Psychiatric Matters Germane, Timely…and Needed

October 9, 2013
Lloyd I. Sederer, MD

Volume 30, Issue 10

Psychiatric Times asked this psychiatrist to compile and edit a series worthy of its readers’ attention. We hope you find that this special section has achieved the literary and professional standards we set.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"17808","attributes":{"alt":"trends in psychiatry","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_1919015694161","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"1119","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"193","media_crop_scale_w":"160","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"float: right;","title":" ","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]With the endless flood of news, articles, reports, and texts that threaten to drown the psychiatrists and mental health professionals who receive them, what is actually worth reading? Worth the precious time we do not really have? Worth our time because the content is new and useful, and the language is clear and free of jargon?

Psychiatric Times asked me to compile and edit a series worthy of its readers’ attention. I hope you find that this special section has achieved the literary and professional standards we set. We have a good number of articles for this Special Report, and thus it was decided to run it in two parts. Three reports and a related CME article make up Part 1. All are posted on www.psychiatrictimes.com.

The Silver Lining in the Graying of America: Healthy Aging Is the New Norm” by Gary J. Kennedy, MD, and Laura Gardner, MD, is no mere depiction of the demographics that surround us. It is a realistic yet hopeful view about growing older but not necessarily old, with the aches and mental pains and limitations that it has come to connote. There are dividends, not only losses, from aging.

Because physicians and prescribing nurses face the therapeutic limits and unwelcome effects of the medications they prescribe, “Neurostimulation Treatments in Psychiatry: An Overview and Recent Advances” by Charles R. Conway, MD, Pilar Cristancho, MD, and Thomas E. Schlaepfer, MD, is a welcome report. Our patients do not need more “me too” drugs; they need truly different approaches to altering brain circuits, physiology, and perhaps even neurogenesis. Take a read.

The Emerging Field of Sports Psychiatry: A New Niche for Psychiatric Practice” by Antonia Baum, MD, is more of a personal tale of one doctor who finds a way to join personal interests with clinical practice. It is a success story about career choice and contemporary medical care. It is a fine story for young students and physicians as they search for a life of contribution and professional satisfaction.

Personalized Medicine and Psychiatry: Dream or Reality?” by Uzoezi Ozomaro, MD, PhD, Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, PhD, and Claes Wahlestedt, MD, PhD, is a related article in this issue of Psychiatric Times. We are including this topic as the CME activity because of how much we all have to learn about “personalized medicine.” I have found it helpful to think of this direction in medical practice, especially psychiatric practice, as not some form of cosmetic medicine-but rather closer to what has been termed “precision medicine.” The more clinicians are able to be precise in their choice of therapeutics (ie, which medications or therapies for which patients at what points in the course of illness), the greater will be the response rates for patients and the confidence that physicians can have in recommending treatments. Our work stands to progress on two fronts simultaneously: novel treatments and greater specificity about selecting among the treatments we now have. This article does a wonderful job of discussing personalized medicine and of pointing to a future that is scientifically driven and clinically hopeful.

Part 2 of this Special Report will run in the November issue with articles on stigma, telepsychiatry, and designer drugs.