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. 35, No. 12, December

ADHD in Girls Linked to Mood, Eating Disorders
BOSTON -- Girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are significantly more likely than girls without the condition to be diagnosed with major depression, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child...
Alert Is Issued on Smoking Cessation Drug
The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert about postmarketing reports of suicidal thoughts, aggressive and erratic behavior, and drowsiness associated with varenicline, the smoking cessation drug marketed as Chantix. A notice posted in...
Antipsychotic Okayed as Add-On for MDD
Aripiprazole has been approved as an adjunctive treatment to antidepressants in adults with major depressive disorder, based on two short-term studies comparing placebo with the atypical antipsychotic in patients on an antidepressant. The nod from...
APA Advocates for Mentally Ill in Jails
NEW ORLEANS -- Despite the growing number of programs designed to address the problems of people with mental illness who are in the criminal justice system, a great need for advocacy remains, said members of the American Psychiatric Association's Committee...
Basal Ganglia Abnormalities Seen in Neuropsychiatric Lupus
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND -- Metabolic changes in the basal ganglia that can be detected with magnetic resonance spectroscopy may precede irreversible changes from neuropsychiatric lupus, according to a pilot study. "Why look at basal ganglia? They are...
Behavioral Therapy May Prevent Sight-Related Depression
An in-home program that teaches problem-solving skills to patients with age-related macular degeneration decreased the incidence of new-onset depression, a recent study suggests. In addition, the program appeared to shorten the course of depression...
[Beta]-Carotene Does Not Improve Short-Term Cognition
The antioxidant [beta]-carotene does not improve cognitive performance among healthy older men in the short term, according to a subgroup analysis of data from a longitudinal study. These findings add to the growing list of study results concluding...
Beware of Adrenal Insufficiency with Atypicals
NEW ORLEANS -- Recognizing the potential for atypical antipsychotics to cause adrenal insufficiency is important to ensure that this serious condition is managed appropriately, two experts said. In one case, Dr. Violeta Tan and Dr. Natalie Rasgon...
Cardiovascular Risk High in Deficit Syndrome
VIENNA -- Schizophrenia patients with deficit syndrome are more likely to be at high cardiovascular risk than those without the syndrome, Dr. Celso Arango reported at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. In addition,...
CBT Shows Promise for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
VIENNA -- Irritable bowel syndrome can be conceptualized as an anxiety disorder--and, as such, responsive to cognitive-behavioral therapy, according to Dr. Sergej Andreewitch. "Core symptomatology of IBS is clearly physiological, but the cause of...
Clue in to Suicide Risk among Elderly Patients
PHILADELPHIA -- Older Americans are more likely to use lethal means in suicide attempts, Patrick Arbore, Ed.D., said at a conference sponsored by the American Society on Aging. In addition, he said, the elderly are more likely to complete suicides....
CMS Plans 10% Physician Fee Cut for 2008
Unless Congress steps in, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will reduce payments to physicians by about 10% beginning in January 2008, a slightly deeper cut than had been proposed earlier in the year. Federal estimates show that the...
Consensus Lacking on Duty to Report Alcohol Dependency
MIAMI BEACH -- Only six states have mandatory reporting laws, so most physicians can be in a quandary when a patient is alcohol dependent and works where impairment could threaten public safety, according to a poster presented at the annual meeting...
Dissociative Disorders Definition Criticized
PHILADELPHIA -- The current official definition of dissociative disorders is too limited and hard for clinicians to use in practice, experts said at the annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. "The...
Drivers Safe When Proper Zolpidem Regimen Is Followed
MIAMI BEACH -- A medical literature review and a news database search indicate that zolpidem is safe when a proper dosing regimen is followed--despite recent media reports suggesting an association between the agent and driving impairment. "We decided...
Enrollment in Consumer-Directed Plans Still Low
WASHINGTON -- Consumer-directed health plans remain popular with large companies despite a lack of enthusiasm among their workers, according to the results of a biennial national survey. "Employers and health plans continue to be ... quite optimistic...
Gene Polymorphism Linked to Depression in CHD
VIENNA -- Patients with coronary heart disease who carry the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene have significantly higher rates of major depression and perceived stress than do those who are homozygous for the long allele, Dr. Christian...
Health Promotion 'Still Lacking' for Psychiatry Patients: Impact of Psychotropics Often Not Raised
VIENNA -- Only about half of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and their caregivers have had a discussion with their psychiatrist or another physician about the potential long-term consequences of weight gain and the impact of psychotropic...
If I Were President (of Our APA)
Presidents--or presidential candidates--are on our minds now. Not only are we about a year away from our national presidential election, we also are in the midst of our annual election for officers of the American Psychiatric Association. No, I'm...
Imaging Studies Detect Brain Abnormalities in Adult ADHD
BOSTON -- The brains of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have distinct structural and functional abnormalities in regions associated with executive functioning and attention control, new imaging studies by investigators at Massachusetts...
Increased Mortality Seen in Those with Changes in Sleep Duration
Both too much sleep and not enough sleep appear to be associated with increased mortality, according to a new longitudinal study. Sleeping less than 6 hours per night or more than 9 hours per night was associated with almost twice the mortality...
Ketogenic Diet Underused for Control of Seizures: Biology Is Not Understood, but Studies Show the High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet Is Effective for Epilepsy Patients
MAUI, HAWAII -- A high-fat ketogenic diet is effective in helping epilepsy patients control their seizures, but it is underused because it is misunderstood, said Dr. Eileen P.G. Vining. The diet is not difficult. It can be palatable, adaptable,...
Lawyers Representing the Man Charged with Killing Three in a Shooting in Georgia Say Their Client Was Acting under 'Delusional Compulsion.' Is There Any Validity to Such a Label?
Our society is rife with neologisms, and "delusional compulsion" is one of them. We have enough challenges in psychiatry without people creatively inventing new terms to meet their own medical or legal purposes. And in our specialty, I'm afraid...
Long-Term Opioid Use Compatible with Driving
SAN FRANCISCO -- On driving simulators, 51 patients on chronic opioids performed as well as 49 control subjects, preliminary data from an ongoing study found. The conventional recommendation that patients taking chronic opioids should avoid driving...
Medical Schools Boast Largest Enrollment Ever
The number of students who entered medical school this fall--17,759--was the largest ever, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Although that number represents only a 2.3% increase from the previous year, there was an 8% increase...
Medical Students Ignorant of Military Medical Ethics
The findings in a survey of medical students indicated that few received adequate training in military medical ethics, many were ignorant of a physician's responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions, and the overwhelming majority failed to realize...
OROS Methylphenidate Lifts ADHD Symptoms
VIENNA -- Osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate proved effective in the Long-Acting Methylphenidate in Adult ADHD trial, Dr. Rossella Medori reported at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dose-related improvements...
Parental Discord's Ripple Effect on Children Starts Early
TORONTO -- Parental discord as seemingly innocuous as frequent belittlement can significantly increase a child's risk of psychological maltreatment, according to results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies....
Pay for Performance Programs May Not Do Much for Quality
WASHINGTON -- The few studies that have examined the effectiveness of incentivized pay-for-performance programs have found a mix of moderate to no improvement in quality measures, which, in some instances, have led to unintended consequences, Dr. Daniel...
Perspective
I have a fantasy that university student health centers have the resources for addressing mental health issues that go beyond the average guidance counseling and coaching that some students need during their college tenure. But fantasies are just that:...
Returning Vets' Mental Health Worsens over Time
Veterans of combat duty in Iraq reported significantly more mental health problems 6 months after their return from deployment than they did immediately after their return, according to Dr. Charles S. Milliken of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research...
Risperidone and Acute Mania
The Problem You have an adult patient who is clearly suffering with mania. He is already taking a low dose of risperidone (Risperdal). After you review the various treatment options with him, he will consent only to an increase in the dose of his...
Second Atypical Is Approved for Treating Schizophrenia in Teens
The Food and Drug Administration has approved aripiprazole for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents. The approval, which came in late October and is based on a 6-week study of 302 adolescents in 13 countries, makes aripiprazole (Abilify)...
Sertraline, Fluoxetine Help PTSD Patients, Reviews Show
HONOLULU -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors generally tend to be effective first-line treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder, Julia M. Whealin, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the National Medical Association. Dr. Whealin...
Should the Civilly Committed Mentally Ill Be Precluded from Buying Guns?
Restricting access would protect everyone. The Virginia Tech shooting is the most recent, but many cases illustrate the importance of restricting gun purchases in this population--not only for homicides but suicides as well. People with mental...
Systems Promote Mental Wellness on Campus
The shooting rampage that devastated the Virginia Tech community in April and the subsequent reports of gunman Seung-Hui Cho's many "red-flag" mental health issues prompted the media and the public to ask repeatedly: "How could he have fallen through...
Targeted Program Can Delay Onset of Drinking
CHICAGO -- An intervention that allows at-risk adolescents to explore the strengths and weaknesses of their individual personalities can delay the onset of risky drinking for at least 6 months, possibly decreasing the growth of alcohol use later in...
The Art of Joel W. Carlson
Even though Joel W Carlson grew up in Idaho, his mind has always been in a tropical place. Now aged 50, he's called Honolulu home for the last 24 years. "I've always wanted to live near the ocean--someplace warm. I fell in love with nature at a very...
The Sophisticated Cinema of Alcoholism
Foremost among the major psychiatric syndromes, alcohol dependence (for narrative ease, I'll take the liberty of using the terms "alcoholism" and "alcoholic" from now on) has been well depicted onscreen in several memorable films over the years, from...
Tools Assess Patients' Potential for Violence
Violent acts by psychiatric inpatients are distressingly common. In one survey of 330 people working in the department of psychiatry at Odense (Denmark) University Hospital, 90% of physicians, nurses, and nursing aides reported having been subjected...
Treat Substance use/ADHD with Due Caution: Although Complete Abstinence Is Elusive, Substance Use Should Be Controlled before Addressing ADHD
Substance use disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder often go together. Alcohol abuse or dependence has been reported in 17%-45% of adults with ADHD, and drug abuse or dependence has been reported in 9%-30%. Conversely, an estimated...
Women and Men May Respond Differently to Naltrexone
CHICAGO -- Naltrexone may have little positive effect either on drinking behavior in older women with alcoholism comorbid with depression or on drug-using behavior in women with alcoholism and comorbid cocaine dependence. Data presented at the annual...
Yoga: A Beneficial Integrative Therapy
Dr. Hans Selye's thinking was considered innovative back in the 1930s. That's when the endocrinologist developed his pioneering work on the concept of stress. "To understand the mechanism of stress gives physicians a new approach to the treatment...