Psychiatric Times Vol 15 No 9

CYP2A6 Variation May Protect Against Nicotine Addiction

September 01, 1998

A gene variant in the CYP2A6 enzyme may help protect some individuals from nicotine addiction, according to a new study funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.

From Mars to Venus-Couples Sex Therapy

September 01, 1998

Before Masters and Johnson came on the scene in the late 1950s, any sexual problem was thought to be the result of a deep-seated neurosis that needed to be unearthed. It is now recognized that an understanding of physiology and couples dynamics-along with a practical approach-are required interventions

Caring for the Physician in Couples Therapy

September 01, 1998

Day in and day out, psychiatrists-especially those involved with couples therapy-counsel and treat patients experiencing relationship problems with their spouses or partners. But what about the psychiatrist having a similar problem in his or her own life? Who does a doctor turn to for guidance and insight regarding such intimate matters?

Brain Imaging Exposes New Information on Cluster Headaches

September 01, 1998

Using positron emission tomography (PET) to examine the cause of cluster headaches, researchers found that the hypothalamic region in affected people consistently lit up, indicating activity in that part of the brain.

Controversial Study Investigates Therapeutic Benefit of Placebo

September 01, 1998

How much of the beneficial effects of anti-depressant medications can be ascribed to the placebo effect? Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., and Guy Sapirstein, Ph.D., addressed this important question in a recent study that appeared in the first volume of the American Psychological Association's online journal, Prevention and Treatment (June 26,1998). Although their methodology and conclusions have met with some controversy, it would be imprudent to invalidate the study and its hypothesis.

Dramatic Alcohol Treatment Results Seen with Naltrexone

September 01, 1998

Results of a multicenter, open-label observational trial of DuPont Merck's REVIA (naltrexone) demonstrated that patients were able to decrease their alcohol consumption from 57 to four drinks per week when the medication was part of an overall treatment program.

The Impact of Psychotherapy on the Brain

September 01, 1998

With advances in the neurosciences, and especially in imaging techniques, we stand at the threshold of demonstrating that psychotherapy is a powerful intervention that affects the brain. While it has been intuitively obvious to most clinicians that psychotherapy must work by affecting the brain (how else could it work?), recent breakthroughs in technology demonstrate what kinds of changes occur with psychotherapy.