Health and Psychology

Health and psychology


This blog covers current events, brain injury, general psychology, health psychology, medical psychology, testing, and general issues.

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Coronavirus Update-Neurological Sequela

Posted by Margaret Donohue on May 17, 2020 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (212)

The coronavirus COVID-19 is showing a propensity towards neurological symptoms.  This is similar to other coronaviruses that infect people.  There are 7 corona viruses that infect people. 

  • 229E
  • NL63
  • OC43
  • HKU1
  • MERS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2
Coronaviruses infect pigs, cattle, horses, camels, cats, dogs, rodents, birds, bats, rabbits, ferrets, mink, and other animals.  Coronaviruses are linked to the comm...
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Posted by Margaret Donohue on February 13, 2020 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (11)

The novel Coronavirus now known as COVID-19 started in Wuhan in the provence of Hubei, China.  This is a slow onset, significantly contageous illness, believed to originate from bats and perhaps pangolins and morphed to infect humans.  It is fatal about 10% of the time.  at this time there are more than 100000 cases in the United States and 1,000,000 worldwide.

Contagious illnesses are referred to by the letter R and a subscript.  COVID-19 has between an R 2.5 a...

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Brain injury in court

Posted by Margaret Donohue on June 16, 2019 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The vast majority of neuropsychologists publishing research on brain injury in the United States appear to have some connection to insurance companies.  So the research they tend to publish minimizes the impact of repetitive brain injury, the apparent delay in symptom onset from time of injury, the impact of whiplash without loss of consciousness and correlation to brain injury.  What they focus on is estimates of effort and use a population of individuals simulating brain injury in...

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Posted by Margaret Donohue on January 20, 2019 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (12)

There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology.  A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). The first degree is heavily involved in training in the scientist practitioner model and focuses on research, statistics, and evaluation.  The second is applied psychology with a focus on training, experience, and applications of psychological theory.

I have a PhD.  I am a researcher.  I value research. And I like good research.  Go...

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Posted by Margaret Donohue on November 27, 2018 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We've discovered men and women are different yet again.  This is true for cardiac presentation, learning issues, and most recently autism spectrum disorders.The ccommonly perceived presentation of boys that may also be intellectually disabled, that are non-verbal, socially inept, don't make eye contact, spinning in circles and flapping their hands is a misleading stereotype.  It has been popularized in books, television and movies, is wrong for most autistic females.

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Sleep Disorders

Posted by Margaret Donohue on July 23, 2018 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (2)

I want to let you know about the Sleep Help institute.  They have a lot of information on sleep, resources, medical conditions and sleep.  has articles about sleep deprivation. Sleep and autism Spectrum Disorders. 

Here's a link to their full coll...

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Mental Status Examination

Posted by Margaret Donohue on July 28, 2017 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (2)

The Mental Status Examination

The mental status examination is a screening test for a wide variety of mental disorders and conditions. In it’s most common form it is abbreviated to a mini state exam with fewer categories and often used to evaluate cognitive difficulties.

The full exam consists of evaluation in multiple categories:

  • Appearance and behavior
  • Orientation, concentration and attention
  • Language and memory
  • General in...

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1985 to the future

Posted by Margaret Donohue on May 3, 2017 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It was 1985.  I was newly licensed with specialty training in this weird not-yet-ready-for-prime-time area of psychology no one really knew anything about-Medical Psychology.  And I was working in a medical practice with a physician I knew.  I had training in both medicine and pharmacy.  So I went through paper charts of any patient that had been seen for four visits with no clear diagnosis.  While all of the patients I saw had psychiatric symptoms, 80% would be found...

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Posted by Margaret Donohue on April 17, 2017 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

A female patient of mine with chronic pain had a new symptom.  Severe abdominal pain.  "It's like I'm being stabbed with a hot knife."  That's a very specific description.  One that will prompt an emergency room doctor to start poking around in the abdomen or taking an x-ray of the abdomen or doing an ultrasound of the abdomen.  But the symptom has nothing to do with the abdomen.  The gastrointestinal tract is where the immune system is going into overdrive. ...

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Diagnosis of medical versus psychiatric anxiety or depression

Posted by Margaret Donohue on April 10, 2017 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Medical causes of depression and anxiety account for about 58-79 % of all diagnosed cases of depression and anxiety.  So it's helpful to differentiate them.  

  • Psychological cases respond generally well to evidence based treatments for depression and anxiety.  So if a person has been through an evidence based treatment, and followed the protocol, and was adherent, they should have some degree of improvement in about 4 to 6 weeks. 
  • In addition there sho...

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