Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What I Learned: Part 2


Far be it from me to criticize someone who draws birds.

This is the second in a three part series covering what I learned at my conference last week. My brain is full. Here we go:

SPECT scans are very sensitive but also very non-specific for documenting brain injury secondary to trauma. Case law is divided regarding whether or not SPECT scans meet Daubert criteria for evidentiary standards.

The majority of people involved in major landmark legal cases (usually Supreme Court level cases) found the experience of litigation to be a positive one and they appreciated being able to "change the system" for others. A small number had lingering consequences and regrets about their participation.

There is a very nice, nifty short case-identification instrument that has been developed for jails and prisons. It looks like this may be the most valid and useful instrument to date (nice work Bob!). You can download it here. Look for the Correctional Mental Health Screen.

There's an incredible number of forensic psychiatrists from all over the country who are increasingly involved in correctional work. Cool beans.

I have a friend who does a dead-on impression of Hannibal Lechter. I learned this while being served lamb kabobs when she leaned over and hissed, "Have they finished screaming, Clarice?"

About 60% of all mentally ill prisoners in Connecticutt are not rearrested within nine months.

Robert Lifton is a very accomplished author who has spent decades interviewing victims and perpetrators of global attrocities. I went to his talk because I read his book The Nazi Doctors. How does he handle listening to all these horrific things? He draws bird cartoons to relax. He has a striking resemblance to Andy Warhol. I didn't ask if he draws soup cans.

A quarter of all survyed probate judges in South Carolina were unable to identify the correct standard of proof for civil commitment, although they are responsible for making commitment decisions.

The CATIE study did not prove that typical neuroleptics are equal to or better tolerated than atypical neuroleptics. Two-thirds of study subjects stopped taking medication simply because they didn't want to take medication.

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Part 3 is the best part. Stay tuned.