• Parents of children with traumatic brain injury are more likely to report feeling burdened when they feel their children’s health needs aren’t being met, said Beth Slomine, PhD, a Johns Hopkins University neuropsychologist. Slomine and her colleagues followed 330 parents with hospitalized children ages 5 to 15 with TBI and asked them about their levels of stress and satisfaction. The researchers found that the severity of their children’s impairment was associated with more family burden. Also, the more they felt their children’s health needs weren’t being met, the more likely they were to miss work, further increasing the feeling of burden. (Pediatrics, Vol. 123, No. 1.)

  • Scientists might be able to use fMRI to see the fatigue in people’s brains, said John DeLuca, PhD, at the Kessler Foundation Research Center in West Orange, N.J. DeLuca and his colleagues gave people with TBI and healthy controls a task in which they swapped numerical digits with geometric shapes according to a given criteria, while the researchers watched their brain activity via fMRI. The researchers found that over time, the healthy controls exhibited less brain activity as they grew accustomed to the task, while people with TBI showed increased brain activity, which researchers say might manifest itself as fatigue. (Brain Injury, Vol. 23, No. 5.)

  • Returning veterans report feeling burdensome to their friends and loved ones and suffer failed relationships, which contribute to their risk of suicide, reported the Denver VA Medical Center’s Lisa Brenner, PhD. Brenner and her colleagues interviewed 16 veterans in a mental health facility about their post-return experiences. The veterans reported being habituated to pain by combat, desensitized to emotional response, and feeling burdensome to their families — all significant risk factors for suicide. (Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 30, No. 3.)

  • In Chinese society, where stigmatization of mental illness is more severe than it is in Western societies, fear of stigma plays a large role in nonadherence to treatment, said Fong Chan, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Chan and his colleagues reported that Chinese people with schizophrenia are much less likely to follow through with their treatment programs because they fear the public will judge them negatively and think they are morally deviant. That highlights the need for additional focus on dealing with stigma when treating Chinese people with mental illness, Chan said. (Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vol. 45, No. 5.)