Clinical Psychiatry News

Clinical Psychiatry News is a monthly medical and psychiatry tabloid published since 1973 by the International Medical News Group. Subjects for Clinical Psychiatry News include psychology and psychiatry. The executive editor is Denise Fulton, and Gina Henderson is a senior editor.

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 2, February

25% with Panic Disorder Experience Nocturnal Attacks. (Leader Fear of Sensations Tied to Sleep)
ALBUQUERQUE -- One in four patients with panic disorder experience frequent nocturnal panic attacks, Michelle C. Craske, Ph.D., said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. This phenomenon, in which an individual awakens...
A Call for Strong Volunteerism. (Guest Editorial)
It's remarkable to reflect on the evolution of addiction psychiatry as a subspecialty. We've gone from embracing learning theory and the controlled drinking movement to beginning to understand the genetic and biologic roots of addiction. We've...
Address Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia. (One Intervention Is Errorless Learning)
PITTSBURGH--The functional outcomes of schizophrenia are determined much more by the way in which cognitive deficits are addressed than by treatment of psychotic symptoms, Dr. Michael F. Green said at a conference on schizophrenia sponsored by the...
ADHD Stimulant TX May Be Protective against Drug Abuse. (Two Studies)
Stimulants prescribed for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in childhood and adolescence don't appear to increase the risk of later drug abuse. In fact, their use may help protect against it, according to two recently published studies. ...
Anorexic Patients Could Be Using Diet as Self-Medication. (Reducing Tryptophan in Body)
BETHESDA, MD. -- Starvation--or reducing the amount of tryptophan in the body--may be the anorexic patient's way of coping with anxiety, Dr. Walter H. Kaye said at a psychopharmacology update sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. ...
Antidepressants after Stroke. (Guest Editorial)
A growing body of literature suggests that antidepressants should be part of the routine medical management of any patient who has recently had a stroke. Poststroke depression diminishes the patient's quality of life and significantly increases...
Autoimmune Woes Prevail with Endometriosis. (Survey of 3,680 Women)
SAN DIEGO -- Women with endometriosis more commonly have systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, allergy and asthma, compared with women in...
Behavioral Comorbidities Cause Havoc in Tourette Syndrome. (Tics Often Mild in Comparison)
ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- Comorbid conditions often pose bigger problems for children with Tourette syndrome than the condition itself, Dr. John Walkup said at a conference sponsored by the Tourette Syndrome Association. Comorbid conditions accompanying...
Bioterrorism Funds Don't Cover States' Health Cuts. (Public Health Funding Down Overall)
PHILADELPHIA -- Stepped-up federal funding for bioterrorism preparedness has yielded some beneficial effects at the state level, notably by helping health officials temper the impact of budget cuts, two state health officials said at the annual meeting...
Cancers Pose Significant Risk for Acute Stress, PTSD. (Different Findings)
BALTIMORE -- Patients with newly diagnosed cancer are at significant risk for acute stress disorder and later posttraumatic stress disorder, Maria Kangas, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies....
CBT Helps Dysfunction in Borderline Personality. (Focus on Beliefs Rather Than Behavior)
BETHESDA, MD. -- Cognitive-behavioral therapy improves the dysfunctional beliefs of patients with borderline personality disorder, with benefits that extend months beyond the end of treatment, Dr. Aaron T. Beck said at a conference sponsored by the...
Child Anxiety Disorders Are Serious, Common. (Impairment Underrated)
ALBUQUERQUE--In a given classroom of 30 children, typically 3-5 have an anxiety disorder. Large surveys indicate 10%-15% of children in various communities meet formal diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder, making this the most common class...
Confusion Rampant at Unipolar, Bipolar Border. (Source of Antidepressant 'Poopout')
NEW YORK--The difference between unipolar and bipolar affective disorder is more a matter of degree than of kind, two speakers suggested at a conference on depression sponsored by Columbia University. "DSM-IV puts them in distinct groups, but this...
DBT May Be Better for Substance Abuse + BPD. (Beats Treatment as Usual)
BETHESDA MD.-Dialectical behavior therapy is moe effective in treating comorbid substance abuse and borderline personality disorder than treatment as usual Sheliev McMain, Ph D., said at a conference sponsored by the Treatment and Research Advancements...
Depressed Heart Patients May Benefit from SSRI? (Sertraline Trial)
NEW YORK -- Antidepressant treatment appears effective for depressed patients who were recently hospitalized for myocardial infarction and unstable angina--but only if they have had previous episodes of the mood disorder, Dr. Alexander Glassman said...
Depression Signals Worse Outcomes after a Bypass. (Risk of Second Cardiac Event)
TUCSON, ARIZ. -- Depression that occurs soon after coronary artery bypass graft surgery is associated with an elevated risk of cardiac events during the next 5 years, Dr. Constantine Lyketsos reported at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic...
DHEA for Depression and Dementia. (Alternative Medicine)
* The supplement DHEA is touted as a "super-hormone" that can slow aging, "melt away disease," and improve strength. * Investigational medical uses include depression and dementia; the data thus far have been mixed, and long-term effects are unknown....
Drug Update: Alzheimer's Disease. (Clinical Rounds)
With the recent approval of galantamine, clinicians can now choose among four cholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. These agents appear to be most useful when started early in the disease. Their effects are modest:...
Epilepsy and Depression: A Biological Link? (Right Temporal Abnormality)
SEATTLE -- The frequent occurrence of depression in epileptic patients may have an organic basis, researchers said at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. The evidence presented at the meeting included survey data suggesting that...
Erectile Dysfunction Common among Men on Dialysis. (82% of Men Affected)
PHILADELPHIA--More than 80% of men on hemodialysis have erectile dysfunction, based on the results of a study with 302 patients. Erectile dysfunction (ED) in men with end-stage renal disease was more common among men who were older or who had diabetes....
Fink! Still at Large: High-Achieving Women. (Opinion)
Sylvia Ann Hewlett has created quite a stir with her book "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children." Ms. Hewlett contends that 49% of the 1,647 "high-achieving" women she surveyed were childless after age 40. These women, who...
Frontostriatal Brain Circuits May Be Tied to Late Depression. (Pramipexole Helps Some Patients)
NEW YORK -- The distinctive clinical features of late-onset depression-executive function impairment and a weak response to antidepressants--may reflect the importance of frontostriatal dysfunction in its pathophysiology, Dr. George S. Alexopoulos...
Gene Mutations Affect Cognition, Emotions. (Imaging Studies)
BETHESDA, MD. -- Specific mutations to single genes may help predispose some patients to abnormal behaviors, Dr. Daniel R. Weinberger said at a psychopharmacology update sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. In imaging studies, seemingly...
Group Program Helps Patients Cope with Terminal Illness. (Meaning Centered Psychotherapy)
TUCSON ARIZ-Group therapy designed to help terminal cancer patients find meaning in their last days of ufe has a measurable impact on their levels of despair hopelessness and suicidal ideation Dr. William Breitbart reported at the annual meeting of...
HDL Cholesterol Level Linked to Longevity, Cognitive Function. (Study of Centenarians)
NEW YORK -- HDL cholesterol may have a role in regulating the rate of aging, particularly affording protection against cognitive decline, Dr. Nir Barzilai said at the annual conference of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease....
HIV, Viral Hepatitis Patients Should Avoid Alcohol, Maintain CD4 Counts. (Haart Helps Those with Coinfection)
BOSTON -- A heavy alcohol intake is associated with increased liver-related mortality in patients coinfected with HIV and viral hepatitis, Dr. Maurizio Bonacini reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease....
Hospitals, Offices Share Similar Error Rates. (System Failures Faulted)
BOSTON -- Physicians in a private practice setting make a similar number and type of medical errors as their colleagues working in a hospital setting, according to findings of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics....
Humor Magazine Targets Medical Funny Bone. (Helping Doctors Laugh at Themselves)
Dr. Douglas Farrago believes that a little humor might be just the cure for medicine's ills. Most of his time is devoted to his family practice in Auburn, Maine, but Dr. Farrago spends many of his weekends and days off producing a colorful humor...
Interstitial Cystitis a Culprit for Chronic Pelvic Pain. (Overactive Bladder)
SAN DIEGO -- Interstitial cystitis may be the culprit behind millions of cases of overactive bladder, and chronic pelvic pain should be considered in the differential diagnosis, investigators said at a meeting sponsored by the International Pelvic...
Kava Formally Banned in the U.K. Due to Hepatotoxicity. (70 Reports of Liver Damage)
The anxiolytic herb kava has been formally banned by regulatory authorities in the United Kingdom because of its potential for causing serious hepatotoxicity. "There is clear evidence linking kava kava with rare cases of liver toxicity," the Medicines...
Kids' Psychotropic Use Approaching Adult Levels. (Steady Rise over a Decade)
Children were two to three times as likely to be taking psychotropic medication in 1996 as they were a decade earlier, and those utilization rates were approaching those of adults, according to a 10-year prospective study. Julie Magno Zito, Ph.D.,...
Letters
The Biggest Drawback I read with amazement Dr. Stephen R. Marder's comments in the article "Try Higher Doses of Atypicals Before Giving Up" (December 2002, p. 16). Dr. Marder suggested that it is safe to use Zyprexa up to 60 mg/day and Seroquel...
Long-Term Study Suggests Concerta Is Well Tolerated. (Children with ADHD)
SAN FRANCISCO--Once-daily administration of the Osmotic Release Oral System formulation of methylphenidate appears to be well tolerated. Efficacy was maintained for up to 24 months in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Dr. Timothy...
Many Conditions Coexist with or Mimic ADHD. (Awareness of Child's Temperament Is Key)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.--Many conditions can either coexist with or masquerade as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, making the diagnosis more complex than it might first appear, Dr. Adrian Sandier said at a meeting sponsored by the American...
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Often Misdiagnosed Due to Vertigo Issues. (Grocery Store Test Is Helpful)
NEW YORK -- One of the most common sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury-vestibular dysfunction or balance disorder--is often overlooked because patients have dizziness and disequilibrium rather than "true vertigo," Dr. Edwin Richter said at a symposium...
Minorities' Low Health Care Access Not Just a Money Issue. (Small Business Employees)
BALTIMORE -- Sure, lack of money to pay health insurance premiums is one reason that so many minority patients have less access to the health care system than other patients. But it's not the only reason, according to Tom Perez, director of clinical...
Mitochondrial Oxidation Linked to Aging. (Antioxidant Nutrients May Help)
NEW YORK -- The cumulative impact of oxidative stress on mitochondrial DNA may be responsible for many age-associated changes, perhaps including neurodegenerative disorders, Dr. M. Flint Beal said at the annual meeting of the Association for Research...
MTS Patch Appears to Safely Control ADHD. (Methylphenidate Transdermal System)
SEATTLE -- A once-daily methyiphenidate transdermal system was effective at varying doses in controlling symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, especially when used with behavior modification, Dr. Martin Hoffman said at the annual meeting...
Myelination Defects May Play Key Role in Schizophrenia. (Cognitive Decline in Later Life)
NEW YORK -- Cognitive function is not stable in schizophrenia and undergoes sparked deterioration later in life Dr. Kenneth L. Davis said at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease. A likely suspect is the...
Naltrexone Depot May Curb Alcohol Dependence. (Patients Abstinent 3 and 6 Months Later)
LAS VEGAS - Studies of oral naltrexone for alcohol dependence have yielded variable results. But an injectable form helped patients remain abstinent at 3 and 6 months follow-up, compared with those who received placebo, Dr. Henry Kranzler reported...
New Drug Treatment Guide Shows Where Teens Can Get Help. (144 Programs Listed)
WASHINGTON -- A new guide to adolescent drug programs lists 144 treatment centers nationwide where teens with substance abuse problems can go for help. The treatment guide was created by Drug Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research...
Newer Anticonvulsants Seem Well Tolerated, but Carry Other Risks? (Off-Label Pediatric Use)
SAN FRANCISCO--Eight antiepileptic drugs approved for use in adults in the past decade give physicians off-label options for pediatric use that may cause fewer side effects yet confer other risks, compared with traditional anticonvulsants. With...
Nocturnal Panic Responds to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. (Physoiologic Response Lessens at 9 Months)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for nocturnal panic, Michelle G Craske, Ph.D., reported at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. This finding from her controlled trial featuring 9-month follow-up...
Nonmedical Use of Prescriptions Rising in Youths. (Learn to Recognize Abuse)
WASHINGTON -- The nonmedical use of prescriptions continued to rise among adolescents and young adults in 2001, Dr. H. Westley Clark said at a press conference sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health...
Obesity Onset Corresponds with Preexisting Depression. (in Adolescence)
Depressed youths are twice as likely to develop obesity during adolescence as their nondepressed peers, a longitudinal analysis has shown. In a prospective cohort study of 9,374 adolescents in grades 7-12, 8.8% of the patients fit the criteria for...
Paper Defines Female Androgen Insufficiency. (Affordable Assay Needed)
Los ANGELES--A newly published consensus statement on female androgen insufficiency offers a working definition of the condition and an algorithm for its management. It also emphasizes an urgent need for development of a practical, affordable assay...
Physical Trauma Is Risk for Acute Stress, PTSD. (Children with History of Life Stress)
BALTIMORE -- Physical trauma, whether from an accident or medical procedure, poses a significant risk for acute stress disorder and chronic posttraumatic stress disorder in children, according to findings presented by three speakers during the annual...
Practical Psychopharmacology: Treating Women with Schizophrenia. (Psychopharmacology)
Schizophrenia looks different in women than it does in men, and those differences are most clearly apparent in age at disease onset. The incidence peak is from late adolescence to early adulthood, but symptoms typically appear 4-6 years later in...
Presidential Panel Targets Geriatiric Mental Health. (Older Adults and Primary Care)
ARLINGTON, VA. -- Steps should be taken to improve mental health care for older adults and close the gap between mental health and primary care, members said at a meeting of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The commission...
Pro & Con: Should Videotaping of Forensic Psychiatric Examinations Be the Standard? (Opinion)
YES The central purpose of the law is to find fact and seek truth using the best evidence. The forensic psychiatrist's role is to aid the court in reaching this central purpose. No matter how good one's notes are or how good a psychiatrist is...
Prozac Approved for Major Depressive Disorder, OCD in Children and Teens. (Patients Aged 7-17 Years)
The Food and Drug Administration approved Prozac for treating major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents aged 7-17 years. "It is reassuring for physicians that a certain threshold of evidence has been...
Psychiatric Disorders Often Go Unrecognized in Epileptic Children. (Population Prone to Disorders)
SEATTLE -- Clinicians who care for children with epilepsy need to be more aware that these children are prone to psychiatric problems, Dr. Rochelle Caplan said at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. In a study of 114 children with...
Psychosocial Issues Don't Hurt Breast Ca Outcomes. (Depression, Helplessness)
SAN ANTONIO -- Psychosocial factors aren't related to outcome in women with early-stage breast cancer, Dr. Pamela J. Goodwin reported at a breast cancer symposium sponsored by the San Antonio Cancer Institute. Contrary to popular belief, breast...
PTSD Can Deter Growth of Neurons in Brain. (More Evidence Confirms Connection)
LOS ANGELES -- An increasing amount of evidence shows that posttraumatic stress disorder has detrimental effects on the biology of the brain, Dr. J. Douglas Bremner said at a meeting on posttraumatic stress disorder sponsored by the Foundation for...
Reel Life: The Governess. (Psychotherapy)
"The Governess" is a film conceived and brought to life by women. The writer-director is Sandra Goldbacher, the star is Minnie Driver, and most of the other names in the credits are those of women. The screenplay began as an attempt by Goldbacher...
Resistant Depression Research Isn't Being Followed. (Do as I Say, Not as I Do')
ALBUQUERQUE--The best-supported therapeutic strategies in treatment-resistant depression are paradoxically relegated to third-tier status, Dr. Michael J. Gitlin said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. Meanwhile,...
Rooting out Primary, Secondary Substance Abusers. (Expert Shares Interviewing Tips)
LAS VEGAS -- Don't be surprised if it takes more than one office visit to establish a primary or secondary substance abuse disorder in a suspected dual-diagnosis patient, Dr. Timothy Fong said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction...
Rules Needed for Transporting Seizure Patients. (Many Don't Need Emergency Care)
SEATTLE--Many people who have a seizure do not necessarily need an ambulance ride to the emergency department, according to an analysis of records from San Francisco. Yet when emergency medical paramedics respond to a call for a person who has had...
Seek Psychiatric Comorbidity in Childhood OCD. (the Rule, Not the Exception)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Psychiatric comorbidity in childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder is the rule, not the exception, John C. Piacentini, Ph.D., stressed at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. In a consecutive series of...
Sertraline Surpasses Placebo for Anxiety Symptoms. (Physiologic Arousal Reduced)
PHILADELPHIA -- The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline was significantly more effective than placebo for the treatment of moderate to severe social anxiety disorder in two multicenter controlled trials supported by funding from Pfizer...
Smoking Cessation No Help for Postoperative Acne Inversa. (Recurrences Common)
PORTO, PORTUGAL --Smoking is a major triggering factor for the development of acne inversa, but quitting does not appear to benefit the postoperative course of the disease, Dr. M. Hagedorn said at the 23rd Congress of the International Society for...
Social Withdrawal Is Often the First Sign of Schizophrenia. (Adolescents in Prodromal Stages)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Adolescents in the prodromal stages of schizophrenia most commonly present with social withdrawal and isolation, Barbara Cornblatt, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. ...
Study Indicates Autism Prevalence Higher Than Previously Thought. (Similar to Numbers outside U.S.)
The prevalence of autism among U.S. children aged 3-10 is 10 times greater than it was thought to be in the 1980s and early 1990s, based on the results of an Atlanta area study, said Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp of the Centers for Disease Control...
Suicide Is Top Cause of Early Death among MDs: Some Physicians Fear Raising the Issue. (Far Higher Than General Population)
HENDERSON, NEv.--Suicide ranks as the leading cause of premature death among physicians, Dr. Peter Mansky said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. "Physicians probably start out with better health than the regular...
Sustained Virologic Response Possible in HCV. (Role of the Psychiatrist Is Critical)
LAS VEGAS -- Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus who have a past or current history of psychiatric or addictive disorders should receive interferon treatment, Dr. Mark Willenbring said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction...
Teens Using Less Alcohol, Ecstasy, More Narcotics: The Use of Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, and Others Drugs Remained Unchanged. (Mixed Results)
The latest Monitoring the Future survey of substance use among adolescents in the United States has yielded mixed results. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and Ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) use declined. But the use of marijuana,...
The Death of Common Sense. (Guest Editorial)
The legal tort system of America is corroding the fabric of our society, and the time has come for a radical overhaul of the underlying philosophy. The harm to society of our tort system is not the occasional crazy verdict, but the fear and distrust...
Think Bipolar in Treatment-Resistant Anxiety. (Atypical Forms of Bipolar II Disorder)
ALBUQUERQUE -- The first possibility to consider in a patient with treatment-resistant anxiety is "wrong diagnosis," Dr. Peter P. Roy-Byrne said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. "Think bipolar. More and more,...
Treat PTSD and Comorbid Substance Abuse for Best Results. (Patients Want to Talk about Traumas)
BALTIMORE -- Patients with coexisting substance abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder are more likely to stay in therapy when it addresses past traumatic events as well as addiction, Dr. Elisa Triffleman reported at the annual meeting of the International...
Try Older Remedies for Alopecia Areata. (Anthralin, Nitrogen Mustard)
WASHINGTON -- Traditional treatments may still grow hair in patients with alopecia areata, and can pave the way for new therapies. "We're at the threshold of targeted, immunomodulated therapies for alopecia areata," Dr. Jerry Shapiro said at a meeting...
Try to Improve Overall Functioning in Treating Fibromyalgia Patients. (Analgesics, Antidepressants Can Help)
LOS ANGELES -- Don't overlook the simple and obvious in treating fibromyalgia, Dr. Andrew F. Leuchter said at a psychopharmacology update sponsored by the University of California, Los Angeles. No cure for this disorder has been found, but all of...
Two Drugs Most Effective in Psychotic Substance Abusers. (Ziprasidone, Risperidone)
LAS VEGAS -- Ziprasidone and risperidone were significantly more effective than olanzapine or depot typicals in treating patients with co-occurring psychotic and substance abuse disorders, Dr. Elizabeth Stuyt reported at the annual meeting of the American...
Use Substitute Diagnostic Criteria for Depression in Medically Ill. (Endicott Soulution More Applicable)
ALBUQUERQUE -- The use of substitute diagnostic criteria for depression lessens overdiagnosis in medically ill patients, Elizabeth Dettmer, Ph.D., said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. Physicians receive mixed...
USP-Certified Dietary Supplements Hit Shelves. (Ingredient Standards)
Faltering consumer confidence in dietary supplements should be bolstered by a new U.S. Pharmacopeja verification mark, officials said. The USP's Dietary Supplement Verification Program (DSVP) mark signifies that the product has undergone rigorous...
Walk-In Center Offers Acute Care. (Treatment, Referrals 24/7)
Barbara Kelly was nearly frantic when she pulled into the parking lot of Los Angeles County's Mental Health Urgent Care Center on a windy, Tuesday afternoon, her agitated brother, Larry, in the passenger's seat. After a checkerboard history of time...
Working in Urgent Mental Care Requires Special Kind of Person. (Flexibility Is Key)
LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- Working in an urgent care center for mental health takes a certain type of person, notes Dr. Debbie Innes-Gomberg, district chief for the Los Angeles County mental health division that oversees such a center in Southern California....