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April 2008 Briefing - Psychiatry

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Psychiatry for April 2008. 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.

Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Endocannabinoid Pathway Activated by Nerve Agents

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Organophosphorus nerve agents augment the endocannabinoid pathway in the brain, resulting in clinical effects such as that caused by the exogenous cannabinoid, marijuana. Selective activation of this pathway could be used to obtain desirable therapeutic effects such as analgesia, while avoiding unwanted side effects such as hypomotility and cognitive dysfunction, according to research findings published online April 27 in Nature Chemical Biology.

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Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.

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Protein State Affects Behavior of Alzheimer's Protein

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease that involve abnormalities in the tau protein (tauopathies), a tau-regulating protein has opposite effects on tauopathy in mice depending on whether the tau is normal or mutant, according to a study published online April 22 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Predictors Identified for Incident DSM-IV Disorders

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The one-year incidence rates for substance use and mood and anxiety disorders vary by gender, age and ethnicity, according to a study published online April 22 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Chemotherapy Drug Damages Mouse Central Nervous System

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil causes acute and delayed damage to progenitor cells and myelin in the mouse central nervous system (CNS), which may explain the cognitive problems experienced by some cancer patients, according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of Biology.

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Heart Screening Needed in Kids With Attention Deficit

TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should undergo cardiovascular screening prior to being started on stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall, according to an American Heart Association Scientific Statement published online April 21 in Circulation.

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Epilepsy's Effect on Brain Aging Poorly Understood

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is a paucity of data examining the effect of chronic epilepsy on cognitive and brain aging, available evidence suggests that individuals with chronic epilepsy may be at increased risk for dementia, according to an article published in the current issue of Epilepsia.

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Elderly on Antipsychotics Face Higher Pneumonia Risk

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antipsychotic medications is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in elderly patients, particularly shortly after they begin treatment, according to research published in the April Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Merits of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Debated

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The recent decision by the United Kingdom's Department of Health to establish programs to screen all men aged 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysm within 10 years is based on data showing that screening reduces mortality, but some feel that screening may cause more harm than good. This controversy is covered in a Head to Head article published in the April 19 issue of BMJ.

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No Benefit to Self-Monitoring Glucose in Early Diabetes

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Self-monitoring of blood glucose in individuals with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes is associated with higher costs, worsened quality of life and little or no improvement in glycemic control, according to two articles published online April 17 in BMJ.

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Antidepressants Linked to Lower Suicide Rates

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Most older adults who commit suicide were not receiving treatment at the time of death, and antidepressant treatment can account for about 10 percent of the reduction in suicide rates in the late 1990s, according to the results of a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Suicide Leading Cause of Violent Deaths

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of all violent deaths in the United States are caused by suicide, with higher rates among males than females, according to a report published in the April 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Younger Women More Vulnerable to Postpartum Depression

TUESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- As many as one-fifth of new mothers experience postpartum depression, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.

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Non-Organic Sign Testing Reliable in Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- When trained observers perform non-organic sign testing in patients with chronic low back pain, the interobserver reliability of the Waddell score is moderate and the intraobserver reliability is good, according to research published in the April issue of Spine.

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Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.

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Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.

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Children's Sleep Disruptions Lead to Range of Problems

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Short or disrupted sleep during infancy and childhood may be associated with a range of problems including mood and behavioral disorders in young adulthood, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as maladaptive parental behaviors, according to three studies published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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Childhood Abuse May Raise Adult Inflammation Levels

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adults with a history of maltreatment in childhood tend to have higher levels of C-reactive protein than their counterparts without a history of abuse, putting them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Depressive Symptoms Not Linked to Alzheimer's Risk

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals with depressive symptoms or with no increase in depressive symptoms do not have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, although those with a history of depression are at increased risk, researchers report in two studies published in the Archives of General Psychiatry and Neurology in April.

Abstract - Wilson
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Genetic Influence on Fears Changes Over Time

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic and environmental factors both have an impact on fears in middle childhood and early adulthood but they act in a dynamic way and change over time, according to a report published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Caffeine May Protect Blood Brain Barrier in Alzheimer's

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic caffeine ingestion appears to protect against disruptions in the blood brain barrier caused by a cholesterol-enriched diet in rabbits, suggesting that caffeine might be useful in Alzheimer's disease and other disorders characterized by breakdown of the blood brain barrier, according to research published April 3 in the Journal of Neuroinflammation.

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Early Psychological Distress Affects Middle-Aged Workers

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- People who experience psychological distress in childhood and early adulthood may be more likely to experience adverse working conditions during middle age, according to the results of a study published online April 3 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Domestic Violence Affects Women's Long-Term Health

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Even one incident of male-on-female intimate partner violence can have lasting and adverse effects on women's physical and mental health, according to a report published in the April 5 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA: Safety Warning Issued for Influenza Drug Relenza

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The maker of the antiviral drug Relenza (zanamivir) informed health care professionals this week of a potential risk of behavioral changes and delirium associated with the drug's use. Relenza is approved for the treatment of influenza A and B.

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Psoriasis Linked to Multiple Comorbidities

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with psoriasis are likely to have comorbidities that should be assessed by their primary health care providers and addressed with health screening tests, preventative exams and referrals, according to a clinical consensus statement from the National Psoriasis Foundation published in April in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Pediatric Liver Transplantation Affects Patients and Families

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- After pediatric liver transplantation, children aged 5 and over have compromised physical function and their parents have higher levels of stress. Although transplant families do not generally appear to have a higher level of family dysfunction, this may not be true for all demographic groups, according to a report published in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Tobacco Dependence Deserves Chronic Disease Status

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco dependence is a chronic disease that deserves the same status as other chronic conditions in order to ensure that effective treatments are made available to those who need them, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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