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American Psychiatric Association's 159th Annual Meeting, May 20-25, 2006

American Psychiatric Association's 159th Annual Meeting

The American Psychiatric Association's 159th annual meeting took place May 20-25 in Toronto, Canada. The meeting drew nearly 20,000 attendees, including 5,000 to 6,000 from outside North America, and covered issues ranging from basic research to better treatment for psychiatric disorders.

The meeting's theme, "From Science to Public Policy, Advocacy for Patients and the Profession," focused on issues relating to the criminalization of the mentally ill, homelessness and questions of quality of care in public institutions, said APA president Steven Sharfstein, M.D., of the University of Maryland in Baltimore. "We called for our government -- national, state and local -- to maintain, if not increase, resources to these vital programs in the community," Sharfstein said.

"The use of long-acting, injectable naltrexone for the treatment of alcoholism was a major area of interest," Sharfstein said. One large placebo-controlled, randomized trial of 624 alcohol-dependent adults, presented by Michael J. Bohn of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues showed that long-acting naltrexone reduced heavy drinking on weekends from 78 to 17 percent and heavy drinking on weekdays from 62 percent to 8 percent. (Abstract)

Anthony Rothschild, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, and chair of the APA's new-research subcommittee, oversaw 1,013 research presentations. "Most of it was clinically relevant," Rothschild said.

Rachel A. Houchins, M.D., of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and colleagues presented research showing how prescribing trends of antipsychotics have changed since publication of the CATIE trial, which suggested that atypical antipsychotics had a similar efficacy to perphenazine, a typical antipsychotic. The new study of 40 pre-publication patients and 24 post-publication patients showed a trend towards increasing use of typical agents as both first- and second-line treatment in psychotic disorders, which warrants further investigation, the authors concluded. "This study suggested that some of the newer antipsychotics for schizophrenia may not necessarily have greater efficacy than one of the old ones," Rothschild said. (Abstract)

Rothschild presented "The Rothschild Scale for Antidepressant Tachyphylaxis (Poop-Out)," a seven-point scale for evaluating patients who complain that their antidepressant treatment is losing its effectiveness. "This is not the same as a full-blown depression coming back," Rothschild said. "For a lack of a better word, patients complain about having 'the blahs.'" The scale assesses energy level, motivation and interest, cognitive functioning, weight gain, sleep and sexual functioning. A study showed that it has a 94 percent sensitivity and 92 percent specificity for detecting patients who complained of a lack of efficacy. (Abstract)

Study Examines Pregnancy Denial or Concealment

MONDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women who deny they are pregnant are different in some aspects from women who attempt to conceal a pregnancy, according to a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto. The women in the study, mostly in their 20s, did not seek care until in labor or after giving birth.

Abstract

Study Looks at Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression

FRIDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Neurocognitive and personality variables may predict whether patients with treatment-resistant depression will respond to deep brain stimulation, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Past Head Injury Linked to Violence in Psychiatric Patients

THURSDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- A history of closed head injury is associated with violence and homicide in psychiatric patients, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Help-Seeking for Troubled Youth Varies by Ethnicity

WEDNESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although parents of black children who have serious emotional and behavioral problems are increasingly seeking assistance from mental health professionals, parents of Hispanic children are not following suit, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Parental Methamphetamine Abuse Takes Toll on Children

WEDNESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- The children of methamphetamine abusers may be at increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Methamphetamine Linked to Acute, Long-Term Brain Effects

TUESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Methamphetamine abuse is associated with numerous adverse neurobiological effects, some of which may persist after patients stop using the drug, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Teens' Cell-Phone Usage Linked to Psychological Problems

TUESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who are highly dependent on cell phones may have increased depression and anxiety, and lower self-esteem than those who are less dependent, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Beverage May Help Seasonal Affective Disorder

TUESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- A carbohydrate-rich beverage (CHO) containing 40 grams of starch, maltodextrin, dextrose and dextrin may help improve symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Physician's Briefing

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