In a study published yesterday, researchers from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo bring attention to a condition known as neuroleptic-induced deficit syndrome (NIDS) brought on by the adverse mental effects of antipsychotic drugs. They express concern that NIDS can resemble the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia and psychosis, leading to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments.
Last week, after the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) made a recommendation for increased mental health and depression screening “stories in the New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Reuters all seemed to accept the premise that a sweeping increase in depression screening is justified,” Alan Cassels points out for the Health News Review. “[M]ost of the coverage was weirdly missing in action on almost everything else that counted in a serious medical screening story: explanations of the potential benefits and harms, the specificity and sensitivity of the tests, the costs of the treatment (and in this case, the myriad of costs of implementing a screening program), and the likelihood that financial conflicts of interest have inevitably tainted the research around screening tools, thus biasing the recommendations that surround them.”
Pioneering research by mood disorder experts at Newcastle University has questioned the effectiveness of metyrapone, a drug suggested to treat depression. "Our research has shown that in the population of depressed patients studied, metyraphone is inadequate and therefore should not be routinely recommended as an option for treatment resistant depression,” the study author said in a press release.
The largest-ever meta-analysis of antidepressant trials appeared yesterday in the British Medical Journal. Researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 70 trials (involving 18,526 subjects), to find that - counter to the initially-reported findings - antidepressants doubled the risk of suicide and aggression in subjects under 18. This risk had been misrepresented in the original study reports, the authors say, and suggest that the risks to adults may be similarly under-reported.
A recent study published in this month’s issue of Psychiatry Research attempted to examine the impact of an anti-stigma public media campaign in Germany. They focused on changes in public attitudes toward people affected by symptoms associated with depression and schizophrenia as a result of the psychenet- Hamburg Network Mental Health awareness campaign.
A study published in this month’s issue of Stroke found that antidepressants may increase the risk of microbleeds in the brain. Both SSRI and SNRI antidepressants can disrupt natural clotting mechanisms and lead to increased adverse bleeding incidents and prolonged bleeding times.
Reuters reports that a new drug for major depression failed to improve symptoms in two late-stage clinical trials sending the manufacture’s stock into a tailspin.
According to new research by Joanna Moncrieff and Sebastião Viola, mental health problems have become the leading cause of disability claims in the UK. While the overall number of claims for other conditions has decreased by 35%, claims related to “mental disorders” have increased 103% since 1995.
Medical News Today provides an overview of the research on the effects of shift work on the physical and mental well-being of employees. "Although this field requires more in-depth and focused studies, a growing body of evidence continues to indicate that measures need to be taken to protect a significant section of the population."
The warning label for the antidepressant Cymbalta downplayed the risks of withdrawal effects, according to consumer lawsuits being filed in courts across the country. “An estimated 44% to 78% of people who stop taking Cymbalta (also known as duloxetine) will suffer from withdrawal reactions,” yet the warning label “suggests the risk is greater than or equal to 1%.”
“Children from poorer families are more likely to experience changes in brain connectivity that put them at higher risk of depression, compared with children from more affluent families,” according to new research covered by Medical News Today. "Poverty doesn't put a child on a predetermined trajectory, but it behooves us to remember that adverse experiences early in life are influencing the development and function of the brain. And if we hope to intervene, we need to do it early so that we can help shift children onto the best possible developmental trajectories."
A study published this week in the Annals of Family Medicine reveals that opioid painkillers, when used long-term, can lead to the onset of depression. The researchers found that the link was independent of the contribution of pain to depression.
There is robust evidence for the long-term effectiveness of psychotherapy, and it also provides good value-for-money, according to a large randomized control trial published open-access this month in The Lancet. The researchers recommend that clinicians refer all patients with treatment-resistant depression to therapy.
Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that being exposed to bullying in childhood can contribute to mental health problems later in life. In a new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers found that children who reported being bullied at age eight were significantly more likely to seek treatment for mental health problems by age twenty-nine.
“According to a new study, the consequences of this wage gap extend beyond the checking account: women who earn less than their male peers are at greater risk for anxiety and depression than those who are fairly compensated.”
According to the CDC, January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. New research continues to link various SSRI antidepressants with birth defects and neurological abnormalities in newborns. The latest study to examine this topic, a meta-analysis led by Dr. Anick Bérard, found a 23% increased risk for birth defects, and a 28% increased risk for heart problems, in the infants of women who took the SSRI Paxil (paroxetine) during their first trimester.
“Those who possess the data control the story.” In the wake of the reanalysis of the infamous Study 329, where scientific data claiming the antidepressant Paxil was safe and effective for teens was egregiously manipulated, researchers are pushing for open access to raw data. “The issue here, scientists argue, is that without independent confirmation, it becomes too easy to manipulate data.”
Martha Rosenberg calls the reanalysis of Paxil and Study 329 “a victory for safety activists, medical reporters, the public and freedom of the press.” But, she warns, “many pro-pill doctors continue to fight evidence of Paxil’s suicide risks and similar SSRIs.”
On his website, Dr. Nardo details the hidden risks and bad science behind the growing practice of using atypical antipsychotics to augment antidepressant treatment for severe depression. The story of Atypical Antipsychotic Augmentation of Treatment Resistant Depression is a “prime example” “to illustrate how commercial interests have invaded medical practice.” “Besides the obvious dangers of the Metabolic Syndrome and Tardive Dyskinesia, these drugs don’t really do what they’re advertised to do – make the antidepressants work a lot better.”
“The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of pharmaceutical treatment for low sexual desire in women has launched a heated debate over the dangers and benefits of medicalizing sex,” Maya Dusenbery writes in the Pacific Standard. Is “female Viagra” a feminist victory or a product of clever faux-feminist marketing by Big Pharma?
We now have only 89 days to respond to Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1210. Tell the FDA no to the down-classification of shock devices. Tell the FDA exactly how subjective and damaging the terms “treatment-resistant” and “require rapid response” are, and how they fail as legitimate medical concepts. The known risks of electroshock should not be ignored because one has been psychiatrically labeled.
“Suicide rates in the United States have been rising, especially among veterans and members of the armed forces. Traditional assumptions about why people kill themselves have not led to effective strategies for suicide prevention,” psychologist Craig Bryan tells Science News. “So in recent years, psychologists and others have been reconsidering basic beliefs about why people carry out the ultimate act of self-destruction.”
Listen: NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook discusses the new book “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy,” by the psychiatrist Julie Holland.
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