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July 2007 Briefing - Psychiatry

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

Child Abuse in Military More Likely During Deployments

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Among families of enlisted soldiers in the U.S. Army, the rates of child maltreatment and neglect are higher during combat-related deployments than in other duties, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Stimulant Medication Slows Growth in Children With ADHD

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appear to have decreased growth rates after starting treatment, and there is no evidence of growth rebound after three years, according to a report in the August issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The difference amounts to 2.0 cm in height and about 2.0 kg in weight.

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Donepezil Preserves Cognitive Function in Severe Alzheimer's

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Donepezil treatments appear to be more effective than a placebo at preserving cognitive function in those with severe Alzheimer disease, according to a report in the July 31 issue of Neurology.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Effective in Pediatric Dystonia

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children with early onset idiopathic generalized dystonia may respond well to deep brain stimulation when medical treatments fail to control symptoms, according to a case report of four patients published in the August issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Quickly Suspending Drinking Driver's Licenses Saves Lives

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Preconviction driver's license suspension among adults immediately upon failure to pass an alcohol breath test may save as many as 800 lives a year by reducing the rate of future fatal crashes, according to a new study published in the August issue of the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Polar Expedition Can Cause Mental Highs and Lows

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Polar expeditions can have both positive and negative effects on the psyche, according to a study published in the July 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Stress Levels High in Mothers of Children With Eczema

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers of young children with eczema experience as much stress as mothers of children with chronic diseases or disabilities, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Teens Who Drink Alcohol Tend to Consume Liquor

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Liquor is the alcoholic beverage of choice for U.S. high school students who report current alcohol use or binge drinking, according to the first state-specific analysis of the types of alcoholic beverages consumed by high school students. The findings appear in the July 27 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Marijuana Associated With Higher Psychosis Risk

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Marijuana use is associated with about a 40 percent increase in the risk of psychosis, with the risk increasing with more frequent use, according to a study in the July 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Infant Development Predicts Later Cognitive Function

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- The age at which developmental milestones are reached appears to have a small but significant association with subsequent cognitive function, according to a report published online in the July issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Prenatal Alcohol Affects Brain Areas Inhibiting Behavior

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders have altered responses in the frontal-striatal areas of the brain compared to other children their age, according to study findings published in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Group Therapy Doesn't Improve Breast Cancer Survival

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with metastatic breast cancer, participation in weekly group psychotherapy does not prolong survival compared to controls, according to a report published online July 23 in Cancer. However, researchers did find increased survival of women with estrogen receptor-negative tumors who underwent supportive group therapy.

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Rapid Assay Detects Infectious Prion Proteins

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new assay method can detect infectious prion proteins in microliter amounts of cerebrospinal fluid with greater speed and sensitivity than other assay methods, according to a report published online July 22 in Nature Methods.

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If Child Has Cancer, Parents Often Unprepared for Death

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can help parents become intellectually and emotionally aware of a child's impending death from cancer, which may decrease the risk of depression, particularly in fathers, according to a report published online July 20 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Gene Variant Associated with Restless Legs Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a gene variant strongly associated with periodic limb movements in sleep and restless legs syndrome, according to a report published online July 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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C-Reactive Protein Linked to Cognition in Child Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children with obstructive sleep apnea who have cognitive impairment are more likely to have increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) than children who do not exhibit cognitive impairment, according to study findings published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Primary Motor Cortex at Root of Alien Hand Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- The rare neurological condition known as alien hand syndrome, in which a patient involuntary moves his or her hand and may even pick up and manipulate objects without will, is associated with selective activation of the primary motor cortex, researchers report in the July issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Disturbed Sleep Linked to Cognitive Decline in Women

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly women with cognitive decline are more likely than their peers to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night and a tendency to nap for more than two hours during the day, according to study findings published in the July 17 issue of Neurology.

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Father's Influence Positive If Child's Mother Is Depressed

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children of depressed women who have fathers who are positively involved in their upbringing may be less likely to develop problem behaviors than those who do not, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Narcolepsy Patients More Likely to Have REM Without Atonia

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Narcolepsy patients are more likely to have REM sleep without atonia than controls, and tend to have sleep motor abnormalities similar to patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder. Patients with the conditions may have neurobiological defects in motor inhibition, according to a report in the July issue of Sleep.

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Serotonin Transporter Variants Linked to Drug Effects

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Certain variants of a serotonin transporter gene are associated with a higher burden of adverse effects in depressed patients being treated with citalopram, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Mental Health Impact Varies with Soldiers' Exposure

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Military personnel who are exposed to combat or witness atrocities during peacekeeping missions often experience depression, stress or anxiety, but few receive the mental health care they feel they need, according to the results of a Canadian study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Varenicline Curbs Ethanol Seeking, Consumption in Rats

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- The recently approved anti-smoking drug varenicline (Chantix) may also reduce dependence on alcohol, according to the results of a study in rats published online July 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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High Salivary Cortisol Linked to Lower Cognitive Function

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients aged 50 to 70 who have elevated levels of salivary cortisol have worse cognitive function than those who do not, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Aggressive Behavior May Be Rare Sign of Stroke

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Aggressive behavior in a patient can be an indication of acute posterior cerebral artery stroke, but the lack of other neurological signs other than hemianopsia may make it difficult to diagnose, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Alcoholic Smokers Have Worse Cognitive Function in Recovery

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- During the first six to nine months of abstinence, recovering alcoholics who are also smokers score worse than non-smokers on measures of cognitive efficiency, executive skills, visuospatial skills and working memory, according to a longitudinal study published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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FDA Approves Exelon Skin Patch for Alzheimer Disease

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a once-daily Exelon skin patch (rivastigmine transdermal system) for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease. The cholinesterase inhibitor, made by Novartis AG, was approved in capsule form last year.

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Benzodiazepine Binding Sites Decreased in Panic Disorder

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with panic disorder have a decrease in benzodiazepine binding sites in the insular cortex compared to those without the psychiatric diagnosis, according to a brain imaging study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Autism-Related Behavior Can Be Detected By 14 Months

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral changes can be detected in some children with autism spectrum disorder by as early as 14 months of age, according to a prospective study in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Self-Injury Linked to Increase in Suicidality

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Self-injury is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior in young adults, and is linked to a risk of thinking, planning and attempting suicide in those who are already suicidal, according to study findings published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Cheaters Create Problems for Future Generations

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to the pros and cons of cooperation, social 'cheaters' can exist without negative consequences at the time, but subsequent generations may reap what their ancestors sow if too many in the population are non-cooperators, according to a study published July 4 in the open-access journal PLoS One.

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Insomnia Associated with Increased Anxiety Risk

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic insomnia is associated with a greater risk of developing anxiety disorders and depression over time, according to the results of a population-based study published in the July issue of Sleep.

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Antidepressant Use in Children Declined After Warnings

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- With the exception of fluoxetine, antidepressant use in children and adolescents declined after regulatory authorities issued warnings in 2003, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Cortical Deficits Observed in Schizophrenics' Siblings

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- The healthy siblings of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia may also have cortical deficits, suggesting that the prefrontal and temporal gray matter loss in childhood-onset schizophrenia is a familial/trait marker, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Nearly One in Five U.S. Adults Has Had Alcohol Problem

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol abuse and dependence have affected nearly one in five people in the United States at some point in their life, yet less than one-quarter of problem drinkers have ever received treatment, according to a study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Decline in Sense of Smell Precedes Mental Decline

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, impaired ability to identify odors may be the harbinger of future mild cognitive impairment that is frequently a precursor to Alzheimer disease, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Epilepsy Patients Have Increased Risk of Suicide

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have epilepsy and a history of psychiatric disease are 13 times more likely to commit suicide than control individuals with neither epilepsy nor psychiatric disease, according to a report published online July 3 in The Lancet Neurology. Women and recently diagnosed patients may be at particularly high risk.

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Some Children Get Hooked on Tobacco Within Two Days

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Vulnerable sixth-graders can lose control over tobacco just one or two days after inhaling their first cigarette, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Deliberate Self-Harm in Teens Linked to Social Factors

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who engage in occasional deliberate self-harm are affected by social factors, while those who repeatedly harm themselves are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems, including suicidal tendencies, according to a report published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Boys More Likely Than Girls to Mirror Parental Misconduct

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Male children are more likely than females to have a conduct problem if they have a parent with a history of misconduct, researchers report in the July issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. Overall, environmental factors appear to play a bigger role in male intergenerational misconduct, while genetics may play a bigger role for females.

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Depression Treatment Reduces Suicide Risk in Teens, Adults

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with depression, the risk of suicide attempts significantly decreases after the initiation of antidepressant treatment, psychotherapy or both, according to study findings published in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Suicide Twice as High in Male Veterans Versus Non-Vets

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Male veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide as non-veterans, whether or not they are affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a report in the July issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Physician's Briefing
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