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. 34, No. 12, December

Acupuncture Shows Clinical, Cost Effectiveness
A short course of traditional acupuncture can relieve nonspecific lower-back pain better than usual care at a small increased cost to payers, a new study has found. The study (BMJ 2006 [Epub doi: 10.1136/bmj.38878.907361.7C]) randomized 160 adults...
Adverse Events Occur in 35% of VNS Patients
PITTSBURGH -- Treatment-limiting adverse events occurred in more than 30% of patients who received a vagus nerve stimulator for the treatment of seizure disorders, Dr. Phillip Pearl reported at the annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society. ...
After the Cancer: Depression and Anxiety Missed in Older Survivors
ATLANTA -- Anxiety, depression, and pain are often overlooked in older cancer survivors, according to results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In this study of 150 men who had been diagnosed...
Antidepressant Use Tied to Suicide Attempts
PARIS -- A cohort study of 15,390 suicide-prone people in Finland found those who used antidepressants were much more likely to attempt suicide, but also much less likely to complete suicide or to die of any cause. The use of antidepressants was...
APA Takes Stand against Racism
The American Psychiatric Association has taken stands against racism many times over the years. But for the first time, the organization's board of trustees has adopted a position specifically calling for the elimination of racism and racial discrimination...
Artificial Light May Help Explain Obesity Rise
LAS VEGAS, NEV. -- The lack of seasonal variation in a modern world governed by artificial light may help explain the current obesity epidemic and the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, Dr. Eleanor M. Scott suggested at the Fourth World Congress...
Atomoxetine May Improve Comorbid ADHD, Tourette's
SAN DIEGO -- Atomoxetine appears to be safe in children and adolescents who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and comorbid Tourette's syndrome, Dr. Thomas J. Spencer reported during a poster session at the annual meeting of the American...
Autism-Specific Screen Outdoes General Tool
PHILADELPHIA -- Autism-specific screening conducted at critical intervals is more effective in the early identification of autism than is using a general developmental instrument as a first-line screening technique, Dr. Susan E. Levy said at the annual...
Bar Association Opposes Execution of Mentally Ill
NEW YORK -- The American Bar Association is leading the way in an effort to create legislation that will eliminate the application of the death penalty in cases involving mentally ill defendants, Ronald S. Honberg said at the American Psychiatric Association's...
Bipolar Adolescents Battle with Higher Risk for Substance Abuse
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA -- All co-morbid conditions increase the likelihood of substance abuse in adolescents with bipolar disorder, Dr. Harold I. Eist said at the Sixth World Congress on Depressive Disorders. Many of the traits that characterize adolescence--such...
Cancer Guidelines Focus on Weight Management
Advising patients to maintain a healthy weight can help them reduce their risk for several kinds of cancer, according to updated guidelines from the American Cancer Society. The new guidelines focus on maintaining a healthy weight throughout life,...
CDC Campaign Targets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
WASHINGTON -- Chronic fatigue syndrome has gained new stature as a public health concern with the launch by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a national education campaign aimed at promoting diagnosis and treatment of the illness. ...
CFS Traced to Childhood Trauma, Emotional Instability, Stress
Childhood trauma and neglect, long-standing emotional instability, and stress all were forerunners of chronic fatigue syndrome that developed decades later, researchers reported in two separate studies. The findings support the idea that chronic...
ChIPS Better Than K-SADS in Detecting Psychopathology
SAN DIEGO -- Agreement between the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children ranges from 66% to 90%. But the ChIPS instrument is more sensitive than the K-SADS...
Concerta Effective for ADHD Plus Epilepsy in Small Study
SAN DIEGO -- In children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and epilepsy, treatment with osmotic release oral system methylphenidate produced no serious adverse events, no increase in seizures, and a significant decrease in the ADHD Rating...
CPAP Withdrawal Alters Brain Function in Apnea Patients
MONTREAL -- Sleep apnea patients receiving continuous positive airway pressure therapy have changes in brain function that can be seen with functional magnetic resonance imaging when the therapy is withdrawn for just 2 consecutive nights. "The brains...
Depression Diagnoses Rose 2.4-Fold from 1990 to 2001
SAN DIEGO -- Between 1990 and 2001, the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with depression increased 2.4-fold, and the use of antidepressants increased from 44% to 59%, according to a nationwide study of physician office visits. Specifically,...
Depression Twice as Common in Diabetes Patients
KEYSTONE, COLO. -- Depression is twice as common in adults with diabetes as in the general population, William H. Polonsky, Ph.D., said at a conference on the management of diabetes in youth. Moreover, coexistent depression and diabetes is associated...
Diabetes and Bone Fracture Risk: Disease Duration Appears Critical
PHILADELPHIA -- Newly diagnosed diabetes appears to confer a protective effect against fracture that disappears with increased disease duration, ultimately leading to an increased fracture risk in patients with long-term disease, according to data...
Doctors Urged to Join Anti-Bullying Efforts
Part of the problem with addressing bullying is that it is accepted as a normative behavior, Dr. Joseph L. Wright said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "In the United States, we are quite behind the eight ball in terms...
Does Drug Testing Have a Place in Our Schools?
Testing is a deterrent that works. Addiction is a pediatric-onset disease that needs a public health response. In much the same way that school tuberculosis tests identify children who are sick and can spread a dangerous disease, student drug testing...
Factors Driving Anorexia, Bulimia Are Complex: About Two-Thirds of Eating Disorder Patients Have Comorbid Diagnosis of Anxiety or Depression
BETHESDA, MD. -- A complex set of predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors appears to play a major role in driving the behavioral and neurochemical changes of patients with anorexia or bulimia, Craig Johnson, Ph.D., said at the annual...
FDA Issues Warning on Venlafaxine
A warning about an increased risk of overdose associated with venlafaxine and a recommendation to prescribe small quantities of the pills have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration and Wyeth, manufacturer of the antidepressant. The warning...
FDA Losing Credibility with Public, Own Staff: Half of Survey Respondents in the Agency Said They Did Not Think It Was Headed in the Right Direction
WASHINGTON -- Members of the scientific community have raised a red flag over the apparent increasing influence of money and politics on the supposedly independent and unbiased internal workings of the Food and Drug Administration and other federal...
First Suspicion Index Developed for Elder Abuse
TUCSON, ARIZ. -- Canadian researchers have developed and validated a user-friendly six-question index that can be used in the office to elicit suspicion of elder abuse in seniors who are cognitively intact. The goal of the Elder Abuse Suspicion...
For Many Female Vets, PTSD Tied to Sex Trauma
ALBUQUERQUE -- Sexual trauma is the primary cause of posttraumatic stress disorder in female veterans, according to a psychologist who provides care at a trauma clinic for female veterans in New Mexico. Diane T. Castillo, Ph.D., estimates that 80%-90%...
Foster Care Intervention May Lower Depression, Anxiety
PHILADELPHIA -- A study assessing the impact of institutional living on Romanian children shows that foster care is effective at reversing some developmental delays, as well as decreasing rates of depression and anxiety, Charles A. Nelson III, Ph.D.,...
Glycemic Control and Weight Gain Not Inevitable
WASHINGTON -- A mathematical formula can be used to determine how many calories patients with type 2 diabetes must cut per day in order to avoid gaining weight when their high glucose levels are normalized with treatment, Scott Q. Siler, Ph.D., and...
Group Therapy of Benefit to COPD Patients with Anxiety
SALT LAKE CITY -- Anxiety in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is common, disruptive, and responds favorably to cognitive behavioral group therapy, Dr. Sandra G. Adams reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest...
Group TX Model Helps At-Risk Soldiers in Iraq
NEW YORK -- A program of group therapy using cognitive-behavioral concepts was a successful intervention for soldiers considered at risk for suicide or homicide at Camp Taji, Iraq. Military psychiatrists in England during World War II pioneered...
Health IT Adoption Is Critical
The field of medicine has been on the cutting edge of technology in many areas. For example, medical imaging technologies are state of the art and have changed the way we practice. Take a peek into any hospital surgical suite in this country, and you'll...
Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk Appear Absent with Ziprasidone
NEW YORK -- Unlike other atypical antipsychotics, ziprasidone was not found to increase the risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease in an analysis of data from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials in Intervention Effectiveness study. Results from...
Helping Patients Conquer Sleep Problems
A report issued earlier this year from the Institute of Medicine said that 50-70 million Americans struggle with chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome. The report said not enough health care professionals...
Improved Monitoring of Lipids, Glucose Needed
NEW YORK -- Adherence to consensus recommendations on monitoring for lipids and glucose among patients treated with atypical antipsychotics is poor, increasing these patients' already high risk for heart disease, according to Brian Cuffel, Ph.D. ...
IM Ziprasidone Effective for Youth with Acute Agitation
SAN DIEGO -- Intramuscular ziprasidone was well tolerated and effective in a group of children and adolescents who were hospitalized for acute agitation, results from a single-center study showed. "Some of the typical [antipsychotics cause] extrapyramidal...
Intervention May Help Couples in Transition to Parenthood
SAN ANTONIO -- Couples adjusting to the birth of their first child may weather the storm better and protect the quality of their relationship with the help of an intervention program, according to the results of a pilot study. The Family Foundations...
Jury Still out on Viability of Health Courts System
WASHINGTON -- The concept of using administrative law judges instead of civil jury trials to settle malpractice suits has gained some admirers in Congress and generated interest among state legislatures, but it is uncertain whether such a system is...
Late-Onset GAD More Common Than Thought
PARIS -- Generalized anxiety disorder occurs as a late-onset condition more often than is recognized, according to investigators who presented the first large treatment trial in elderly patients during the annual congress of the European College of...
Low Remission Seen with Third Antidepressant: STAR*D Trial Calls into Question the Practice of Switching Classes When an SSRI Doesn't Help
Less than 20% of patients switched to a third consecutive antidepressant for major depressive disorder achieved remission in a study published by the STAR*D trial investigators. They reported low remission rates for mirtazapine and nortriptyline,...
Medicare Changes Are High on Agenda for New Congress
The changes in leadership brought about by the November midterm elections are likely to result in significant shifts in the way Congress approaches health policy issues, according to several experts. One change that many physicians are hoping the...
Mentally Ill Need Humane Resolutions
It's painful to turn in a family member to law enforcement--but most painful when your loved one faces a possible death sentence. In 1995, after my wife, Linda, and I read the Unabomber's published "Manifesto," we grew suspicious that my brother,...
Moderate Daily Wine Intake Improves Cognition
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA -- Many studies show that light to moderate drinkers have better cognitive function than do abstainers--particularly in old age--Dr. Roger Pinder reported at the Sixth World Congress on Depressive Disorders. In addition, moderate...
Mood, Anxiety Disorders Complicate ADHD TX
Adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder frequently have other psychiatric problems as well. The National Comorbidity Survey Replication found 12-month prevalence rates of 38% for mood disorders and 47% for anxiety disorders in this population....
Most Teens with IBD Have Psych Disorders
SAN DIEGO -- More than half of adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease met criteria for one or more DSM-IV disorders, in particular adjustment disorders and major depressive disorder, Dr. Andreas Richterich reported during a poster session at the...
New Antidepressant Targets Circadian Rhythm
PARIS -- Two clinical trials have found agomelatine, an investigational drug that affects circadian rhythm, to be as effective as venlafaxine in treating major depressive disorder but with fewer side effects. Sexual dysfunction, in particular, occurred...
Obesity Costs $49 Billion for Every 4 Million Born
SEATTLE -- Obesity costs the United States $49 billion for each group of 4 million children born, findings presented by Dr. Matthew M. Davis at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth show. That $49 billion figure reflects the present rate...
PEACE Curbs Rampant Anxiety, Depression in ICD Recipients
CHICAGO -- A brief psycho-educational intervention quelled anxiety and depression during the year after implantable cardioverter defibrillator insertion in the randomized multicenter PEACE trial, Sandra B. Dunbar, D.S.N., reported at the annual scientific...
Perspective
When it comes to suicide prevention in youth, we should strive to recognize the maxim that "risk factors are not predictive factors due to protective factors." At-risk youth are usually pretty easy to identify, as they tend to let you know who they...
Postcombat PTSD in the Movies
Clint Eastwood's new World War II docudrama, "Flags of Our Fathers," begins in the midst of battle. On a dark, denuded landscape, a solitary combatant stares blankly at us, his face transfixed with shock. We're on Iwo Jima and looking at John "Doc"...
Preventing Suicide Is All-Staff Effort
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has issued its new Hospital/Critical Access Hospital National Patient Safety Goals, which go into effect next year. One of those goals is identifying patients at risk for suicide. This...
Psychiatric Hospitalization Up 40% for Kids, 39% for Teens
SAN DIEGO -- Between 1996 and 2004, the rate of psychiatric hospitalization for children increased 40% while the rate for adolescents increased 39%, according to an analysis of National Hospital Discharge Survey data. At the same time, the hospitalization...
Psychiatrists Face 7% Pay Cut Unless Congress Steps In: Medicare Patients' Access Could Suffer
Physicians may be feeling a sense of deja vu in response to the announcement from Medicare that physician payments will be cut by 5% as of Jan. 1, 2007. This is the fifth consecutive year that physicians have been threatened with a payment cut under...
Relaxation Techniques: Adjuncts to Therapy
In a recent column, I wrote about the psychiatric/psychological assistance we can offer in treating TMD ("Stress-Related Temporomandibular Dysfunction," The Psychiatrist's Toolbox, October 2006, p. 60). As I examined the techniques that I have found...
Screen for Mood Disorders in Patients with Addictions
WASHINGTON -- People who abuse substances are more likely to develop a mood disorder than are those who do not, Dr. Kathleen T. Brady said during the annual conference of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse. Dr....
Sideline Docs among Teams' Key 'Players'
Football in the storied Big Ten Conference means big-time pressure, high expectations from alumni and fans, and intense media exposure. So when the college football season hits, Dr. Greg Rowdon, head team physician for the Purdue University Boilermakers,...
Staff Education Program Leads to Decrease in Use of Seclusion, Restraint
NEW YORK -- The use of seclusion and restraint among psychiatric inpatients was successfully reduced by a program involving staff education, changes in policy and practice, and improved communication with patients, Dr. David J. Hellerstein said in...
Statin May Slow Lung Function Decline in Smokers
SALT LAKE CITY -- Statin therapy may slow the decline in lung function in smokers and ex-smokers with chronic lung disease, Dr. Walid G. Younis said at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. This preliminary finding from...
Stress Relievers Cited as Diabetes Risk Boosters: Meaningful Interventions Include Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Breathing Exercises, and Biofeedback
LOS ANGELES -- Many behaviors that raise the risk of diabetes also act as stress relievers in patients demoralized by lifelong hardship, Dr. Ann K. Bullock said at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Overeating,...
Study of Anxiety, Physical Conditions Is a First
Anxiety disorders are associated with a broad range of physical conditions, including respiratory diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, arthritic conditions, allergic conditions, thyroid diseases, and migraines, reported Dr. Jitender Sareen of the University...
Suicide Rate of U.S., Caribbean Blacks Rivals That of Whites
For the first time, epidemiologists say they can accurately estimate the prevalence of suicide attempts among African Americans and Caribbean Americans in the United States: It is 4.1%, which is higher than the 2%-3% reported in community surveys,...
Switch Pain Patients to Methadone with Caution
Clinicians should not rely on standard conversion tables when switching chronic pain patients to methadone from other opioid analgesics, according to three pain experts who have published guidance on methadone prescribing. The widely available tables...
Teen Suicide: A Multifaceted Problem
"Why are teenagers killing themselves?" This question accompanies nearly every headline about adolescent suicide. A litany of possible reasons follows, including drugs, mental illness, physical or sexual abuse, social and academic pressures, homosexuality,...
The Art of Dr. Leonard Aschenbrand
Dr. Leonard Aschenbrand spends many weekends taking photographs, scouting locations for good shots, and developing the pictures himself. "Photography is a way of being expressive, and it's relaxing," said Dr. Aschenbrand, who has been taking photographs...
Tip on Atypicals: Track Triglycerides
ORLANDO -- Elevated triglycerides are the first sign that a patient taking an atypical antipsychotic might be heading for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease, according to a presentation at a psychopharmacology congress sponsored...
Treating Anxiety, Mood Disorders Takes Time
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Anxiety disorders are a common comorbidity that lead to worse outcomes for patients with major depressive and bipolar disorders, speakers warned at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of Arizona. Dr. A. John Rush...
Two Part D Plans Relax Rules on AD Drugs
Two major Medicare Part D drug plans have stopped requiring prior authorization for coverage of Alzheimer's medications, according to officials at the Alzheimer's Association. RxAmerica and Medco no longer will require physicians to go through the...
Type 'D' Personality Predicts Cardiac Events
BARCELONA -- Type D personality is a powerful independent predictor of future cardiac events in patients with coronary heart disease, Johan Denollet, Ph.D., reported at the joint meeting of the European Society of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation....
Watch out for Avoidance after Traumatic Injury
SAN DIEGO -- Children who are hospitalized for moderate to severe physical injuries face a high risk of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and psychological impairment if they display certain avoidance behaviors, Dr. Christopher Petersen said in...
White Matter Lesions May Affect Alzheimer's TX
ATLANTA -- Fast fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery MR images reveal that the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease show more extensive areas of focal white matter hyperintensities than do those of normal controls, and the extent of pathology...
Younger, Older Autistic Males Have Smaller Corpora Callosa
PITTSBURGH -- The corpora callosa of individuals with autism are smaller than those of healthy controls both during early childhood and after age 30 years, according to data presented during a poster session at the annual meeting of the Child Neurology...
Zolmitriptan Quickly Aids Acute Cluster Headache
Intranasal zolmitriptan is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for acute cluster headache, a study has shown. Both 5-mg and 10-mg doses of the selective serotonin (5-HT) receptor agonist demonstrated significantly higher rates of headache relief...
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