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. 30, No. 11, November

Accutane Comments Draw Fire. (FDA Reprimands Roche)
Practice what your Accutane labels preach, the Food and Drug Administration warned drug maker Hoffman-LaRoche Inc. in a letter reprimanding a company representative for engaging in misleading promotional activities in the marketing of Accutane. ...
Appelbaum Addresses Crisis in Mental Health. (APA Chief Offers Six-Point Plan)
CHIGAGO -- The nation's mental health system is in crisis, and the psychiatric community needs to engage in an unprecedented campaign of activism to stanch the bleeding, Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum told the American Psychiatric Association's Institute of...
Behavioral Program Cuts Costs for Somatizers. (No Apparent Medical Cause)
BARCELONA, SPAIN -- A behavioral program for somatizing patients who use a high level of medical services achieved significant cost reductions in the year after its introduction, compared with the prior year, Dr. Steven E. Locke said at the annual...
Binge Eating Boosts Gastric Capacity, Initiating Cycle. (A Circular Process)
BOSTON -- Binge eating may result in a significant increase in gastric capacity, perhaps initiating a cycle that perpetuates bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, Allan Geliebter, Ph.D., said at a meeting of the Academy for Eating Disorders. ...
Brief Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Helps Break Insomnia. (Two 25-Minute Sessions)
SEATTLE -- An abbreviated form of cognitive-behavioral therapy has proved effective for the treatment of insomnia in a small trial, Jack D. Edinger, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. The therapy...
Bupropion Boosts Smoking Cessation in Blacks. (Use with Culturally Sensitive Counseling)
The use of sustained-release bupropion can improve smoking-cessation rates in African Americans in conjunction with culturally sensitive counseling, said Dr. Jasjit S. Ahluwalia of the University of Kansas, Kansas City, and colleagues. In what they...
Can EEG + Auditory Test Detect Early Alzheimer's? (May Reveal Mild Cognitive Impairments)
BALTIMORE -- Testing an individual's brain activity during auditory stimulation may some day help detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease in seemingly healthy populations, Malcolm Casale, Ph.D., said at a conference on clinical electrophysiology...
Careful Patient Selection Can Mitigate ECT Risks. (Criteria to Consider)
LOS ANGELES -- Correct patient selection can reduce the risk of cognitive dysfunction in patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy, Dr. Randall T. Espinoza said at a psychopharmacology conference sponsored by the University of California, Los Angeles....
Childhood Criticism Taints Adult Body Image of Women. (Not Canceled by Later Compliments)
BOSTON -- Comments made in childhood about body weight or shape can have an enduring impact: Critical remarks in particular appear to influence adversely the body esteem of women in midlife. "There was no evidence that the effect of negative comments...
Compounding Pharmacies Get an F in FDA Tests. (34% Failure Rate)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ten of 29 prescriptions that were obtained in a Food and Drug Administration survey of compounding pharmacies failed assays, Vaiyapuri Subramaniam, Pharm.D., reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology....
Conundrums Common in TX of Sexual Predators. (Medication, Issues Often Arise)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Psychiatric treatment in civil commitment centers for sexual predators poses unique challenges for psychiatrists. "There are some unusual legal and professional conundrums that you come up against in this type of treatment," said...
Counseling Funds Available for Sniper Shooting Areas. (HHS Gives DC/MD/VA Each $250,000)
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given mental health services funding to Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., to assist those communities in addressing anxieties created by a serial sniper. The serial sniper,...
Depression, Anxiety New Contraindications for Malaria Drug. (Revised Labeling for Mefloquine)
Warnings and contraindications have been added to the labeling for the antimalarial drug mefloquine to reflect reports of psychiatric effects in people who have taken the drug. Mefloquine, marketed as Lariam by Roche Pharmaceuticals, is approved...
Disabling Migraine Is Often a Marker for Depression. (Not a Flag for Fibromyalgia, IBS)
DENVER -- Severe disability due to migraine is a sensitive but not very specific marker for comorbid depression, Dr. Jan L. Brandes said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Severely disabling migraine is not, however, a useful...
Do You Fly a Lot? If So, Take a Look at This. (Traveler's Thrombosis: A Perfect Label)
PORTO, PORTUGAL -- The term "economy-class syndrome" referring to the development of deep vein thrombosis following lengthy air travel in cramped seating is a misnomer and should be retired, Dr. Eckhart Haneke said. Traveler's thrombosis would be...
Drug Company Giveaways Could Be Fraud, Feds Warn. (Voluntary Draft Guidelines)
WASHINGTON -- Tread cautiously when accepting a speaking engagement or dinner invitation from a pharmaceutical representative. New voluntary guidelines proposed by the federal government say that such actions--depending on how they're carried out--may...
Drug Update: Moderately Severe Migraine Headaches
Triptans have revolutionized the treatment of migraines. More formally known as selective serotonin receptor agonists, triptans are clearly the first class of drugs physicians should consider when treating most patients with migraine headaches that...
Early Intervention May Prevent Eating Disorders. (School-Based Program)
BOSTON -- Prevention of behaviors associated with eating disorders remains a highly desirable but elusive goal. Positive results with a school-based intervention suggest that it may be worthwhile to start early and use an indirect approach, S. Bryn...
Eight Steps Should Help Strengthen Parasuicide Services. (Treatment Studies Reviewed)
Mental health services could improve in several ways their treatment of patients who commit or are likely to commit low- or high-lethality acts that may lead to suicide--despite a lack of research on the subject, said Katherine Anne Comtois, Ph.D.,...
Eros: Only FDA-Approved Female Sexual Device. (Developed by a Urologist)
BIG SKY, MONT. -- The Eros Therapy vacuum device is a highly effective treatment for female sexual dysfunction, Dr. Eric J. Bieber said at an ob.gyn. update sponsored by the Geisinger Health System. Female sexual dysfunction is a vastly underappreciated...
Escitalopram Works for Anxiety Disorders, Panic. (Recently Approved by FDA)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- The new antidepressant drug escitalopram is effective in treating panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder, several investigators reported in poster presentations at the 12th World Congress of Psychiatry....
Help after Disaster: Early Intervention Essentials. (Psychiatrists Play Key Role)
BETHESDA, MD. -- After any disaster, teams of well-intentioned psychiatrists show up to help and to ask victims how they're feeling. But such "debriefings" might not prove beneficial. That was one of the many conclusions reached at a workshop and...
High Cortisol Levels Flag High Stress in Academic Physicians. (Indicative of Burnout)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Salivary cortisol--a measure of stress--reached levels three times higher than those seen in the general population, in a study of academic physicians, Dr, Donna E. Stewart said at the 12th World Congress of Psychiatry In general,...
How to Recognize Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus. (Appears Psychotic, Confused, Unresponsive)
BALTIMORE -- A patient who appears to be psychotic, confused, or unresponsive may actually be in a nonconvulsive status epilepticus state, Dr. Peter W. Kaplan said at a conference on clinical electrophysiology sponsored by the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience...
Human Factors Affect Medication. (Practical Psychopharmacology)
The best antidepressant or antipsychotic in the world won't do much good if it stays in the bottle. And a discouraging proportion of psychiatric medications, it seems, do just that. "Some studies show as many as 60% of [general medical] patients...
Industry-Backed Research Raises Ethical Concerns. (Evidence-Based Treatment?)
CHICAGO -- The domination of drug research by pharmaceutical companies poses an ethical dilemma for clinicians who want to provide state-of-the art care to their patients, Dr. Charles R. Goldman said at the American Psychiatric Association's Institute...
Instituting the 80-Hour Resident Workweek. (Lessons from New York)
At 9 a.m., a pager sounded in the New York home of an exhausted resident, just off the night shift. Checking the number, she saw that it was an auditor, hired by the state to make sure residents there don't work more than 80 hours a week. Calling back,...
Intellectually Disabled Children at Greater Risk. (Anxiety Disorders, Hyperactivity)
LONDON -- Children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities are at increased risk of psychiatric disorders in general and of anxiety disorders, hyperactivity, and pervasive developmental disorder in particular, Eric Emerson, Ph.D., said at the...
Intervention May Delay Psychosis in Schizophrenia: Patients Who Received Risperidone and Therapy Had 29% Absolute Risk Reduction. (More Trials Underway)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- For the first time, a randomized, controlled trial has shown that early treatment of people who are at very high risk for schizophrenia can delay development of the disorder, Dr. Heinz Hafner reported at the 12th World Congress of...
Is Functional Neuroimaging Currently Useful in the Diagnosis of Adult Attention-Deficit Disorder? (Pro & Con)
YES Attention-deficit disorder is a serious problem in adults. Clearly, ADD is a physical disorder of the brain. Using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), my colleagues and I have shown that people with classic ADD exhibit suppressed...
Kids' Depression: SSRI Data Grow. (Two Double-Blind Studies)
PHILADELPHIA -- A growing body of evidence emerging from double-blind trials is confirming the safety and efficacy of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors for major depression in children and adolescents. In a multicenter randomized study that...
Letters
Real Psychodrama I take issue with Dr. Alan A. Stone's use of the term psychodrama to describe the Mike Leigh film "Secrets and Lies" (Reel Life, September 2002, p. 38). The term psychodrama should not be applied to a psychologically rich drama....
MDs as Hangmen: Unacceptable. (Guest Editorial)
Before the advent of lethal injection as a method of execution, the question of physician participation in capital punishment was not regarded by medical societies as a matter of concern since physicians did not function as hangmen, gun shooters, electric...
Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Widespread. (People over Age 70)
STOCKHOLM -- Nearly one in five nondemented people over age 70 meets the criteria for mild cognitive impairment, Dr. Oscar L. Lopez reported at the Eighth International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. Mild cognitive impairment...
Missed the HIPAA Deadline? CMS Wants to Help. (Technical Assistance Offered)
WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is offering technical assistance to physicians who missed the Oct. 15 compliance deadline for federal electronic transactions standards under the Health Information Portability and Accountability...
More Evidence That Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk. (Not Yet Definitive)
STOCKHOLM -- Statin medications are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Robert C. Green reported at the Eighth International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. The data aren't yet conclusive enough, however,...
More Office-Based Physicians Offering Mifepristone. (Few Adverse Events)
DENVER -- At least 80,000 women underwent medical abortion during the 18 months following Food and Drug Administration approval of mifepristone in September 2000, resulting in termination of pregnancy in more than 95% of cases. These are the numbers...
Multiple Criteria Set Competence for Trial. (in Mental Retardation)
SAN FRANCISCO - Assessing competence to stand trial in cases of mental retardation is a complex task, and is often crucial in determining a defendant's future, according to Dr. Susan Pearlson, a psychiatrist in private practice in Rochester, Minn.,...
Neural Disorder Seen in Schizophrenic Anhedonia. (Limbic System Failure)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Dysfunction in the brain's distributive circuits underlie the anhedonia that burdens patients with schizophrenia, Dr. Nancy Andreasen reported at the 12th World Congress of Psychiatry. Positron emission tomography images suggest...
New Psychotherapy May Stabilize Schizophrenia. (Hope for Recovery)
CHICAGO -- Advances in new, targeted forms of psychotherapy give "great reason to be hopeful about the lives of people with schizophrenia. We already know that stability is possible; this can mean recovery," Gerald E. Hogarty said at the American Psychiatric...
Normal Consumption 'Binge' Episodes May Still Trigger Purges. (Better DSM Definition Needed)
BOSTON -- Not all self-reported binge episodes involve consumption of abnormal amounts of food, but they may still be followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as vomiting or strict dieting, Pamela. K. Keel, Ph.D., said at a meeting of...
Office-Based TX of Opioid Addiction Now Feasible. (Approval of Buprenorphine)
The approval of the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine for treating opiate dependence has paved the way for office-based treatment of opioid addiction and far greater access to treatment for hundreds of thousands of heroin addicts across the country....
Paroxetine Beat Placebo for Anxiety Remission. (Three Separate Analyses)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- Paroxetine is more effective than placebo in helping patients with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or social anxiety disorder achieve remission, three separate analyses of data from multiple randomized, double-blind,...
Patients' Predisaster Problems Affect Response to Trauma. (Evaluations Stress History, Exposure)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- People with past psychiatric histories are much more likely to develop psychopathology after a trauma than are those without such a history Dr. Anand Pandya said at the 12th World Congress of Psychiatry. As a result, it is important...
Refocusing Public Health Priorities. (Behavior Must Change)
As he surveyed the growing public health crisis tearing through the Baltimore community around him and considered that a mere 2% of the billions of dollars in annual public health funds in the United States go to prevention of problems such as addiction...
Resistant Pelvic Pain Tied to Autonomic Imbalance. (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy)
SAN DIEGO -- Chronic pelvic pain that does not respond to standard treatments such as surgery or drug therapy may be a form of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, according to Dr. Thomas Janicki. This distinction could have important therapeutic implications,...
Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease Rises with Use of Antipsychotics. (Weight Gain Is a Problem)
CHICAGO -- Antipsychotic medications can increase weight and adiposity, as well as lead to abnormalities in glucose and lipid metabolism. Clinicians must be aware of these comorbidities as they prescribe such drugs to their schizophrenic patients,...
Sleep Pattern Abnormalities Shed Light on Schizophrenia. (Dysfunction in Prefrontal, Limbic Systems)
BALTIMORE -- Sleep patterns among patients with schizophrenia are providing new insights into the pathophysiology of the disorder, Dr. Matched Keshavan said at a conference on clinical electrophysiology sponsored by the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience...
Spectrum May Link Schizophrenia, Bipolar Illness. (Possible Clinical, Genetic Overlap)
NEW YORK -- Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are conventionally considered distinct and separate illnesses, but a case can be made that they are points on a single spectrum, Dr. David Printz said at a schizophrenia conference sponsored by Columbia...
Star Wars-The Phantom Menace. (Reel Life)
The day after "The Phantom Menace" opened, a former student sent me an urgent e-mail: "Saw the new 'Star Wars,' sucks like a big Hoover, Lucas has betrayed my whole generation." Not being of his generation, I could not fathom this baleful judgment....
Teaching Essential Character. (Guest Editorial)
In the past year, Americans have had extraordinary opportunities to include children in national debates of historic proportion--about defending this country from harm, about ensuring personal freedoms, about hatred and fear, determination and dissent....
The Separation of Religion and Therapy. (Fink! Still at Large)
The collision of the spiritual and the secular in psychiatric treatment can prove troublesome--even combustible--and some psychiatrists may find themselves uncomfortable when religion takes a seat beside a patient. For Discussion: How can a patient's...
Time to Take Another Look at CBT for Schizophrenia: Ideology and Economics Pose a Challenge. (Widely Used in the UK)
CHICAGO -- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is widely and successfully used for schizophrenia in the United Kingdom but is virtually ignored in the United States, Dr. Peter Weiden said at the American Psychiatric Association's Institute on Psychiatric...
Two Agents Help Treat Circadian Disorders. (Low-Dose Melatonin, Bright Light)
LOS ANGELES -- A combination of bright light and low-dose melatonin applied at specific times of the day is effective in treating a variety of circadian-rhythm disorders, Dr. Alfred J. Lewy said at a psychopharmacology conference sponsored b~ the University...
VNS May Be Good Option for Patients Who Are Not Candidates for Surgery. (Vagus Nerve Stimulation)
BALTIMORE -- Surgery is still the best option for drug-refractory epileptic patients, but vagus nerve stimulation continues to look promising for those patients who aren't easy candidates for resective surgery, Dr. Christian Elger said at a conference...

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