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. 1, January

20% Dropout Rate Hinders Prolonged Therapy. (Intense Therapeutic Experience)
BALTIMORE - The ideal early treatment for acute stress disorder in recent trauma survivors may prove to be a "hot" cognitive therapy that combines the best of cognitive therapy with the best of prolonged exposure therapy. Of the two treatments,...
Abortion Rates Down among Teens, Up among the Poor. (Overall Rate Down 11% since 1994)
NEW YORK -- Abortion rates have decreased nationally by 11% since 1994, with a 39% decline among teenage girls. But the rate has increased by 25% among poor and low-income women, according to Rachel Jones, Ph.D., senior research analyst at the Alan...
A Comfortable Office Improves Patient Outlook. (Start with a Homelike Feeling)
The way your office looks may be more important than you might think. In fact, the way patients feel about their physicians starts with how they feel when they come through the door, notes Rayne Sherman, a certified interior designer with Sherman Ganus,...
AMA Delegates Demand Fix for Medicare Formula. (Protest Vote at Interim Meeting)
NEW ORLEANS -- Wearing white lab coats and waving colorful signs, physicians at the interim meeting of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates protested the flawed Medicare payment formula and vowed to lobby Congress to get it fixed....
Antidepressants Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be. (Trials Overstate Efficacy)
ALBUQUERQUE--If it seems like antidepressant therapy isn't as effective in your hands as reported in the published literature, you're not alone. The fact is, the stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria routinely used in pharmacologic antidepressant...
Aripiprazole Wins Approval for Schizophrenia. (Unique Properties Not Yet Proven)
Aripiprazole may have some unique therapeutic properties, based on its pharmacology, according to Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, an investigator in clinical trials of the antipsychotic drug. But those properties have not yet been proven. Approved in November...
Changes to the Brain's Structure Are a Hallmark of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. (Smaller Hippocampal Volume)
BALTIMORE -- Specific brain changes, especially to the hippocampus, are becoming an established hallmark of posttraumatic stress disorder, judging from presentations by three speakers at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic...
Clozapine Can Reduce Suicide Risk, FDA Says. (Patients with Schizophrenia)
GAITHERSBURG, MD. -- A claim that treatment with clozapine can reduce the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior in people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This is the first time a suicidality...
Doctors Do a Poor Job of Urging Smokers to Quit. (Time Is Limiting Factor)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.--Physicians need to do a better job advising their patients to quit using tobacco, two researchers asserted at a conference on patient education sponsored by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. The federal Agency for...
Drug Update: Chronic Seizures in Adults
In adults, partial and generalized seizures are by far the most common forms of epilepsy Choosing among the widening array of antiepileptic drugs for adult patients with these seizures requires balancing many factors: efficacy, adverse effects, drug...
Family Physicians Take Up the Fight. (Psychologist Prescribing)
In the wake of last spring's historic decision by New Mexico to allow psychologists to prescribe psychotropic drugs, psychiatrists have a new ally in their fight against such laws--family physicians. At its October meeting, the American Academy...
Fink! Still at Large: Low Self-Esteem and Narcissism. (Opinion)
New research by Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D., and Roy F. Baumcister, Ph.D., in the Journal of Research in Personality shows that people with a high self-regard--specifically, narcissists-are more likely to lash out aggressively when criticized than their...
Function, Not Just Symptoms, Key in Anxiety. (Large Longitudinal Study)
RENO, NEV. -- Patients with chronic anxiety may seem stable symptomatically while suffering a decline in function, Benjamin F. Rodriguez, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy Even after-controlling...
Gender Differences in Depression: Who's Right? (Conflicting Data)
ALBUQUERQUE--Gender differences in response to antidepressant therapies clearly exist, no question. The trouble is, there's absolutely no consensus today as to exactly what those gender differences are, according to Dr. Paula Hensley, a psychiatrist...
Group Sessions Help Breast Ca Patients, Partners. (Separate Intervention Needed for PTSD)
BALTIMORE -- Women with metastatic breast cancer and their partners benefit from regular group psychotherapy sessions that emphasize emotional processing. But mental health professionals need to devise a separate strategy for helping women deal...
HHS Releases FAQs about Medical Privacy Rule. (Answers in Plain English)
The US. Department of Health and Human Services has released a new guidance document about the federal government's medical privacy rule. The 123-page document provides clear answers to questions about portions of the medical privacy rule, which...
Hippocampal Volume Just One Factor in PTSD. (Vietnam Twin Registry)
BALTIMORE -- The question of whether smaller hippocampal volume is the cause or result of posttraumatic stress disorder was answered at least preliminarily by data presented by two speakers at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic...
Letters
CBT Works for Schizophrenia I appreciated the article on Dr. Peter Weiden's cognitive-behavioral-oriented therapy for patients with schizophrenia ("Time to Take Another Look at CBT for Schizophrenia," November 2002, p. 1). As a practicing psychiatrist,...
Nonstimulant Atomoxetine Approved for ADHD. (Distribution Will Be Easier)
Adults and children suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder now have a treatment specifically indicated for them. Atomoxetine (Strattera), a nonstimulant, is the first drug to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for the...
NSAID Use Linked to Lower Incidence of Alzheimer's. (29% Lower among Users)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The use of NSAIDs or aspirin was associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease in a large prospective study of elderly individuals in Cache County, Utah. The largest reduction in risk was among former users of NSAIDs...
Paralysis Common among Victims of Sexual Assault: 'Tonic Immobility' during Rape Is Thought to Have Evolved as a Survival Mechanism. (Involuntary Response)
RENO, NEV. -- A large proportion of sexual assault victims experience an involuntary paralysis during the assault, according to several studies presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. The studies have...
Peer Support Works for Traumatized Firefighters. (Interventions Not Always Necessary)
BALTIMORE -- When firefighters experience a traumatic event, most cope with their emotions by talking with their colleagues, Roderick Orner said at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. They do not need treatment,...
Personality Disorders Predict Violence in Women. (Significant Comorbidity)
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF. -- Certain personality disorders are highly associated with incarceration for violent crimes, according to a study of 261 female inmates reported by Janet I. Warren, D.S.W., at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry...
Petasites, Tizanidine May Prevent Headache. (Herbal Product, Muscle Relaxant)
DENVER--For preventing chronic headache, an herbal product called petasites and the muscle relaxant tizanidine performed favorably, based on data from double-blind clinical trials presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology....
Physician, Heal Thyself. (Guest Editorial)
The year 2002 was not a great one for most of us. Our nation spent most of the year coming to terms with the World Trade Center massacre and subsequent worldwide hunt for terrorists. On the economic front, the NASDAQ has lost 75% of its value in the...
Polypharmacy Often Used in Bipolar Children. (Some Data Support Practice)
CHICAGO -- When it comes to bipolar disorder, the general reluctance to treat young patients with polypharmacy disappears. In fact, combined drug treatment is apparently common and the few data that are available seem to justify the practice, Dr. Robert...
Practical Psychopharmacology: Lithium Remains Key in Bipolar Treatment. (Psychopharmacology)
The use of lithium as a psychotropic agent dates back more than a half-century, and it remains the only agent approved by the Food and Drug Administration for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. But U.S. prescriptions for lithium have declined...
Protocol Modifications May Enhance ECT. (Reductions in Side Effects, Relapse)
NEW YORK--Electroconvulsive therapy remains the most powerful treatment for depression. But problems with the modality involve trade-offs between efficacy and side effects, and high rates of relapse after termination. Refining the administration...
Psychiatric Disorders More Likely in HCV Patients. (Substance Abuse in 88%)
TUCSON, ARIZ. -- Substance abuse/dependence and mood, anxiety, personality, and psychotic disorders were all more prevalent in patients with chronic hepatitis C than in a group of patients without the virus, Dr. Muhamad Aly Rifai reported at the annual...
Reel Life: 13 Conversations about One Thing. (Psychotherapy)
The Sprecher sisters, who wrote and directed the recent film, "13 Conversations About One Thing," are a refreshing presence in the egomaniacal world of movie making. Jill Sprecher is a shy and self-effacing director, who hands out credit to everyone...
Regular Periods Don't Rule out Low Testosterone. (Low Libido in Women)
MONTREAL -- Physicians who see young women complaining of low libido should consider that the problem could be low testosterone even if the women have regular menstrual periods. That advice was offered by several experts in female sexual dysfunction...
Restraint on Restraints. (Guest Editorial)
It's been more than 2 years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services promulgated new guidelines on the use of restraints in psychiatric hospitals. The intent of these guidelines--the reduction in the use of restraints--is laudable, but...
Risperidone May Relieve Bipolar Mania Symptoms. (Quick Acting)
Risperidone appears to offer significant and quick relief to bipolar mania symptoms. Patients with bipolar I--characterized by pronounced manic symptoms--showed significant improvements in their symptoms after beginning treatment with risperidone...
Roe V. Wade Turns 30, Faces an Uncertain Future. (Older Providers Not Being Replaced)
NEW YORK -- This month marks the 30-year anniversary of the precedent-setting Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortion a legal option for all women in the United States. In the decades since 1973, Roe v. Wade has remained the law of...
Sandplay Therapy Used to Help Teens Heal. (Processing Emotions)
A fallen lighthouse toppled over into the sand, surrounded by superheroes who dropped like stones from the sky. They never collaborated, but that's how dozens of Montclair, N.J., high school students portrayed the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001,...
Self-Directed CBT Is Less Costly, as Effective as Group Therapy. (Patients with Panic Disorders)
RENO, NEV. -- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that is self-administered by the patient is as effective as group or individual therapy for panic disorders but is much less costly, according to a randomized study presented at the annual meeting of the Association...
Social Maladjustment May Be Tied to Suicides. (Borderline Personality Disorder)
BETHESDA, MD.--Treatment of poor social adjustment in patients with borderline personality disorder has the potential to decrease their likelihood of attempting suicide, Dr. Paul Soloff said at a conference sponsored by the Treatment and Research Advancements...
Some Antipsychotics May Be Tied to Increased Type 2 Diabetes Risk. (Medical Claims Records)
Olanzapine, clozapine, and some conventional antipsychotics were associated with an increased risk of newly diagnosed or exacerbations of type 2 diabetes in a study that analyzed several thousand medical claims records of patients with psychosis, Frank...
Statin Therapy Does Not Slow Cognitive Decline: Pravastatin May Reduce Coronary Deaths. (Elderly Patients)
CHICAGO -- Three years of treatment with pravastatin failed to slow age-related cognitive decline in the first large clinical trial aimed at examining statin therapy's effects specifically in the elderly. Pravastatin's potential impact upon cognitive...
St. John's Wort for Depression. (Alternative Medicine)
* Treatment of mild depression with St. John's wort may be effective and is generally well tolerated. * Data do not support its use in more severe depression. History of Use Medicinal properties have been ascribed to the small, woody perennial...
St. John's Wort May Help Depression in Children. (More Rigorous Study Needed)
SAN FRANCISCO--Even though two recently published studies have raised doubts regarding the efficacy of St. John's wort in adults with depression (JAMA 287[14]:1807-14, 2002; 285[15]: 1978-86, 2001), the substance appears to be safe and effective in...
Studies Reveal Psychopathology of Childhood Social Phobia. (Children as Young as 8 Affected)
RENO, NEV. -- Social phobia can afflict children as young as 8 years of age and perhaps even younger. But the disorder is more serious in children over age 11, Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement...
Studies Support Calming Effect of Olanzapine. (More Than 1,200 Patients)
TUCSON, ARLZ. -- Five randomized, double-blind trials involving more than 1,200 patients have shown that olanzapine calms acute agitation associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or dementia, according to two poster...
Three Depression Subtypes Respond Selectively. (Psychotic, Atypical, Winter)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Only three subtypes of depression respond preferentially to specific types of therapy, Dr. Michael J. Gitlin said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. Depression in all its other forms can be treated...
Three-Minute Test Can Increase Detection of Mild Cognitive Syndromes in Elderly. (Mini-Cog Study)
STOCKHOLM -- A simple 3-minute test can boost detection of mild cognitive syndromes, Dr. Soo Borson said in a poster presentation at the Eighth International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. The most frequently used tool...
Transdermal Estradiol May Be an Effective Antidepressant. ('Quite Rapid' Onset)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Transdermal estradiol appears to be an effective antidepressant in penmenopausal women with various forms of depression, Dr. Paula Hensley said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico. But that doesn't...
U.S. Smallpox Initiative Puts Focus on Education. (Check Smallpox.Gov)
Physician education about smallpox vaccination has become a priority for the public and private health sectors now that President Bush has announced his plan to reintroduce the vaccine into the U.S. population. In mid-December, the president called...
Young Suicide Completers May View Psychotropic Use as 'Absolute Failure'. (Stress Importance of Taking Meds)
SAN FRANCISCO -- A study of 49 Utah youths aged 13-21 who completed suicide between August 1996 and June 1999 reveals that their parents reported a high rate of psychiatric diagnoses. However, according to medical examiners' toxicology reports of...