“When people with early-stage symptoms took omega-3 supplements for three months, they had much lower rates of progression than those who did not,” according to research out of Australia covered in this month’s issue of the New Scientist. More →
Seniors are twice as likely to receive psychotropic prescriptions than younger adults but are much less likely to receive mental health care from psychiatrists or to receive psychotherapy, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. More →
The majority of children, adolescents and young adults prescribed antipsychotic medications have not been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The study, led by Mark Olfson from Columbia University, examined trends in the treatment of young people with antipsychotics in the United States between 2006 and 2010 and raised concerns about the safety and efficacy of prescription practices.
Fox 5 Atlanta featured a back to school story about the growing percentage of preteens and teens being prescribed antipsychotic medication for ADHD. They report: "Nobody, whether you're a mom trying to advocate for your child, or you're a physician trying to decide what's best for the child, nobody wants a child on a medication with long-term side effects that may even affect their development. Nobody wants that. We have to create a system that really digs and looks for other options for these kids."
A group of US Food and Drug Administration scientists held a forum to discuss how to better evaluate side effects of sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressant drugs during clinical trials, and published their report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. More →
In HealthNewsReview.org, Susan Molchan reviews some of the latest research promoting the use of an ADHD drug to treat loss of executive functions in women during menopause -- though, she writes, there's little evidence that women experience loss of executive functions during menopause, or that this drug could help if they did. More →
Psychiatry Advisor reports on King's College London psychiatrist James Rucker's campaign for more research into the therapeutic potentials of psychedelic drugs, and on critics who point to the risks of their powerful, mind-altering properties. More →
People who have long-term, recurrent depression eventually develop smaller hippocampi in their brains, according to research published in Molecular Psychiatry. And University of Sydney psychiatrist Ian Hickie, a co-author of the study, told The Guardian that there exists "a good bit of evidence" that antidepressants provide a neuroprotective effect against such hippocampal shrinkage. Hickie apparently did not clarify to The Guardian, however, that the particular study he'd just co-authored had actually found the exact opposite -- that antidepressants were associated with greater hippocampal shrinkage. More →
Medscape Medical News reports on a presentation of findings at the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society 19th International Congress, that showed a doubling and tripling of the risk of dying within 6 months for people with Parkinson's if they were taking antipsychotics. More →
A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey of 1000 US primary care physicians found that many do not understand important facts about the addictive nature of the opioids they are prescribing or about how people become addicted to them. The study was published in The Clinical Journal of Pain. More →
Antipsychotics appear to be too often prescribed to curb aggressive impulses in children and youth, rather than to treat psychosis or any other clinically indicated conditions, according to research published in JAMA Psychiatry. A National Institute of Health press release about the NIH-funded study advised that antipsychotics "should be prescribed with care" because they can "adversely affect both physical and neurological function and some of their adverse effects can persist even after the medication is stopped.” More →
The most recent issue of the The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies is dedicated to studies and discussions examining the promises and risks associated with the recent upsurge of interest within mainstream psychiatry in the drug ketamine for the treatment of depression. More →
Bloomberg reports that, "Adults in the U.S. have overtaken children in taking medication for the condition and accounted for 53 percent of the industrywide 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs last year, according to data compiled by Shire Plc, which makes the top-selling Vyvanse treatment. That compared with 39 percent in 2007, the Dublin-based drugmaker said." More →
McKnight's reports that, "The push for long-term care facilities to abandon the use of off-label use of antipsychotic medications for residents with dementia will intensify over the next two years, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said." More →
SSRI antidepressant medications contribute to a significant worsening of emotional "rapid cycling" in patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The authors described the study as the first-ever randomized clinical trial to test whether the finding from previous observational studies was true, and stated that the study clarified the "lack of safety" of antidepressants for some people with bipolar. More →
Four different studies conducted in different ways examining different groups have linked use of certain psychiatric drugs, particularly SSRI antidepressants and antipsychotics but also benzodiazepines, to bone fracture risks and negative impacts on human bone development. More →
An influential 2007 US National Institute of Mental Health-led study included a statistical manipulation that disguised the fact that youth taking antidepressants were actually over four times as likely to experience suicidal events as those taking placebo, according to a study in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine. This new published analysis has appeared several years after the revelations were first publicly discussed. More →
A team of psychiatrists from Ireland has found that nearly 1% of patients who take the antipsychotic clozapine experience clozapine-induced stuttering. In Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, they also described how to eliminate the problem. More →
Many ordinary people from video gamers, students and neuroscientists to entrepreneurs, classical musicians, and public servants are using stimulants in the absence of solid evidence about safety, recounts an article in The Conversation. So what might the repercussions for our competitive society look like if we develop a cognitive-enhancer drug that actually works over the long term? More →
Careful reductions in dosage levels of antipsychotic medications over time improved long-term rates of recovery and functional remission in patients diagnosed with a first-episode psychosis, according to a study led by Lex Wunderink reported in a Supplement of European Psychiatry. More →
While most treatments have had "statistically significant" success in clinical trials, no common psychiatric or psychological treatments improve what are termed "negative" symptoms of schizophrenia at levels that are "clinically meaningful," according to a meta-analysis in Schizophrenia Bulletin. More →
Like in many other states, foster children in Pennsylvania are being given psychotropic drugs by physicians at rates that are "disturbing" and "unacceptable," according to a press release and new report from the state's Department of Human Services (DHS). The state government also announced its plans to try to rein in the practice. More →
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