Psychiatric Times Vol 24 No 2

Book Review

January 01, 2007

Until recently, there has been a relative paucity in the selection of comprehensive child psychiatry textbooks for clinicians. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The Essentials finds a place in this special niche by providing comprehensive yet practical information that can be used in a variety of settings.

FDA Tries to Bridge Data Divide With New Antidepressant Warnings

March 03, 2007

The FDA finds itself straddling a data divide as it decides how to rewrite the black box warnings on the labels of SSRI antidepressants. The agency will almost certainly mandate that the existing black box warning, which addresses suicidality in children and adolescents, be expanded to include young adults up to age 25 or 30. But in what might be a pioneering move for the FDA, the agency will probably also include new verbiage in the warning related to the benefits of antidepressants to people over the age of 30 years.

Assessing Statins for Alzheimer Disease: Conflicting Evidence

February 01, 2007

The second report from the Alzheimer's Disease Cholesterol-Lowering Treatment (ADCLT) trial was recently published, along with several reviews of clinical and laboratory investigations of the statins, in a theme issue of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. The accumulated data reflect the potential of the agents to affect the onset or course of Alzheimer disease (AD), with contradictory or insufficient evidence of treatment effect.

Drug Effects: Do Test Results Correlate With Clinical Gains?

March 03, 2007

There are any number of ways to measure the effects of psychoactive medications, ranging from objective assessments of behavioral change to neuropsychological testing to subjective global ratings by physicians or patients. Several recent studies have examined the question of whether medication-induced improvements in neuropsychological test performance correlated with gains in healthful functioning.

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse: Is There a Role for Atypical Antipsychotics?

January 01, 2007

The prevalence of substance use disorders in patients with schizophrenia is greater than the rate observed in the general population, with a dramatic increase since the 1970s. Several theories exist to explain the high rate of comorbidity. The "self-medication" hypothesis suggests that persons may abuse substances to treat underlying psychotic symptoms or adverse effects of medications commonly used to treat schizophrenia.

Violence Against Mental Health Professionals: Fenton Death Highlights Concerns

January 01, 2007

Once his colleagues began to recover from the shock, the death of Dr Wayne S. Fenton triggered a discussion in the professional and lay press about the risks of violence to mental health professionals posed by mentally ill patients. Fenton was found unconscious and bleeding in his office in Bethesda, Md, on Sunday, September 3, 2006. He had been beaten severely around the head and died at the scene.

School Shootings and What Psychiatrists Can Do to Prevent Them

January 01, 2007

Psychiatrists certainly do not know all the answers when it comes to the recent spate of school shootings, but we do know some of the most pressing questions. For example, is there a difference in the psychological makeup of adult shooters versus student, or juvenile, shooters? To what degree does untreated psychosis or depression play a part in the shooter's seemingly inexplicable behavior? How important is bullying in motivating some students to seek revenge on their peers? What are the earliest warning signs of an impending attack by an assailant of any age?

Why Psychiatrists Should Read the Humanities

February 01, 2008

It is my great honor and pleasure as a psychiatric educator to teach many excellent medical students and residents. These young and not-so-young men and women are by and large diligent, highly professional, and caring.