Psychiatric Times Vol 16 No 10

NCDEU Report Part I: Antipsychotic for Bipolar, Benzodiazepine for OCD

October 01, 1999

Three reports on olanzapine (Zyprexa) as a possible treatment for bipolar affective disorder, presented at a National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored meeting in June, reflected pursuit of this indication-despite the initial "nonapprovable" letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that was issued October 1998.

Infomercial for Prozac Takes DTC Ads to New Level

October 01, 1999

When The New York Times decided to run a story in July about refractory depression, the article was entitled "Some Still Despair in a Prozac Nation." Even after a decade on the market, and despite the availability of a host of competing drugs, the headline exemplifies the extent to which Eli Lilly and Company's popular antidepressant remains a pop culture icon. So when the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical manufacturer launched a 30-minute program that featured Prozac (fluoxetine) in May-it avoids using the term infomercial-the cutting edge direct-to-consumer (DTC) ad naturally raised questions and a few eyebrows as the company sought to gain even wider exposure for the drug.

Psychoneuroimmunology and HIV Disease Progression

October 01, 1999

Among psychiatrists who treat patients with HIV/AIDS, the question of how psychosocial distress effects the progression of HIV disease is likely to arise. Even for healthy individuals, we are only beginning to clarify the complex pathways by which thoughts and emotions impact immune function. Due to the bidirectionality of the communications of the brain and the immune system, this is a complicated scenario. The fact that HIV alters the function of the immune system during the course of its progression creates greater confounds to the understanding of these systems. We will address the rationale that progression from HIV infection to AIDS may be modulated by psychosocial factors, discuss possible reasons for conflicting findings and posit some clinically relevant recommendations drawn from research findings.

Implications of Stress, Psychosocial Factors on the Immune System

October 01, 1999

In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers found that mice and rats subjected to stressful stimuli were more likely to develop viral infections and tumors than nonstressed animals (Miller, 1998). Today, that once-pioneering research in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has burgeoned into sophisticated clinical studies that look at, for example, how caregiving can affect the immune system, how stress may delay wound healing and how pretreatment with an antidepressant prevents cytokine-induced depression in therapy for cancer.

Neurobehavioral Consequences of Sleep Dysfunction

October 01, 1999

As chief of the division of sleep and chronobiology in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, David F. Dinges, Ph.D., focuses on ways sleep and the endogenous circadian pacemaker interact to control wakefulness and waking neurobehavioral functions such as physiological alertness, attention, cognitive performance, fatigue, mood, neuroendocrine profiles, immune responses and health. In an interview with Psychiatric Times, Dinges discussed neurobehavioral consequences of sleep loss, factors that impair sleeping, the pervasiveness of sleepiness and new ways to manage sleepiness.

Mood Stabilizers and Mood Swings: In Search of a Definition

October 01, 1999

Mood-stabilizing drugs slipped into the vocabulary of psychiatrists during the last 15 years without a proper discussion of their definition. Consequently, these medications have been used in ways that have no empirical justification.