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October 2006 Briefing - Psychiatry

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Psychiatry for October 2006. 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.

About One in Eight U.S. Blacks Consider Suicide

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 12 percent of U.S. blacks have thought about committing suicide, according to the results of a survey conducted between 2001 and 2003 and reported in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results suggest that the black community is just as affected by suicide as the general population.

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Neuropsychiatric Disorders Boost Cost of HIV Therapy

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The association between highly active antiretroviral therapy and HIV-associated neuropsychiatric disorders increases the cost of managing HIV patients both before and after treatment for mental illness, according to study findings published in the Oct. 24 issue of AIDS.

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Depression Linked to Bone Loss in Mice

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed mice have bone loss due to reduced bone formation that may be mediated through an overactive sympathetic central nervous system, according to a study published Oct. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. What's more, antidepressants appear to reverse the loss of bone mass.

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Stimulation of Rat Brain Enhances Cognitive Function

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Electrical stimulation of the central thalamus, a region implicated in alertness and memory, stimulates cognitive performance and affects gene expression in rats, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. This region of the brain is of interest in treating neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Internet Addiction Could Be Widespread Among U.S. Adults

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A sizeable proportion of the U.S. population may be engaging in addictive or problematic Internet use, according to a report in the October issue of CNS Spectrums.

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Psychopathology Seen in Kids with Intellectual Disability

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- About 41 percent of children and adolescents with intellectual disability also have major psychopathology, and while this decreases over time, only one in 10 receives mental health treatment, according to a study in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vegetable Intake Linked to Slower Cognitive Decline

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of vegetables, but not fruit, is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in older age, according to study findings published in the Oct. 24 issue of Neurology.

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Anxiety Disorders Associated with Physical Conditions

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Anxiety disorders are linked with many serious physical conditions, a co-morbidity that increases the risk of disability and a poor quality of life, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Stereotype Threat Affects Women's Performance in Math

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The stereotype that women do poorer on math tests may, in itself, cause women to do just that, according to study findings reported in the Oct. 20 issue of Science. The phenomenon is called stereotype threat and could be the reason for underrepresentation of women in science and engineering, the authors note.

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SSRIs Linked to Sleep Disturbances in Older Women

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to experience sleep disturbances regardless of whether or not they show evidence of depression compared with women who don't take antidepressants, according to a cross-sectional study in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Men With Cancer More Likely to Commit Suicide

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Men with cancer commit suicide six times more often than women with cancer, and those with head and neck cancer or myeloma and limited social support and treatment options are at highest risk, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 online issue of the Annals of Oncology.

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Depression in Heart Failure Linked to Poorer Outcomes

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Although one in five heart failure patients reports clinically significant depression -- which is linked to poorer outcomes -- the rate may be higher in those who have advanced disease or when patients are screened with questionnaires, according to research in the Oct. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Fluoxetine Increases Aggression in Young Hamsters

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- While low-dose fluoxetine decreases aggression in adult male hamsters, it increases aggression in juvenile hamsters, possibly by dysregulating their immature serotonin systems. This may help explain why some human adolescents become violent when treated with fluoxetine, according to a study published in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

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Respiratory Distress Survivors Have Lower Quality of Life

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome have a lower quality of life and are at higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although this risk is reduced by social support, according to the results of a study published Oct. 15 in Critical Care.

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Fluoxetine Increases Bone Mass in Mice

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, fluoxetine increases bone mass under normal physiologic and inflammatory conditions, but does not prevent bone loss associated with estrogen deficiency, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry.

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Chronic Diseases Increase Psychological Distress

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple chronic diseases such as arthritis or diabetes are more likely to experience psychological distress with increasing disease severity, according to the results of a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Stress, Short Serotonin Gene May Have Role in Depression

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of stress and having a variant of the serotonin transporter gene may predispose a person to depression by causing overactivation of the amygdala, according to a report published online Oct. 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Atypical Antipsychotics Don't Help Alzheimer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse side effects outweigh the clinical benefits of second-generation atypical antipsychotics for treatment of psychosis, aggression or agitation in patients with Alzheimer disease, according to the results of a 42-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Oct. 12 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hypnotherapy Helps Relieve Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnotherapy relieves pain, improves well-being and reduces medication usage in patients with non-cardiac chest pain, according to a study in the October issue of Gut.

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Risperdal Approved to Treat Autism-Related Irritability

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved the adult antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) for the treatment of irritability including aggression, deliberate self-harm and temper tantrums in autistic children and teens.

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Age-at-Onset Criteria for Adult ADHD May Be Too Strict

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The age-at-onset criteria used to diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults may too strict, and those adults with ADHD have greater deficits in executive function associated with lower academic performance than adults who do not meet the criteria for ADHD, according to two studies in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Human Allele Causes Anxiety Symptoms in Mice

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have generated transgenic mice that express a version of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, that is commonly found in humans, and the mice display classic signs of anxiety when under stress, according to a report in the Oct. 6 issue of Science. The BDNF mutation may play a key role in human depressive and anxiety disorders.

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Food, Drug Cravings Activate Similar Parts of Brain

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In obese patients, the sensation of satiety activates the hippocampus and other regions of the brain that have been previously shown to be involved in drug craving, according to a report published online Oct. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Dopamine Receptor Density May Affect Schizophrenia Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A study of twins has shown that a high density of dopamine D1 receptors increases the risk of schizophrenia, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Increased Suicide Risk Seen in Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, there is a small but statistically significant increase in the long-term risk of suicide, according to a report published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Diabetes Risk Associated with Schizophrenia Drugs

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among schizophrenics taking medication for their condition, about one-third of new-onset diabetes cases may be attributable to their anti-psychotic medication, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Psychiatry Team Doesn't Improve Depression Outcome

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed patients who are treated by a primary care physician aided by a support team including a psychiatrist and nurse are more likely to be satisfied with care and to receive antidepressants, but these patients are no more likely to have an improvement in depression than patients whose doctors don't have the extra support, according to a report in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Genetic Polymorphisms Affect Antidepressant Response

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with late-life depression, antidepressant response is significantly affected by the presence of monoamine transporter gene polymorphisms, according to the results of a preliminary study published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. If the findings are confirmed, they could lead to a more refined selection of antidepressant treatment, the authors write.

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Discrimination Affects Immigrants' Mental Health

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among black and Latino immigrants, racial and ethnic discrimination is associated with poor mental health status, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Old, New Antipsychotics Similar for Schizophrenics

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- First- and second-generation antipsychotic drugs are similarly effective in treating schizophrenia patients whose medication is changed for clinical reasons, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Insomnia Drug May Lack Potential for Abuse

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Ramelteon (Rozerem), a recently approved insomnia drug, does not appear to have the potential for abuse and does not impair motor or cognitive function more than a placebo, according to an industry-funded study in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Mental Health Problems More Common in Unmarried Parents

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- New parents who are unmarried have an increased rate of mental health and behavioral problems compared to married parents, and that may have an impact on their children's development, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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U.S. Suicide Rates Declined from 1970-2002

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. suicide rates have fluctuated by age group since 1970, but have demonstrated a general downward trend that might be attributable to an increase in healthy life expectancy and a decline in substance abuse, according to study results published in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Compulsive Shopping Linked to Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Binge shopping is associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders and warrants further study into treatments and interventions, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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