January 2009 Briefing - Psychiatry

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Psychiatry for January 2009. 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.

Anticholinergic Agents Linked to Cognitive Impairment

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cumulative long-term use of anticholinergic medications can lead to cognitive impairment, including poor memory and executive function, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Newer Antidepressants Not All the Same

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant differences in terms of efficacy and acceptability between 12 new-generation antidepressants, according to an article published online Jan. 29 in The Lancet.

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Sleep Mutants Increase Anesthesia Requirement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Gene mutations in fruit flies that shorten sleep time also affect their sensitivity to volatile anesthetics, according to research published in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Psychosis Linked to Attention-Deficit Disorder Drugs

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In children receiving drug treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms may be a sign of an adverse drug reaction, according to a report published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Clinical Information Technology Leads to Safer Hospitals

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that make use of clinical information technology to automate notes, records, order entry and clinical decision support have lower mortality rates, fewer complications and also save money, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Meditation Practice Linked to Less Pain Sensitivity

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Experience in Zen meditation is associated with reduced pain sensitivity, a finding supporting the value of mindfulness-based meditation, according to research published in the January issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

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Alcohol-Use Disorders Are Common, But Treatable

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- About one-quarter of individuals with alcohol-use disorders will seek help for their problems, and health care providers should routinely screen for alcohol dependence or abuse, according to a seminar published online Jan. 26 in The Lancet.

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More Recess Time Leads to Better Classroom Behavior

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Elementary school-age students who receive at least one daily recess period of 15 minutes or more are likely to show better behavior in the classroom, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Spousal Violence Increases Odds of Fetal Loss

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose husbands are violent toward them are more likely to experience single or recurrent fetal loss, researchers report in the Jan. 24 issue of The Lancet.

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Abuse of Dementia Patients by Carers Is Common

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- It is common for people with dementia to be abused by family carers, most often with verbal abuse, although frequent and physical abuse seems to be rare, according to the results of a study published online Jan. 22 in BMJ.

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Default Network Issues Tied to Schizophrenia Symptoms

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperactivation of the default network -- which includes brain regions that are more active during rest than during cognitive tasks -- may play a role in the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Brain Scans Show Effects of Self-Inhibition Toward Food

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- During food stimulation, men who suppressed their hunger and desire for food showed reduced activation in brain structures linked to emotional regulation, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Schizophrenics Experience High Rates of Discrimination

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia experience high rates of both anticipated and experienced discrimination, according to an article published online Jan. 21 in The Lancet.

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Many Support Surrogate Consent in Dementia Research

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most participants in a sample of older Americans supported allowing families to provide surrogate consent decisions as part of research on dementia, and most would also participate in surrogate-based research, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 13 issue of Neurology.

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Escitalopram Modestly Improves Anxiety in Elderly

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor escitalopram modestly improves anxiety symptoms and role functioning compared with placebo in elderly adults with anxiety disorder, according to study findings published in the Jan. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Neuroticism Linked to Decreased Dementia

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Low neuroticism and high social extraversion is associated with a decreased risk of dementia, although low neuroticism lowers risk even among socially isolated persons, according to an article published in the Jan. 20 issue of Neurology.

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Many Inmates Don't Receive Proper Health Care

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- While incarcerated, many inmates with serious chronic health needs do not receive proper care, and many inmates with mental illnesses were not on their treatment when they were arrested, according to research published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Initial Placebo Doesn't Change Response in Depressed Teens

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adolescents initially treated with a placebo followed by active treatment respond just as well as patients who received active treatment from the beginning, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Cognitive Rehab Shows Some Benefit in Brain Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitive rehabilitation appears to have a modest effect in individuals with acquired brain injury, according to the results of a study published in the January Neuropsychology.

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Smoking Teens at Risk of Obesity in Adulthood

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who smoke are more likely to develop abdominal obesity in later life than their non-smoking counterparts, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Intimate Partner Violence Linked to Mental Health

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Urban adult males involved in intimate partner violence are more likely to disclose adverse health behaviors such as substance abuse and show evidence of poor mental health, according to a report published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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High Taxes on Alcohol Reduce Consumption

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Raising the price of alcohol through public policy mechanisms effectively reduces drinking, according to a review published online Jan. 15 in Addiction.

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Families Show Genetic Link Between Mental Disorders

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder appear to share a substantial genetic association, according to research published in the Jan. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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In-Home Intervention Can Help Postpartum Moms

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Specially trained "health visitors" offering in-home psychological interventions to new mothers were associated with reduced symptoms of depression, according to research published online Jan. 15 in BMJ.

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Video Gaming Improves Cognitive Function in Adults

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Playing a strategic video game can improve many cognitive functions in older adults, according to research published in the December issue of Psychology and Aging.

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Post-Communist Privatization Linked to Higher Mortality

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid mass privatization programs in post-Communist countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union were associated with short-term increases in mortality in working-age men, according to research published online Jan. 15 in The Lancet.

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Atypical Antipsychotics Linked to Sudden Cardiac Death

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Current users of atypical antipsychotic drugs have a comparable dose-dependent increased risk of sudden cardiac death as users of typical antipsychotic drugs, according to study findings published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antidepressants May Be Useful in Treating Fibromyalgia

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Antidepressants appear to offer some benefits in treating pain, sleep problems and depression, and for improving health-related quality of life in people with fibromyalgia syndrome, according to the results of a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Finger Length Ratio in Male Traders Predicts Profitability

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The ratio of the second to the fourth finger, a marker of prenatal testosterone exposure, in male high-frequency financial traders predicts their long-term profitability, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Treatment Response Studied in Attention-Deficit Disorder

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Variability in response to methylphenidate treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is likely not due to common genes of large effects, according to research published Dec. 5 in a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.

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Quitting Smoking Gradually Improved with Nicotine Gum

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine gum markedly increases the probability that a person will be able to gradually quit smoking, according to research published online Jan. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Antipsychotics Linked to Mortality in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic medication is associated with an increased risk of long-term mortality in Alzheimer's disease patients, further suggesting their use should be limited in these patients, according to research published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Teens' Externalizing Behavior Linked to Adulthood Troubles

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who showed externalizing behavior in school were more likely to face a variety of problems across their adult lives, including financial and family difficulties, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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Suicide Prevention Should Focus on High-Risk Periods

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The first 12 weeks after psychiatric hospitalization are the highest risk period for suicide, and health systems with limited resources should focus their suicide prevention efforts there, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders.

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Bulimia Linked to Impulsivity, Brain Circuit Abnormalities

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to women without eating disorders, women with bulimia nervosa respond more impulsively during psychological testing and show brain circuit abnormalities, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Childhood Trauma Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood trauma may be a significant risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome. It also appears to be associated with a hallmark feature of chronic fatigue syndrome: neuroendocrine dysfunction, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Depression Linked to Higher Heart Costs in Women

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Depression, as defined via several different methods, was associated with higher cardiovascular costs over five years in women with suspected myocardial ischemia, according to research published in the Jan. 13 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Great Cost Associated with Being Sleepless in Quebec

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia has a substantial economic impact in both direct and indirect costs, according to the results of a study in Quebec, Canada. The findings are published in the January issue of Sleep.

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Receptor Availability in Brain, Novelty-Seeking Traits Linked

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Novelty-seeking traits in humans appear to be associated with lowered D2-like receptor availability in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area, which might lead to heightened dopaminergic responses to novel situations, according to research published Dec. 31 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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