February 2007 Briefing - Psychiatry

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

Behavioral Therapy Effective for PTSD in Female Veterans

TUESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A type of cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure, is about twice as effective as present-centered therapy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in female veterans and active-duty military personnel, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Stress Boosts Irritable Bowel Risk After Gastroenteritis

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome after gastroenteritis if they are stressed, anxious, regard illness negatively and have a "driven" personality, according to a prospective study published online Feb. 26 in Gut.

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Extended-Release Venlafaxine May Help Childhood Anxiety

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Extended-release venlafaxine may be an effective and well-tolerated option for the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in children and adolescents, according to the results from two randomized trials that appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Chronic Dizziness Often Has Psychiatric, Neurologic Etiology

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 60 percent of patients with chronic dizziness have anxiety disorders while others have central nervous system disorders such as migraine, according to a report in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery.

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Terror Victims Exhibit Prolonged Physiologic Changes

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Victims of terrorism exhibit both emotional hardiness and lingering physiologic changes, according to a report published in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Almost Half of Anxiety Patients in Primary Care Untreated

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- About half of primary care patients who have an anxiety disorder aren't taking medication or undergoing psychotherapy for the symptoms, but if they do agree to treatment, it is similar to that given by a psychiatrist, according to a report in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Direct-to-Consumer Ads Should Spur Doc-Patient Discussions

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Direct-to-consumer drug ads should be a topic of discussion between physicians and patients, including the expectations and misperceptions that can result from such advertising, according to a Michigan physician. The "medicalization" of society, represented by direct-to-consumer drug ads, patient empowerment and changing perceptions of illness, is the subject of six essays published Feb. 24 in a special section of The Lancet.

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Panic-Focused Psychotherapy Curbs Panic Attacks

THURSDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A time-limited course of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy may help alleviate some of the symptoms of panic disorder more than applied relaxation training, according to the results of a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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ADHD Drug Makers to Warn of Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has instructed the manufacturers of 15 approved drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including Adderall, Ritalin and Strattera, to prepare Patient Medication Guides highlighting the risk of psychiatric symptoms and cardiovascular problems associated with the drugs. The agency has received reports of sudden death, myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with certain risk factors or underlying conditions taking typical doses of ADHD medications.

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Psychopathology Prevalent in Bariatric Surgery Candidates

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients seeking bariatric surgery often have a current or past history of psychiatric disorders, which may have an impact on recovery from the surgery and long-term weight loss and maintenance, according to a report in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Medications May Increase the Risk of Microscopic Colitis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who take high numbers of medications may have an increased risk of developing microscopic colitis, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Atypical Antipsychotics Block Histamine, Increase Appetite

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Newer atypical antipsychotic medications, such as olanzapine and clozapine, may be causing unwanted weight-gain side effects because they block histamine receptors in the brain, according to a report published online Feb. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Grief Typically Peaks in First Six Months After Loss

TUESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- After the loss of a family member from natural causes, grief indicators typically peak in the first six months, and contrary to the stage theory of grief, disbelief is not the dominant emotion, according to a report in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Family members who continue to score high on grief indicators after this time may need further evaluation.

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Anxiety Affects Seniors' Self-Reported Functioning

TUESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients in their 70s who report anxiety symptoms are more likely to have self-reported declines in physical functioning over five years, but not a decline in objective measurements of physical performance, compared to patients without anxiety, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Web Sites Sell Haloperidol-Contaminated Drugs

MONDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers who may have purchased haloperidol-contaminated medication over the Internet. Some patients have required emergency treatment for breathing difficulties, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness after taking Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro and Ativan sold on Web sites.

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Factors Protect Against Cognitive Decline in Women

FRIDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 70 percent of women who are in their early 70s will maintain optimal cognitive function or have a minimal decline over the next 15 years, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. A lack of diabetes, smoking and other factors are associated with a greater chance of preserving cognitive function.

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Parkinson-Linked Gambling Higher with Past Alcohol Abuse

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Parkinson disease patients are at higher risk of developing pathological gambling after treatment with dopamine agonists if they developed Parkinson disease at a relatively young age, have a history of alcohol abuse or have more novelty-seeking traits, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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One in 150 U.S. Children Has Autism Spectrum Disorder

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated U.S. prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is 6.6 to 6.7 children out of 1,000, according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, much higher than the estimate of four or five per 10,000 children for the past few decades.

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U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths on Rise, Particularly in Women

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Accidental poisoning among teenagers and adults has increased in the United States, mostly due to drug overdoses, and is now the second-leading cause of unintentional death after motor-vehicle accidents, according to new data in the Feb. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Neonatologists' Fear of Death Affects End-of-Life Choices

THURSDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who fear their own death may be more likely to hasten the death of newborns for whom future treatment is considered futile, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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Gene Variant May Protect Trinidadians from Alcoholism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Trinidadians with a particular variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene consume less alcohol and have less alcohol dependence than those who do not, in agreement with studies in other populations, according to a report in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Financial Benefits of Pediatric Exclusivity Program Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The economic return for pharmaceutical companies that conduct pediatric trials in exchange for six extra months of market exclusivity varies widely, according to a report in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mental Illness Increases Heart Disease, Stroke Mortality

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe mental illness are more likely to die from coronary heart disease and stroke than those without mental illness, researchers report in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Depression Linked to Early Carotid Artery Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is associated with a greater risk of carotid artery thickening over time, but it is the somatic-vegetative symptoms, rather than cognitive-affective symptoms, that seem to play a role. The findings are published in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Brain Signals Differentiate Child Bipolar, Mood Disorder

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Brain electrical activity measurements could help distinguish between bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation in children, according to a report in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Feeling Lonely Linked to Risk for Alzheimer Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Perceived isolation or loneliness, defined as a dissatisfaction with social interactions rather than their absence, is associated with the development of Alzheimer disease in old age, according to a report in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Childhood Neuropsychiatric Diagnoses on the Rise

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of autism spectrum disorder, hyperkinetic disorder and Tourette syndrome have increased among Danish-born children in recent years, researchers report in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Children Report Unwanted Porn Exposure Online

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 42 percent of U.S. children aged 10 to 17 who use the Internet say they have been exposed to online pornography, the majority of which is unwanted, according to the results of a survey published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Most Drunk Driving Reported by Non-Alcoholics

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most people who drink and drive are either excessive or binge drinkers, while alcoholics make up a smaller proportion of drunk drivers, according to a study in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study suggests adverse consequences of alcohol occur in many types of problem drinkers.

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Validating Patients' Depression Cuts Drug Prescribing

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who discuss and validate a depressed patient's concerns are more likely to prescribe antidepressants based on symptoms rather than a patient's request for medication, according to study findings published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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