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April 2006 Briefing - Psychiatry

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Psychiatry for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Hurricane Katrina Took Emotional Toll on Workers

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Many New Orleans police officers and firefighters reported both physical and psychological symptoms soon after Hurricane Katrina that may be related to both work duties and personal stress, according to a report in the April 28 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Probiotics May Ease Stress-Related Gut Problems

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Probiotic powder containing live Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus helveticus can help prevent intestinal pathophysiology in rats subjected to chronic stress, according to a study published online April 25 in Gut.

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FDA Opposes Medical Marijuana

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Noting that voters in a growing number of states have backed measures legalizing marijuana smoking under physician supervision, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a stand against the medical use of smoked marijuana.

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Most Physicians Would Halt Chemo at Patient's Request

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of physicians would halt chemotherapy if a terminal cancer patient insisted, but fewer would comply with a patient's request to speed death with drugs, according to a survey of physicians in six European countries and Australia published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Depression After Heart Attack Common in Younger Women

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Following a myocardial infarction, relatively young female patients have higher rates of depression than relatively young men, older men or older women, according to a study in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Blacks Less Likely Than Whites To Trust Health Care Providers

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The scarcity of quality interactions with physicians could be one reason that black patients in the United States are less likely to trust their health care providers than white patients are, according to the results of a study published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Nearly half of black patients report low trust in health care providers, versus one-third of white patients, the authors say.

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Elevated Diabetes Rate Found in Younger Schizophrenics

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders who are in their late 30s and 40s seem to develop diabetes at a rate seen in the general population in those aged 60 to 65, and this occurs regardless of the class of antipsychotic medication they're taking, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care. The authors suggest that all such patients should have their fasting glucose monitored.

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Mouse Study Identifies Possible Alcoholism Genes

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression studies of nine mouse strains have identified a number of candidate genes that may be involved in excessive alcohol consumption, according to a study published April 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study advances the understanding of the biological underpinnings of human alcoholism, the authors report.

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Hypnotherapy Can Reduce Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnotherapy can reduce the intensity of non-cardiac chest pain, although it doesn't seem to reduce the frequency of painful episodes in patients with angina-like pain that is not due to gastroesophageal reflux or cardiac conditions, according to a study published online April 20 in Gut.

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CDC Reports U.S. Death Rate Has Fallen to Record Low

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The United States death rate has fallen to a record low, life expectancy is increasing and the life expectancy gender gap is narrowing, according to a summary report, issued April 19 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Many Disadvantaged Men Satisfied with Retirement

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many men who were socially disadvantaged in their younger years are happy with their retirement regardless of the health and economic woes that complicated early adulthood and midlife, according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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PTSD More Likely in Vets with Combat Stress Reaction

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Combat veterans who experience stress reactions during their time in the military are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a report in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. In addition, PTSD can reemerge as the veterans age and symptoms may develop at the 20-year mark, even in those without combat stress reaction, the authors found.

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Self-Help Measures for IBS Can Cut Primary Care Costs

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- When patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are given a self-help guidebook as part of the treatment for their condition, they visit primary care settings less frequently and report a perceived improvement in their condition, according to a study in the May issue of Gut.

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Substance P Levels Elevated in Depression and PTSD

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of the pain-transmitting neuropeptide substance P are elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and they increase when PTSD symptoms are provoked, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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In Panic Disorder, Brain pH Unchanged by Hyperventilation

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with panic disorder do not experience altered pH levels in the brain during hyperventilation, indicating that increased levels of lactate could act as a buffering mechanism, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Adult ADHD Frequently Goes Undetected

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 4.4 percent of adults in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the majority of cases go undetected and untreated, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Men Who Use Steroids Have Narrow View of Masculinity

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotypical ideals of masculinity and poor body image are common among men who use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Cancer Patients Need Support in Talking to Their Children

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children of breast cancer patients often know something is wrong before they are told, and find their mother's chemotherapy and hair loss especially stressful, according to a study published online April 13 in BMJ, which suggests parents should get more support on discussing life-threatening illnesses with children.

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Youthful Goths May Be More Likely to Harm Themselves

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who belong to the Goth subculture may be at high risk of self-harm -- including cutting, scratching or scoring -- according to a study published April 13 by BMJ Online First.

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Brain-Imaging Study Reveals Source of 'Oops' Response

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), an area of the brain thought to be involved in emotional response, is responsible for processing the "oops" reaction that occurs when people make costly errors, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Depression in Elderly Predicts Nursing Home Admission

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who report themselves to be sad or depressed are significantly more likely to be admitted to a nursing home, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Multiple Cognitive Impairment Predicts Vascular Dementia

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Mild cognitive impairment with multiple impaired cognitive domains (mcd-MCI) may be an early stage of subcortical vascular dementia (VaD), according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Stress Not Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Relapse

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Stressful life events do not seem to trigger symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients whose symptoms have been inactive prior to the event, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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FDA Approves First Skin Patch for ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first methylphenidate-containing transdermal patch for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Known as Daytrana, the patch is designed for use in children ages 6 to 12 and is applied each morning to the alternating hip and worn for nine hours.

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Vision Problems Associated with Lower Cognitive Function

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Poor vision and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are linked to lower cognitive performance in older persons, according to the 16th report from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) Research Group published in the April issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Older Men at Greater Risk from Excessive Alcohol Intake

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Older men with conditions such as gout, anxiety disorder, hepatitis, ulcer disease and those on medication for conditions such as insomnia, allergies or pain should be given lower recommended thresholds for safe drinking, according to a study published online March 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Nurses Need More Training to Detect Delirium in Elderly

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses are usually able to correctly diagnose the absence of delirium in elderly patients at bedside, but may have less success in accurately diagnosing the presence of the condition, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Brain Imaging May Predict Response to Cognitive Therapy

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging the brains of unmedicated depressed individuals during an emotional task may predict whether an individual will respond to cognitive behavior therapy, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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About 5 Percent of U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 5 percent of all U.S. children are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but children who are female, black and Hispanic are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and diagnoses are higher in some regions than others, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Video Games Labels May Omit Some Violent Content

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the rating information on M-rated (for "mature") video games, many in this category contain unlabeled content that is potentially harmful to children and adolescents, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Violent Video Games Raise Blood Pressure in Young Men

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Playing violent video games raises blood pressure in young men and is associated with a more permissive attitude towards violence and alcohol and marijuana use, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Menopause Transition Associated with Depression

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The transition to menopause increases the likelihood of depression, especially for women who transition relatively early, according to two studies in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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UV Exposure May Have Opioid-Like Effect on Frequent Tanners

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid-blocking drugs produce withdrawal-like symptoms in some frequent tanners, lending support to the hypothesis that ultraviolet (UV) light produces endorphins and that tanning may be addictive as a result, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Schizophrenia Affects Language in Men More Than Women

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Male and female schizophrenics differ in their language functions, with men having a decline in language function in the areas of phonology, semantics and grammar, and females having relatively well-preserved language function across those three areas, according to a study in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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