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December 2007 Briefing - Psychiatry

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Psychiatry for December 2007. 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.

Neuroimaging Predicts Cigarette Craving

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- MRI of smokers' brains shows that abstinence-produced cravings are associated with increased activity in areas related to attention, behavioral control, memory and reward, according to a report in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Child's Tantrum Style May Indicate Mental Disorder

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In preschool children, certain tantrum behaviors may be signs of a psychiatric disorder requiring medical attention, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Structure of Synaptic Protein May Provide Clues to Autism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A new study provides insight into the molecular structure of neuroligins, a family of postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins required for neural synapse formation. These findings are relevant to the study of autism because mutations in the genes encoding neuroligins have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. The research is published in the December issue of Neuron.

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Transient Neurological Attacks Predict Future Events

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Transient neurological attacks (TNAs) with diffuse, non-localizing cerebral symptoms are risk factors for major vascular diseases and dementia, according to a report in the Dec. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sleep Apnea Patients Clustered by Intention to Exercise

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of intention to exercise in obstructive sleep apnea patients has identified four patient types based on their attitude and inclination to exercise, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Fetal Alcohol Exposure Affects Infant Response to Alcohol

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Rats exposed to alcohol in utero demonstrate an increased affinity for alcohol as infants that may be mediated by the effect of ethanol on the developing olfactory system, according to two articles published in Behavioral Neuroscience in December.

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Oncologists Missing Chances to Show Empathy to Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oncologists seldom respond with empathy when their patients express emotional concerns, according to research published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This could cause physicians to miss opportunities to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and improve patient adherence.

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Accidental Poisoning, Suicide Push Mortality Rates Up

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time in 25 years, injury mortality rates in the United States rose between 1999 and 2004, according to a report published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Baclofen Helps Alcoholics with Cirrhosis Stay Abstinent

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with baclofen enables alcoholics with liver cirrhosis to safely maintain abstinence and reduce liver damage, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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High Colon Cancer Risk for Schizophrenic Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of colon cancer but have a lower risk of respiratory cancer compared to the general population, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Imaging Technique Localizes Belief/Disbelief Processing

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Brain imaging might one day be a feasible method of distinguishing belief from disbelief, researchers postulate, based on the results of a new study published online Dec. 10 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Less QT Prolongation with Buprenorphine for Addiction

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In contrast to levomethadyl and methadone, buprenorphine is much less likely to prolong the QT interval and may be a safer alternative to treat opioid addition, researchers report in the Dec. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA: Carbamazepine Risks in Asians Reflected in Label

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that manufacturers of drugs containing carbamazepine have agreed to add a recommendation to the drugs' labeling that patients of Asian descent undergo blood testing prior to initiating therapy, to identify individuals at increased risk of developing serious skin complications. Carbamazepine is used in the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar disorder and neuropathic pain, and is sold under the trade names Carbatrol, Equetro and Tegretol.

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Overlap in Inheritance of Schizophrenia and Cognition

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant correlation between schizophrenia and intelligence, as well as working memory, with most of the covariance accounted for by shared genetic influences, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Hypertension Increases Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals with a history of hypertension are at greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, particularly the non-amnestic type, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Oxidative Stress Related to Drug-Induced Psychosis

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The schizophrenia-like syndrome caused by abuse of drugs such as ketamine may be due to increased oxidative stress mediated by increased activity of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of Science.

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More Depression Screening Needed for Veterans with Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for depression in veterans with cancer at a midwestern veterans' facility has improved, but rates of depression screening among these patients are still lower than in the general veteran population both nationwide and at the facility, according to a report in the November-December issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

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Maternal Depression Linked to Higher Risk of Child Injury

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Recognizing and treating maternal depression may help reduce the risk of injuries and behavioral problems in children, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Body Dysmorphic Disorder Alters Perception of Faces

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- People with body dysmorphic disorder have a different perception of other people's faces than someone without the condition, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Grief Can Compromise Physical and Mental Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although most people cope with grief without needing any professional intervention, the process of mourning can lead to a range of physical and mental ailments and high-risk groups may require targeted psychological help, according to an article published in the Dec. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Fever Reduces Aberrant Behavior in Autistic Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- When children with autism spectrum disorders experience a fever, aberrant behavior may decline, which may add to the understanding of autism's causative mechanisms and treatment opportunities, according to a report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Relatives of Parkinson's Patients Prone to Depression

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Relatives of patients with Parkinson's disease are more prone to depression and anxiety than those with no family members affected by the disease, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Sex Hormones Implicated in Etiology of Eating Disorders

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The higher incidence of anorexia nervosa in women compared to men may be related to intrauterine sex hormone exposure, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A second study also points to the involvement of genetic effects in the development of disordered eating.

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Katrina Survivors Suffer from Anxiety-Mood Disorders

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Hurricane survivors faced with ongoing stressors are more likely to experience anxiety-mood disorders, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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