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December 2008 Briefing - Psychiatry

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

Family Rejection Predicts Poor Mental, Physical Health

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Lesbian, gay and bisexual young adults who experience family rejection are more likely to exhibit poor health outcomes, including suicide, depression and illegal drug use, researchers report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Some Alcohol May Preserve Cognition in Older Women

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who drink low or moderate amounts of alcohol may have better cognitive performance and a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to those who don't drink, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Caregivers May Benefit, Not Suffer from Their Role

THURSDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although caring for an ailing spouse has been associated with both negative and positive effects on the health of the caregiver, the process of helping may not in itself pose a health risk and may reduce the risk of mortality for the caregiver, according to a report to be published in Psychological Science.

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Internet Searching Increases Brain Function in Elderly

THURSDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Searching the Internet results in greater brain activation in older adults already experienced in using the Internet, activating brain areas associated with decision making and complex reasoning not observed in less-experienced users, according to an article to be published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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Medicare Parity Plans Benefit Psychiatric Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Following a psychiatric hospitalization, Medicare enrollees in health plans with insurance parity for mental health and primary care are significantly more likely to receive timely outpatient care than those enrolled in plans without parity, researchers report in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Egg Donors Largely Satisfied with Their Experience

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of egg donors report satisfaction with having been a donor and have a high willingness to donate again, according to the results of a survey released online in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of Fertility and Sterility.

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Community Mental Health Services May Lower Suicide Rates

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Multifaceted, community-based and specialized mental health services can greatly improve population mental health and lead to lower suicide rates, according to a nationwide analysis in Finland published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.

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Editorial

Blood Pressure Changes May Affect Thinking Ability

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with prehypertension or hypertension may have poorer cognitive performance at times when their blood pressure is higher than average, according to research published in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

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Imaging Reveals Age-Related Memory Differences

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Activity in the amygdala linked to subsequent memory of negative images was preserved in older adults, but older individuals had less subsequent-memory activity for negative pictures in visual cortices, according to research published in the January issue of Psychological Science.

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Adverse Long-Term Consequences Follow Stroke

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Caregivers of stroke patients experience reduced psychosocial functioning in the years after the stroke, and stroke patients experience long-term reductions in emotional and social function, according to two studies published online Dec. 18 in Stroke.

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Depression in Parkinson's Responds to Treatment

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Depression in patients with Parkinson's disease responds to nortriptyline but not paroxetine CR, according to the results of a placebo-controlled trial showing Parkinson's-associated depression can be treated with antidepressant therapy, published online Dec. 17 in the journal Neurology.

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Psychological Distress Linked to Cardiovascular Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral factors such as smoking and physical inactivity account for most the increased cardiovascular risk observed in patients with high levels of psychological distress, according to study findings published in the Dec. 16/23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Late School Start Reduces Teens' Risk of Car Accidents

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing adolescents to start the school day one hour later than normal is associated with increased sleep and a reduction in the number of teen motor vehicle accidents, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Fear of Prostate Cancer Return Linked to Mental Health

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Fear of recurrence, along with treatment-related symptoms, affect quality of life in prostate cancer survivors, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Economic Incentives Promote Weight Loss

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Economic incentives are an effective strategy for promoting weight loss, but their long-term benefit is uncertain, according to research published Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Most Overdose Deaths Due to Non-Medical Opioid Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all unintentional drug overdose deaths in West Virginia during 2006 resulted from non-medical use of opioid analgesics, according to research published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Brain Hemorrhage Linked to Traumatic Stress in Loved Ones

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Subarachnoid hemorrhage can result in an elevated occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the significant other of the patient experiencing the bleeding, explaining an increased incidence of psychiatric and psychosocial disability, according to an article published in the December issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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Asthma Risk Linked to Mental Health Symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In a nationally representative patient sample, poor mental health was linked to an increased risk of experiencing asthma, according to a report published in the December issue of Chest.

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Newer Schizophrenia Drugs Not All the Same

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The properties of the various second-generation antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia vary widely in terms of treatment properties and side effects, making comparison with first-generation drugs difficult but enabling individualized treatment, according to an article published online Dec. 5 in The Lancet.

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Happiness Seen As a Network Phenomenon

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Like health, happiness is a collective phenomenon that clusters in networks of people and spreads across a diverse array of social ties, according to study findings published online Dec. 4 in BMJ.

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Depression Linked to Abdominal Obesity Gains

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Older people with depression may be at increased risk of developing abdominal obesity, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Drivers Lose Concentration While Talking on Cell Phone

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers who talk on a cell phone while driving make more errors than when they are talking to a passenger in the car or when they drive without any distraction, according to study findings released online Dec. 1 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

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Depression, Anxiety Linked to Bone Health in Girls

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent girls with symptoms of depression and anxiety may have a greater risk of poor bone health, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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College Students Benefit from Preventive Health Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although psychiatric disorders are common among college students, fewer than 25 percent seek treatment, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A different study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, points to the benefits of influenza vaccination of college students.

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High Health, Financial Burdens for Families of Autistic Child

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are significantly more likely than other CSHCN to have unmet health care needs, and their families are more likely to experience financial, employment and time burdens, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Intervention in Childhood Has Positive Effects Over Time

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In elementary school children, social development interventions can positively affect long-term mental health, sexual health, educational and economic outcomes, according to an article published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Melatonin Agonist Tasimelteon Helps Combat Insomnia

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The melatonin agonist tasimelteon improves both sleep initiation and maintenance in patients who have experienced a sudden advance in sleep time, and shows potential in treating transient insomnia, according to a report published online Dec. 2 in The Lancet.

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A Good Boss Can Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy work environment, with a good manager at the helm, can decrease the risk of ischemic heart disease among employees regardless of individual risk factors, according to the results of a Swedish study reported online Nov. 27 in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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