September 2007 Briefing - Psychiatry

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

Genetics Plays Role in Efficacy of Naltrexone

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol-induced highs are blunted more strongly by naltrexone in patients who have at least one copy of the G allele of the OPRM1 gene, according to study findings published in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Teen Binge Drinking Increases Risk of Problems As Adults

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who binge drink are more likely to have considerable problems as adults, including problem drinking, drug use, homelessness, criminal convictions and lower education, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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New Drug Law Praised by Psychiatric Association

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The American Psychiatric Association has endorsed the Food and Drug Amendments Act of 2007, calling the bill "a major step in securing the safety of prescription drugs for patients."

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Depression Management Pays On-the-Job Dividends

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A treatment program in which trained mental health clinicians regularly telephoned depressed employees improved clinical and workplace outcomes, according to the results of a randomized trial reported in the Sept. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hippocampus Affected During Memory Process in Psychosis

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Memory formation in patients with a first episode of psychosis is selectively affected in the hippocampus only during the encoding of arbitrary pairs of images and not during successful memory encoding and associative processing, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Prehypertension Can Worsen with Anger and Stress

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Prehypertensive individuals who have problems with anger or stress in middle-age are at greater risk of progressing to full-blown hypertension or heart disease as they age, according to a report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Most Depressed Patients Not Assessed for Suicide Risk

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A little more than one-third of physicians treating depressed patients investigate the possibility that the patient will commit suicide, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Familiar Doctor Linked to More Satisfaction for Urgent Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive urgent medical care from family physicians or after-hours clinics affiliated with their physicians are more likely to be satisfied with the encounter than patients who use other sources of urgent care, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Black and Latino Diabetics Lag Whites in Glycemic Control

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, blacks and Latinos older than 55 with diabetes mellitus have worse glycemic control than whites -- a racial disparity partly attributable to potentially modifiable factors such as medication adherence and emotional distress, according to study findings published in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy Does Not Improve Cognition or Memory

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Combined estrogen/progestin hormone therapy in newly postmenopausal women does not appear to affect cognition, but may worsen memory, according to a report published in the Sept. 25 issue of Neurology.

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Obesity in Old Age Not Linked to Cognitive Decline

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity in old age does not appear to predispose to cognitive decline, according to study findings published online Sept. 19 in Neurology.

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Region of Brain Found to Play Role in Sensory Perception

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus (VL) in the brain is believed to be involved in motor functions, but new research suggests it is also involved in sensory processing, and damage to the area results in neural reorganization that impacts sensory perception, according to a report published online Sept. 24 in the Annals of Neurology.

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FDA, AHRQ to Investigate the Cardiac Risk of ADHD Drugs

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have launched a two-year study to examine the cardiovascular risks of prescription drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Winter Serotonin Drops in Seasonal Depression

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed patients with seasonal affective disorder have an overactivity of serotonin transport during the winter, which normalizes after light treatment and in the summer, according to study findings published online Sept. 19 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Medical Schools Vary in Approach to Case Reports

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical school institutional review boards (IRBs) don't treat individual case reports as "research," as it's defined by the United States Government Code of Federal Regulations, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Anxiety Influences Treatment Decision in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Feelings of anxiety can spur prostate cancer patients to decide to move from surveillance to treatment as much as changes in prostate specific antigen values, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Nasal Surgery Feminizes Transsexuals' Facial Profiles

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In male-to-female transsexuals, nasal feminization surgery may play an important role in the gender reassignment process, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.

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Interstitial Cystitis Patients Often Have History of Abuse

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with interstitial cystitis are more likely to report histories of abuse than other patients, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Urology.

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Genetic Variations Affect Response to Venlafaxine

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have an adverse reaction to the antidepressant venlafaxine may metabolize the drug more slowly than other patients and should be considered for genotyping, according to a report in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Elderly Respond to Long-Term Antidepressant Treatment

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term treatment with an antidepressant is more effective than psychotherapy in preventing recurrence of major depression in elderly patients, according to the results of a double-blind maintenance study published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Purging Disorder Differs from Bulimia Nervosa

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Purging disorder, a compulsion to self-induce vomiting without previous binge eating, is an eating disorder in its own right and is distinct from bulimia nervosa, according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Weight Program Reduces Harmful Behavior in Girls

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A school-based program to prevent obesity is effective in reducing harmful weight-control behaviors in adolescent girls, such as self-induced vomiting and use of diet pills, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Isolated Polymyoclonus Often Mistaken for Tremor

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Isolated generalized polymyoclonus is easily mistaken for tremor, and distinguishing the two is important because polymyoclonus may be due to malignancy, autoimmunity or use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other drugs, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Traumatic Memory Unlikely to Be Repressed, Review Suggests

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Repressed memory syndrome, which has been attributed to the concept of traumatic dissociative amnesia, may be attributable to other, more plausible explanations, according to a review in the September issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Tamoxifen May Help Reduce Mania in Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Tamoxifen reduces mania in patients with bipolar disorder in as little as five days, researchers report in the September issue of Bipolar Disorders.

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Children of Trauma Survivors Display Lower Cortisol Levels

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Holocaust survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder tend to have children with lower cortisol levels than the children of Holocaust survivors without post-traumatic stress disorder or those with parents who have not experienced trauma, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The finding may shed light on why such children are at higher risk of PTSD themselves.

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More U.S. Blacks Report Sleeping Too Much or Too Little

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks are more likely than whites to have health-threatening sleep patterns, as are those who live in inner-city environments as opposed to non-urban areas, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Antipsychotic Drugs Normalize Prefrontal Cortex Activity

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol may act by normalizing disrupted activity in the prefrontal cortex, according to the results of a study in a rat model of schizophrenia published in the Sept. 11 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Gene Variants Associated with Smoking Response

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Certain variants of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene are associated with a greater sensitivity to smoking, including heart pounding, dizziness and experiencing a "rush" or "high," according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. In addition, patients with such variants may respond better to faster-acting types of smoking cessation treatments, such as nicotine sprays.

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Mediterranean Diet May Benefit Alzheimer's Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The Mediterranean diet -- already linked to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer disease -- may also increase the longevity of patients with established disease, researchers report in the Sept. 11 issue of Neurology.

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Citalopram Benefits Dementia Patients with Psychosis

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In dementia patients with psychotic symptoms and agitation, treatment with the antidepressant citalopram may be just as effective -- and safer -- than treatment with the antipsychotic risperidone, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in advance of publication in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

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Adult Troubles Can't Be Blamed on Single-Parent Childhood

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Children who grow up in single-parent households develop more problems as adults than those who do not, but those problems are associated with factors other than single parenthood, according to the results of a 25-year longitudinal study published in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Depression Exacts Higher Toll Than Chronic Conditions

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Depression, especially when accompanied by other chronic physical health conditions, has a greater effect on reducing mean health scores than conditions such as angina, arthritis, asthma and diabetes alone, according to study findings published in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Food Additives May Increase Hyperactivity in Children

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Artificial food color and additives found in food, candy and drinks may increase hyperactivity in children at least up to age 9, according to the results of a randomized study published online Sept. 6 in The Lancet.

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Many Patients' Mental Health Needs Unmet Worldwide

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patient usage of mental health services for anxiety, mood and substance use disorders is low worldwide, especially in less-developed countries, researchers report in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet. Delivery of adequate service is also low in many countries worldwide, including the United States.

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U.S. Teen, Young Adult Suicide Rates Are on the Rise

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Youth and young-adult suicides steadily declined for 13 years in the United States, then jumped by 8 percent in 2003-2004, particularly among teenage girls, according to a report in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Class of Antidepressants May Act Faster

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Serotonin receptor agonists may represent a new class of antidepressants that act within days in rats compared with weeks for classical antidepressants, according to study findings published in the Sept. 6 issue of Neuron.

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Mutation Linked to Impaired Synaptic Transmission

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A mutated protein -- the neuroligin-3 synaptic cell adhesion molecule -- increases inhibitory synaptic transmission in mice, which could have implications for how autism spectrum disorders develop in humans, according to the results of an animal study published in the Sept. 6 issue of Science.

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HIV Patients Feel Stigmatized by Health Care Providers

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income patients with HIV may feel stigmatized by health care providers, which may prevent them from receiving an optimal level of care, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.

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Bipolar Diagnoses Among Youth Increase Dramatically

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The number of young people diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the United States has increased dramatically -- nearly 40-fold -- in recent years, and the medications they receive to treat the disorder are similar to those adults receive, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Smoking Linked to Dementia, But Varies With Apolipoprotein

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of Alzheimer disease is increased in patients who smoke, but this effect is restricted to those without the apolipoprotein E-e4 (APOE-e4) allele, researchers report in a study published in the Sept. 4 issue of Neurology.

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U.S. Cocaine Use Drops Only Among Educated Users

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Cocaine use dropped dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s among educated users, but persistent use among those who did not graduate from high school remained stable over those two decades, according to a report published online Aug. 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Exercise Improves Health in Women with Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and yoga improve health and quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer, according to two studies published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Pop Stars Have Higher Risk of Early Mortality Than Masses

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Pop stars often abuse drugs and alcohol and have about twice the risk of early mortality as other people their age, according to a report published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Family Involvement Boosts Teens' Odds of Beating Bulimia

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with bulimia nervosa who receive family-based treatment may be more likely to become binge-and-purge abstinent, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Childhood Abuse Common in Depressed Women with Migraine

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have migraines and who are also depressed are more likely to have experienced childhood abuse than non-depressed women, researchers report in the Sept. 4 issue of Neurology.

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Children's Television Viewing Linked to Short Attention Later

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Television viewing during childhood is associated with attention difficulties during adolescence, according to the results of a longitudinal study that followed a cohort from age 5 into their teenage years. The research is published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

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Collaborative Care May Be Best for Pediatric ADHD Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) get more effective treatment if the physicians responsible for their care make full use of collaborative consultation services, including access to mental health professionals, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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About 2.4 Million U.S. Children Have Attention Deficit

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 9 percent of American children between the ages of 8 and 15, roughly 2.4 million youngsters, have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing