Psychiatric Times Vol 26 No 3

Cognitive Difficulties Associated With Mental Disorders

March 13, 2009

Any person who once “drew a blank” during an exam is familiar with the horrors of cognitive difficulties: that terrible moment is for most of us so rare that it remains a traumatic memory for years to come. Imagine those who suffer from protracted cognitive difficulties.

Brief Psychotherapies: Potent Approaches to Treatment

March 13, 2009

Brief psychotherapy is not the name of a specific model or theory of treatment. Rather, it describes an approach that attempts to make psychotherapy as efficient and practically helpful as possible within a limited time frame. The aim of brief therapy is to speed up the process of change, amplify patient involvement, and foster more focused psychotherapy sessions. Over the years, several approaches to brief psychotherapy have evolved. Some advocate a handful of sessions; others involve more than 20 sessions (eg, psychodynamic therapy).

Traumatic Stress in Children and AdolescentsEight Steps to Treatment

March 13, 2009

Traumatic experiences are common in childhood and adolescence and can have significant psychological effects on the child’s emotional well-being and overall development. Outcomes can be affected positively or negatively depending on responses and interventions.

Cognitive Difficulties Associated With Depression What Are the Implications for Treatment?

March 11, 2009

Subjective complaints of impaired concentration, memory, and attention are common in people with major depressive disorder (MDD), and research shows that a variety of structural brain abnormalities are associated with MDD.1 These findings have intensified the interest in quantitative assessment of cognitive and neuropsychological performance in patients with mood disorders. Many studies that used standardized cognitive tests have found that mild cognitive abnormalities are associated with MDD and that these abnormalities are more pronounced in persons who have MDD with melancholic or psychotic features

Fishing for Genetic Links in Autism

March 11, 2009

In my January column (“Fishing Expeditions and Autism: A Big Catch for Genetic Research?” Psychiatric Times, January 2009, page 12), I described the great difficulties research­ers face characterizing the genetic basis of the disease. Complexities range from trying to establish a stable diagnostic profile to making sense of the few isolated mutations that show clear associations (either with disease or syndrome variants).

The New Historical Trauma Studies

March 11, 2009

Recent decades have seen an outpouring of publications about psychological trauma. With its formal diagnostic category of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Western psychiatric medicine has led the way in opening up this field of study. Many other disciplines of inquiry, including sociology, anthropology, legal studies, and literary studies, also have contributed their distinctive approaches and methodologies to the subject. Most recently, professional historians in Britain, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, and the United States have researched the origins of PTSD to great effect. These “new historical trauma studies” draw heavily on pioneering medical research from earlier places and periods. In addition, empirical findings from and analytical insights into humanity’s troubled, traumatic past provide ideas, observations, and insights that may be useful for mental health practitioners today.

CMS Announces No Changes for Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Access

March 09, 2009

The Medicare program announced it would not reevaluate for the 2010 calendar year the 2 psychiatric drug categories protected under Part D “all or substantially all.” Seniors who need antidepressants and antipsychotics will still be able to get “all or substantially all” of the chemically distinct drugs offered in those 2 categories.

Cognitive Remediation for Psychiatric PatientsImproving Functional Outcomes for Patients With Schizophrenia

March 09, 2009

Many people assume that it is the emotional and psychotic symptoms that make it difficult for a person with schizophrenia to function in everyday life. In fact, research indicates that cognitive impairment is a major reason why functional outcome is so poor.1

Good Clinical Care Requires Understanding Statistics

March 07, 2009

There are dogmatists (and many of them) of this variety who think that they can be good mental health professionals by simply applying the truths of, say, Freud (or Prozac) to all. This article, and the 2 that will follow in future issues, are addressed to those who know that they do not know or at least want to know more.

DSM-V Transparency: Fact or Rhetoric?

March 07, 2009

In their response to the commentary by Drs Lisa Cosgrove and Harold Bursztajn in the January 2009 issue of Psychiatric Times (“Toward Credible Conflict of Interest Policies in Clinical Psychiatry,” page 40), David Kupfer and Darrel Regier, the chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the DSM-V Task Force, invite readers to “monitor the most inclusive and transparent developmental process in the 60-year history of DSM at our Web site.”

FDA Considers Pediatric Indications for Antipsychotics

March 07, 2009

The FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee met in November to review drug trials and safety data for several medications under consideration for pediatric-specific labeling. Drugs included the antipsychotics olanzapine (Zyprexa) and risperidone (Risperdal). Although not yet finding sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy in this population, the committee specified additional information that could be submitted for the applications to be reconsidered.

In the Eye of the Beholder

March 06, 2009

I have a neuromuscular disorder. This problem presented itself at birth, and I took much longer than other children to crawl, walk, and reach other physical developmental milestones. My sister is also affected, and although we have had extensive workups twice, the diagnosis is unclear. I had physical therapy up until my early teens, at which point I could do everything I needed to do in day-to-day life.

Pharmonitor: Reality-Checking and Journalistic Integrity

March 05, 2009

Regular readers of Psychiatric Times know that we have been engaged in a comprehensive review of our “conflict of interest” (COI) and disclosure policies, which now include posted disclosure statements from all our editorial board members. So far as we are aware, Psychiatric Times is the only major psychiatric journal to require this of its editorial board, as well as of our regular writers.

Mortality With Antipsychotic Use in Alzheimer Disease

March 04, 2009

Mortality in elderly patients with dementia markedly and progressively increases with extended use of antipsychotics, according to the first long-term controlled study of risk in this population. Earlier evidence of this risk was from short-term trials not exceeding 14 weeks.

Lilly Off-Label Promotion

February 24, 2009

Eli Lilly and Company pleaded guilty on January 30 to one misdemeanor violation of misbranding Zyprexa (olanzapine) by promoting it for dementia. However, a question raised by bloggers and others remains: did the drug benefit the elderly despite the fact it was not approved by the FDA for such purposes?