funding, aimed at addressing the pandemic's impact in lowand middle-income countries. Professor John Hurst (UCL Division of Medicine) is one of 12 lead academics to receive funding as part of the Global Effort on COVID-19 (GECO) Health Research initiative, led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), in partnership with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Life Sciences - Psychology - 26.10.2020
Single brain region linking depression and anxiety, heart disease, and people’s sensitivity to treatment
Over-activity in a single brain region called the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) underlies several key symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, but an antidepressant only successfully treats some of the symptoms.  We found that over-activity in sgACC promotes the body's 'fight-or-flight' rather than 'rest-and-digest' response, by activating the cardiovascular system and elevating threat responses.

Health - Psychology - 23.10.2020
Half of public don’t ’fully understand’ current Covid-19 lockdown rules
Just 13% of people in England feel they 'fully understand' the current Covid-19 lockdown rules, with half of adults (51%) in the country saying they understand 'the majority' of them, find UCL researchers as part of the Covid-19 Social Study.

Health - Psychology - 21.10.2020
Mental health impact of initial lockdown period
New study reveals mental health impact of initial lockdown period The first six weeks of the pandemic and lockdown had a major impact on the UK population's mental health and wellbeing, according to new research. Led by the University of Glasgow, the study, which is published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, found young people, women, individuals from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds and those with pre-existing mental health problems reported the worst mental health outcomes in the initial phase of the national lockdown.

Health - Psychology - 13.10.2020
COVID-19 inequality: poorest workers hit by worse outcomes
We have not all been in this together, according to  research  from Oxford, which shows the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in aggravated economic and mental health inequality. The study, published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), shows lower paid workers have suffered disproportionately more economic hardship and more resulting mental health problems during the current crisis than their higher paid peers.
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