New Compounds, Novel Strategies Reported at NCDEUNovember 1st 2006
Investigational drugs and novel applications of established agents for psychiatric illness were described in a number of reports at the 46th annual NIMH-sponsored New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) meeting in Boca Raton, Fla, June 12-15, 2006.
I'm starting out. For 3 years in my Resident's Column, I've shared the excitement, frustration, and even outright anger that I experienced as a second-career psychiatry resident. Because I had completed a different residency years earlier, I was in the position to step back a bit and observe my experiences in a way that would have been impossible the first time around.
Differences Cited in Substance Abuse in WomenNovember 1st 2006
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), gender differences can influence the causes, effects, consequences, and treatment of substance abuse disorders. A recent NIDA News Scan focused on several investigations supported by the NIDA.
Justice Report Cites High Numbers of Prisoners With Psychiatric ProblemsNovember 1st 2006
A report issued in September by the Department of Justice citing the prevalence of mental health problems among prisoners in federal and state prisons and local jails was called “an indictment of the nation's mental health care system” by Michael J. Fitzpatrick, MSW, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
New Search Engine Debuts on Psychiatric Times Web SiteNovember 1st 2006
A new and greatly improved search engine made its debut this month on the Psychiatric Times Web site (www.psychiatrictimes.com). The engine will facilitate searching for articles archived on the site-but it is designed to go far beyond that to provide a clinician-friendly means of searching the World Wide Web for relevant psychiatric and medical information.
From Our Readers Psychiatric Evaluation and Time ConstraintsNovember 1st 2006
Certainly, with the advent of the atypicals, it has become almost too easy to forget about doing an Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) checklist. Given the time and reimbursement constraints of current psychiatric practice, however, it is close to impossible to find time for clinical rating scales.
Senate Hearings: Suicide in SeniorsNovember 1st 2006
Concerns about senior suicide and the lack of geriatric mental health services took center stage at hearings in the Senate Special Committee on Aging on September 14. Geriatric psychiatrists reviewed unfavorable trends such as faltering numbers of medical school graduates going into primary care and already small numbers of geriatric psychiatrists getting even smaller.
CBT Beneficial in Somatization DisorderNovember 1st 2006
Patients with somatization disorder (SD) who are treated using the psychiatric consultation intervention (PCI) may benefit from the addition of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to their regimen. Dr Leslie A. Allen and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the outcomes of patients with SD who were treated using a combination of CBT and PCI or treatment with PCI alone. The results were reported in the July issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
STAR*D: Some Treatment-Resistant Depression Responds to Change in Drug RegimenNovember 1st 2006
Nothing better reflects the difficulties of finding silver bullets for depression treatment than the results of the nearly completed Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, the largest clinical trial of its kind. With results imminent from the last of 4 trials in the study, psychiatrists are hoping for considerably more clinical guidance than what the first 3 levels of the trials produced.
Clinical Challenges in Co-occurring Borderline Personality and Substance Use DisordersNovember 1st 2006
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious illness involving multiple symptoms and mal adaptive behaviors. According to DSM-IV, “the essential feature of borderline personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects” (p. 650). This pervasive pattern of instability also applies to behaviors that are impulsive and potentially damaging, including excessive spending, sexual promiscuity, reckless driving, binge eating, and substance misuse.
The Impact of Abnormal Insulin Levels on Cognitive Function in Older AdultsNovember 1st 2006
By now, many clinical researchers and practitioners recognize the strong association between cognitive impairment and type 2 diabetes, which, in its early stages, is characterized by hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Although this relationship has not been observed uniformly, more than 20 large-scale epidemiologic studies have reported a link between type 2 diabetes and in creased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, including Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common type of dementia.
Vision Loss and Depression in the ElderlyNovember 1st 2006
The emotional and functional consequences of sensory impairment in older persons have not been well studied despite the increasing prevalence of vision loss, in particular, and its substantial adverse effects. This review examines the impact of vision loss on psychological health, discusses factors that may reduce its negative effects, and describes new in terventions to help older people cope with eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Depression in Patients With Alzheimer DementiaNovember 1st 2006
Alzheimer dementia (AD) represents a profound global health concern. By the year 2050, the prevalence of AD in the United States is expected to reach 15 million. At present, there are 4.5 million cases in the United States, which equals an estimated cost of $100 billion each year in medical and family expenses.
Initial studies-such as the stepped collaborative care intervention, Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), and German Algorithm Project (GAP) phase 2-predominantly investigated whether following an expert opinion–based clinical algorithm (irrespective of the content of the algorithm) led to a better outcome than treatment as usual did
Pinpointing the Cause of Non-Alzheimer DementiaNovember 1st 2006
Many physicians, including psychiatrists, may shy away from seeing elderly patients with symptoms of dementia because they imagine that there are a large number of alternative diagnoses and that differential diagnosis is complicated. In fact, however, the number of possible diagnoses in most situations is relatively small and the diagnosis of dementia in older patients is certainly feasible in primary care psychiatry.
Real-World Office Management of ADHD in AdultsNovember 1st 2006
Office management of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) differs in many important ways from ADHD management conducted in a research environment. In clinical trials, treatments and eligible patients are selected in advance by committees, patients are randomized to different management strategies, and both clinicians and pa tients are blinded to the treatments.
Conflict of Interest in Psychiatry: How Much Disclosure Is Necessary?November 1st 2006
Just how “hot” is the topic of conflict of interest in psychiatry? The answer was brought home to me dramatically this past May at the APA meeting in Toronto. During the meeting, I had the opportunity to chair a symposium titled “Pharmaceutical Industry Influence in Psychiatry.” My copresenters and I showed up well ahead of time to meet and prepare introductions. As we gazed out at the empty seats, we joked that there would be at least 5 people in attendance since, after all, there were 5 presenters.
Keys to Successful CotreatmentNovember 1st 2006
For patients with psychiatric illnesses, the treatment team today often consists of a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, and/or primary care physician-all of whom are motivated to achieve the same goals. These include full remission of symptoms; improvement and restoration of function, quality of life, and relationships; and the delay and preferably prevention of recurrence of symptoms.