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. 32, No. 1, January

Abdominal Pain Responds to Rx and Therapy
COLUMBIA, MO. -- Most children with functional recurrent abdominal pain benefit from behavioral therapy and treatment with anti-anxiety medications, Dr. Alejandro Ramirez said at a meeting on common pediatric problems sponsored by the University of...
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A Burden We Don't Need
"Would you like some cheese with that whine?" This appears to be the message that the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) is sending to medical students who criticize the implementation of the new clinical skills assessment examination (CSAE)....
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Aetna, CIGNA Cases Put Different Spin on Claims Fraud
WASHINGTON -- Recent lawsuits against Aetna, CIGNA, and other insurers have put an entirely different spin on reimbursement issues, John Hartwig said at a forum sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association. Much of the federal government's...
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AMA Crafts Plan to Improve Medicaid Coverage
HONOLULU -- Patient access to Medicaid and physician reimbursement from the program have reached the critical point, delegates said at the interim meeting of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates. After heated debate, 94% of the...
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AMA Seeks Tort Reform to Raise Membership
HONOLULU -- In the complicated calculus that governs membership in professional societies, winning--whether the win is in state houses or on Capitol Hill--is the only thing. Medicare reform counts as a big win on the scoreboard for the American...
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Anxious First Graders Show Lower Academic Functioning
MIAMI -- First graders who are highly anxious and/or shy score significantly lower on reading and math achievement tests, experience lower social acceptance, and have more internalizing symptoms in eighth grade, according to a follow-up study. Physicians...
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APA's Guidelines on Suicide Hail Antidepressant Tx: More Than 34,000 Studies Were Weighed, Researched to Formulate New Approaches
The American Psychiatric Association's first comprehensive practice guidelines on suicide are the product of years of research and exhaustive debate among experts on the committee and eight professional organizations. More than 34,000 scientific...
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As Early, Severe Flu Season Takes Hold, Vaccine Shortages Abound
Eight deaths due to influenza in the 2003-2004 season have been confirmed in children younger than 16 years in Colorado at press time, local authorities said. In addition, unconfirmed reports of flu-related pediatric deaths in Texas remain under investigation....
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Atypicals Still Seen as Drugs of Choice for Schizophrenia
SACRAMENTO -- Side effect profile determines the drug one chooses for treating schizophrenia, and that means an atypical, said Dr. Stephen Marder, addressing the current controversy over whether the second-generation antipsychotics really are better...
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Bioethicist Joins FDA to Help with Ped Trials
Bioethicist Sara Goldkind has joined the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Pediatric Therapeutics in the Office of the Commissioner. In 2001, when Congress reauthorized the statutory incentives for pediatric clinical trials, it mandated that...
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Bipolar Disorder in Kids: Complicated
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. -- Bipolar disorder may cause more severe illness in children than in adults, but the pediatric condition is less readily recognizable than its adult-onset counterpart, according to Dr. Barbara Geller of Washington University, St....
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Body Image Varies Greatly among Asian Groups
WAIKOLOA, HAWAII -- Studies of weight and body image that categorize Asians as a unified ethnic category miss enormous differences between ethnic groups, Dr. Alayne Yates reported at a meeting sponsored by the International College of Psychosomatic...
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Caring for Hospice Patients Is Often Gratifying
During his 20-plus years as a medical director for Hospice of Marin in Corte Madera, Calif., Dr. William Lamers had moments of patient interaction he never expected. Like the time an 84-year-old patient looked up to him from a bed in her own home and...
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CDC Strongly Urges Physicians to Get Flu Shots
WASHINGTON -- Getting more physicians and other health care professionals vaccinated against the flu is a key element in efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent transmission of the disease to vulnerable patients. "Health...
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Change in Policy on Sexuality Urged for Forensic Inpatients
SAN ANTONIO -- Mentally ill forensic inpatients should be able to appropriately express their sexuality. Dr. John Young said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. "We're all sexual beings," said Dr. Young, a forensic...
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Cough CPR May Work to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death
VIENNA -- Properly timed self-resuscitative coughing is a life-saving intervention in patients experiencing sudden circulatory arrest in out-of-hospital settings, Dr. Tadeusz K. Petelenz declared at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology....
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Creative Solutions to a Big Problem
Our nation's desperate shortage of child psychiatrists comes as no surprise. At a minimum, 10% of children in the United States have a mental health disorder. At least half of these children, I would say, would benefit by being seen by a child psychiatrist....
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Despite Guidelines, U.S. Condom Use Still Low
CHICAGO -- A new national survey shows condom use among sexually active adults is notably low, even among those with known genital herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases. Clearly, the public has not heeded the message put forth by the Centers...
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Disabled Migraineurs Often Satisfied with Available TX
CHICAGO -- A patient's satisfaction with migraine treatment may depend substantially on personal expectations. Many migraineurs are dissatisfied with current therapies, but a significant proportion of highly disabled migraineurs are satisfied with...
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Engage Eating Disorder Patients
Improving the track record of treatment success in eating disorders requires the adoption of an integrated approach. Psychopharmaceuticals have been shown to aid in some reduction of some psychotic and depressive symptoms and in some weight gain....
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Estrogen Users Fared Better Than Nonusers on Cognitive Testing
MIAMI BEACH -- Postmenopausal estrogen users performed significantly better on computerized cognitive tests than nonusers, suggesting that the hormone may have a beneficial effect on cognition in some women, Joan Friebely, Ed.D., reported in a poster...
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Ethicist Decries Florida Feeding Tube Decision
CHICAGO -- When the Florida legislature authorized Gov. Jeb Bush to replace hospice patient Terri Schiavo's feeding tube in October 2003, overriding the state's judicial system, it opened a Pandora's box that could come to haunt physicians, family...
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Family's View of Bipolar Disorder Affects Outcome
BOSTON -- Family-focused therapy is an effective adjunct to pharmacologic treatment in the stabilization and maintenance of patients with bipolar disorder, David J. Miklowitz, Ph.D., said at an industry-sponsored symposium held at the American Psychiatric...
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Friedmans Caught, Truth Still at Large
In the 1980s our culture of victimization was forming. Trauma became fashionable again--after a century--as an explanation for psychological misery. PTSD joined our ever more acronymous language. Rap groups, stress claims, and sensational reports of...
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Gastric Bypass Surgery Can Alleviate Metabolic Syndrome
BOSTON -- Gastric bypass surgery is curing morbidly obese patients of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance--to the bafflement of a leading surgeon who performs the operation. "If you get rid of the obesity, all of these...
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Generally, HIPAA Takes Precedence
BALTIMORE -- With the HIPAA privacy compliance deadline in the past, health care providers are now turning their attention to whether their state laws preempt provisions of the regulation, according to analysts who attended a meeting sponsored by the...
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Good People Skills May Help Docs Deter Malpractice Suits
NEW ORLEANS -- Dr. Edward Zurad has developed a new skill in his office-based practice: "firing" patients. Although it's not something he does frequently, Dr. Zurad, a family physician in Tunkhannock, Penn., said he has "gotten really good at firing...
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Helping Patients between Sessions
We all have strategies aimed at making our work with patients more productive. What strategies have you used with patients between sessions--such as giving them handouts to read or tapes to listen to--that have enriched the therapeutic experience?...
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Info Processing Appears Disrupted in ACOAs
CHICAGO -- Adult children of alcoholics overestimate and overrespond to auditory stimuli, reported Dr. Steven L. Schandler, Ph.D., during a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Additionally,...
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Insight and Medication Compliance
The Patient You have a patient who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. His hospitalization was court mandated after he committed a violent act that was linked to his psychotic illness. Positive psychotic signs and...
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Interleukin 6 May Tie Depression to Heart Disease
NEW YORK -- Interleukin 6 could be the hidden link between depression and cardiovascular disease, Gregory Miller, Ph.D., said at a symposium sponsored by the National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. Currently, more than...
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Living Organ Donation on Shaky Ethical Ground
CHICAGO -- Steps must be taken to ensure that living organ donation is "ethically impeccable," since by its nature the practice violates the physician's vow to "do no harm," ethicist Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., said during the annual clinical congress of...
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Male Infertility Could Signal Other Genetic Problems
SAN ANTONIO -- Extremely low sperm counts are often caused by genetic defects that could pose other health risks to affected men and their potential offspring, Dolores Lamb, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive...
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Malpractice Crisis Pushes More Patients out of Office, into ER
Physicians in some states are responding to the malpractice crisis by sending their patients to emergency rooms and hospitals rather than treating them in the office, according to a study from the Center for Studying Health System Change. "This...
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Match Day Adds New Protections for Residents
WASHINGTON -- Residency programs participating in the 2005 match will have to disclose the program-specific contracts that applicants would have to sign if they accept a match, Robert Beran, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Association of American...
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Medicare Reform Includes 2-Year Fee Schedule Fix: Medicare Drug Law Blocks 4.5% Cut in 2004
WASHINGTON -- Physicians have 2 more years to lobby for a permanent legislative fix to Medicare's flawed reimbursement formula. The historic $400 billion Medicare overhaul/prescription drug bill (H.R. 1) blocked a projected 4.5% cut to physician...
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Mediterranean Diet, Fewer Heart Events Linked
ORLANDO, FLA. -- Eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with significantly reduced levels of C-reactive protein and other inflammatory markers, Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Ph.D., said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association....
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Memory Deficits in Schizophrenia Explored: Disturbances Appear Isolated in the Dorsolateral Region of Prefrontal Cortex, Data from MRIs Show
CHICAGO -- Disturbances in the dorsolateral region of the prefrontal cortex are associated with both working and episodic memory deficits in schizophrenia, Deanna M. Barch, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research....
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MRI Scans Show Early CNS Changes in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
NEW ORLEANS -- Patients with diabetes who develop peripheral neuropathy experience early central nervous system changes that can be detected rapidly and noninvasively, according to a study presented at annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes...
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Negotiating with Payers Is Not a Crime
WASHINGTON -- Physicians should not be criminally prosecuted for negotiating collectively with insurance companies, attorney Jack Bierig said at a hearing on health care law sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. ...
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New Patient Fees Make Up for Lower Revenue
Copying medical paperwork just got more expensive--for the patient. Barraged by rising medical liability premiums and diminishing Medicare payments, a small but growing number of office-based physicians are charging patients for administrative services...
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No Magic Bullets Exist for Alcohol Dependence
ALBUQUERQUE -- Effective pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcohol dependence do exist, but they must be combined with psychosocial treatment, Dr. Michael Bogenschutz reported at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico....
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Obese Patients Often Benefit from Psychotherapy
NASHVILLE, TENN. -- Psychotherapy is the key component of a successful weight-loss program for many obese patients, Gwendolyn Pla, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition. Behavior modification is a widely used tool...
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Olanzapine Helps Compliance in Schizophrenia
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC -- Patients receiving olanzapine are achieving greater symptom control and longer treatment compliance than those on other leading atypical antipsychotic medications, researchers reported from 6-month results of the ongoing international...
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P300 Detects Information over the Long Term
CHICAGO -- The P300 event-related potential can detect concealed information over an extended period of time, Shinji Hira, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. The P300 amplitude correctly identified...
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Physicians Should Be the Face of Television's Health News
KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Physicians need to go on television and present reliable health information to the public, Dr. Kevin Soden, a physician and television correspondent, said at a conference of family practice residents and medical students. "We...
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PPAC Criticizes Medicare Coding Communication
WASHINGTON -- Wondering whom to call about a Medicare coding issue? Don't bother trying your local Medicare carrier, several physicians said at a meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council. In the Kansas region, the Medicare carrier has...
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Prevention Interventions Curb Substance Abuse
BALTIMORE -- Delinquency prevention programs have changed much for the better in the last 23 years, through the cooperation of a variety of health professionals, parents, schools, and neighborhoods, J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., said at the annual conference...
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Preventive Mastectomy Leaves Mark on Sexuality
SAN ANTONIO -- Long-term satisfaction with the decision to undergo bilateral prophylactic mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction is frequently diminished by unanticipated changes in body image and the sexual relationship, Paula J.C. Bresser,...
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Psychosocial Factors Predict Depression in Breast Cancer
SAN DIEGO -- Psychosocial variables were the strongest predictors of depression in a study of breast cancer survivors, Dr. Wayne A. Bardwell reported at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. "What this says to us is that measures...
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PTSD Severity after Disaster Hinges on Proximity, TX
CHICAGO -- Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among adolescents after a natural disaster depend significantly on proximity to the tragedy and on the type of treatment the victims receive, Dr. Armen Goenjian said at the annual meeting of the International...
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Recognize Risk Factors in Teen Suicide Attempters: Presence of Psychiatric Illness, Preparedness for the Suicidal Act Increase Patient's Likelihood of Repeat
NEW ORLEANS -- Adolescents who attempt suicide often characterize themselves as isolated, unloved or unlovable, and living under unbearable stress. These teens often have a black-and-white outlook on acceptable behavior, and when they engage in...
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Reducing Pap Test Frequency May Be a Hard Sell
Physicians could be hard-pressed to convince their female patients that some don't need an annual Pap smear, a study has shown. In a series of eight focus group sessions meant to gauge women's perceptions about risk-based cervical cancer screening,...
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Risperidone Is Approved for TX of Mania in Bipolar Disorder
The Food and Drug Administration has approved risperidone for the short-term treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, making it one of several approvals last year for a bipolar indication. Last month, the FDA...
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Self-Neglect, Psychiatric Disorders Often Linked
SAN DIEGO -- Older adults who screened positive for self-neglect after home-based interviews had a high prevalence of undetected and untreated psychiatric disorders, Dorothy Edwards, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society...
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Should Psychiatric Treatment Be Mandated for Outpatients Who Are Severely Mentally Ill?
YES There is an appropriate role for mandating outpatient treatment for patients who have evidenced an inability to manage their own illness through repetitive decompensation and repeated hospitalizations. Opponents of mandatory treatment say...
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Should Psychiatric Treatment Be Mandated for Outpatients Who Are Severely Mentally Ill?
NO The National Mental Health Association is against the use and expansion of involuntary outpatient treatment. Mandating psychiatric care for people with serious mental illness is an overly simplistic solution to an extremely complex problem. ...
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Silent MI Likely in 17% of Postmenopausal Women
ORLANDO, FLA. -- More than 17% of postmenopausal women have a moderate or high likelihood of having silent myocardial infarction, based on findings from more than 60,000 women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative. This high prevalence...
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Simple Exams Work in Vestibular Testing: Up to 50% of Migraineurs Have Vestibular Symptoms, Including Dizziness, Motion Sensitivity
CHICAGO -- Three simple bedside exams are more accurate than most laboratory tests in eliciting objective evidence of vestibular abnormalities in patients with migraine, Dr. David Zee said at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society. ...
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Smoking Cessation Program Posts Impressive Quit Rates
ORLANDO, FLA. -- An aggressive smoking cessation program that has enrolled more than 200 New York City fire-fighters has succeeded in getting most of them tobacco free at 3 months. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center had an immediate...
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SSRIs Favored as Adjunctive TX for BPD
Psychotherapy is generally the primary treatment in borderline personality disorder, but medication is almost always part of the picture. A National Institute of Mental Health--sponsored study of patients with any of four personality disorders or...
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Stress Management Brings Asthma, Allergy Benefits
NEW ORLEANS -- Treating patients' stress can also improve their asthma and allergies, Dr. Gailen D. Marshall Jr. said at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "There is clearly a relationship between stress...
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Suicidal Ideation, Behavior More Likely in Bullied Teens
MIAMI -- Adolescents are at increased risk of suicidal ideation and behavior if they are exposed to school bullying, particularly if they are victims or victim-perpetrators, according to a prospective follow-up study. One in seven schoolchildren,...
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Surgical Options Exist to Preserve Fertility: But a Lack of Awareness May Lead Some Cancer Patients to Undergo Unnecessary Sterilization
SAN ANTONIO -- Although there are options for preserving fertility in cancer patients, lack of awareness among patients and oncologists too often results in unnecessary sterilization, Dr. Togas Tulandi said at the annual meeting of the American Society...
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Test Diabetic Patients over Age 50 for PAD: Study Suggests about 20% of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease Are Also Diabetic
All diabetic patients over 50 years of age should be screened for peripheral arterial disease using the ankle-brachial index, the American Diabetes Association has recommended. If normal, the test should be repeated every 5 years. A screening anklebrachial...
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Test Helps Draw Line between Bipolar, ADHD
BOSTON -- The use of an objective measure such as the Continuous Performance Test can help distinguish bipolar affective disorder from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in aggressive adolescents, Dr. Mark J. Smith reported in a poster presentation...
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Testosterone Patch Improved Postmenopausal Sexual Desire
SAN ANTONIO -- Surgically menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder experienced significant relief when wearing both an estrogen and a testosterone patch in a placebo-controlled trial. "This is the first study to evaluate the efficacy...
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The Art of Michael Madore
Michael Madore has always had what he calls an obsession with diagrams and blueprints. Born and raised in Hartford, Conn., and trained in painting at Yale University in New Haven, Mr. Madore overcame autism and several addictions, including heroin,...
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Top 10 Lessons Learned from the SARS Outbreak in Toronto
SAN DIEGO -- With respiratory disease season underway, make sure to have plans in place to prepare for a possible reemergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Dr. Daniel R. Lucey advised in an interview during a poster session at the annual meeting...
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Top 10 Stories in Psychiatry of 2003: New Scientific Knowledge and Research, in Addition to Drug Approvals, Changed Landscape for Clinicians
Last year saw new concerns for strengthening and expanding mental health services across the country as well as a host of new drug approvals that broaden the range of available prescribing choices for psychiatrists treating disorders with relatively...
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To Screen for Migraines, Try Using Two Brief Surveys
SAN FRANCISCO -- Busy clinicians now have at least two simple, three-question screening tools for migraine headaches. One screening survey, recently given to 3,014 patients with migraine headaches, had an overall sensitivity of 77% for diagnosing...
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Transcendental Meditation May Alter EEG Coherence
CHICAGO -- The regular practice of transcendental meditation leads to enduring neuropsychological changes that are evident in brain-wave patterns, Frederick Travis, Ph.D., reported during a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for...
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Use 'Five A's' in Smoking Cessation Counseling
SEATTLE -- Follow the "five A's" to help patients stop smoking: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange, Dr. Richard C. Pasternak said. "Nurses are more familiar with these than are physicians," he noted at a meeting on modifying coronary risk...
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Voodoo Death Is Brain's Lethal Response to Fear
SAN DIEGO -- Voodoo death--or sudden death brought about by emotional shock--is a confirmed phenomenon, and the reason it occurs is no longer a mystery, Dr. Martin Samuels said at the annual meeting of the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry. ...
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Weight Loss Greater with Gastric Bypass Than Gastric Banding
BOSTON -- Compared with gastric bypass surgery, both laparoscopic gastric bypass and laparoscopic gastric banding are safer surgical procedures, Dr. R. Armour Forse said at a symposium on treating gastrointestinal disorders sponsored by Boston University....
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Women Fuel Rise in Medical School Applications
WASHINGTON -- For the first time, women outnumbered men in the ranks of medical school applicants, Dr. Jordan Cohen said at a press briefing sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges. For the 2003-2004 school year, 17,672 women applied...
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Work Programs Benefit Schizophrenia Patients
PITTSBURGH -- Meaningful work can lead to reduced symptoms for schizophrenia patients, Gary R. Bond, Ph.D., said at a conference on schizophrenia sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. Benefits of work also include increased income and an improved...
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