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Editorial Takes On Conflicts of Interest and Propaganda in Psychiatry

In a scathing editorial in this month’s Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Dr. Giovanni Fava takes aim at prominent medical experts who have downplayed the role of financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) in medical research and practice. Fava retraces the development of the problem, the mechanisms of "propaganda" that allow conflicts to flourish, and offers suggestions for reform, including a call to boycott commercialized medical education programs and professional societies.

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Researchers Call for Reappraisal of Adverse Mental Effects of Antipsychotics, NIDS

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.

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Psychiatrist Asks Field to Drop Schizophrenia Classification

Dutch psychiatrist and epidemiologist, Jim van Os, has renewed his call to drop schizophrenia as a disease classification. “Several recent papers by different authors have called for modernised psychiatric nomenclature, particularly regarding the term ‘schizophrenia’,” he writes in a review for BMJ. “Japan and South Korea have already abandoned this term.”

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“Life, Animated: A Remarkable Story of How a Family Reached Their Autistic Son Through Disney Movies”

A new documentary “Life, Animated,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a man with autism who learned to interact with the world in an unusual way. Watch the Democracy Now! interview the film's subjects and producers.

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“Study Gives Prozac to Fetuses With Down Syndrome”

“A University of Texas Southwestern study will see if giving unborn babies with Down syndrome Prozac in the womb will help improve brain functioning,” according to NBC news. “Mothers pregnant with Down syndrome babies will take Prozac about 18 to 20 weeks into their pregnancy. The child will continue to take Prozac until the age of 2.”

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“Big Pharma and the Big Push for Patients to Take Their Meds”

“The pharma industry loses tens of billions in worldwide sales each year when patients don’t fill, or refill, their prescriptions,” Rebecca Robbins reports for STAT. So companies are now investing in smart pills that alert prescribers when doses are missed, providing gift cards to thank patients for compliance and even lobbying the government for permission to pay pharmacists to encourage patients to take their pills.

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“6 Facts That Prove Ambien Is More Dangerous Than You Think”

“ Ambien, a powerful prescription sleeping pill used to treat insomnia, has serious effects that you may not know about. In the video above, watch CBTforInsomnia.com founder Dr. Gregg Jacobs discuss six dangerous facts associated with the pill.”

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We Need Your Help!

Mad in America, which was founded as a webzine in 2011, is now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. This provides us with both a new challenge, and this is the exciting part, a chance to dream big. The challenge is to raise the money to pursue our bigger visions for the future.
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