John Hinckley's release after a 35-year stint in a psychiatric facility, legalized heroin, older patients facing depression alone. These stories and more in this month's roundup.
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Scroll through the slides for recent stories in mental health. Links appear in the captions.
Would-be Reagan Assassin John Hinckley Jr. Is Freed After 35 Years
After 35 years, the “court-ordered transition from a mental hospital in the District to a gated resort community, where he will live with his 90-year-old mother, has forced residents of this small town to grapple with an unsettling reality: Living among them is a former would-be assassin who, according to medical experts, has recovered and is no longer dangerous.”
Washington Post, September 10, 2016
Prescription Heroin Gets Green Light in Canada
“Health Canada has amended its regulations to allow Canadian doctors to prescribe heroin as a treatment for those who are severely addicted to the drug. Last week's change to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act permits doctors to apply for permission under the federal Special Access Program to offer their addicted patients diacetylmorphine: pharmaceutical-grade heroin.”
September 14, 2016
Baby Boomers May Face Treatment-Resistant Depression
If the experts are right, older adults’ risk for depression is on the rise. When depression is accompanied by medical illnesses, fewer social connections, isolation and loneliness, and a few resources suicide is a factor. Depression that no longer responds to medication management is, basically, untreated depression. The outlook is bleak: “Despite the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression, few resources exist to help psychiatrists make treatment decisions.”
Naloxone App Competition
The US FDA kicked off a competition for the best app designed to search for the medication naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an accidental overdose of heroin or opioids. Â “Specifically, the goal . . . is to spur innovation around the development of a low-cost, scalable, crowd-sourced mobile phone application that helps increase the likelihood that opioid users, their immediate personal networks, and first responders are able to identify and react to an overdose by administering naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose.” The submission deadline is November 7.
FDA, September 19, 2016
Love and Burnout: Caregivers, Too, Need Care
The focus is the caregiver-a questionable role. The mere witnessing of a loved one’s suffering-in this case, a man whose wife had Alzheimer disease-often depletes one of energy, sleep, ability (or willingness) to care, financial resources, and spirituality. “When you’re in the middle of caregiving, you don’t know what caring for yourself means.”
New York Times, September 2, 2016
Phenomenology of Schizophrenia and the Representativeness of Modern Diagnostic Criteria
In a Special Communication, Kenneth S. Kendler, MD writes, "We should not confuse our DSM diagnostic criteria with the disorders that they were designed to index," according to the author. Do you agree?
JAMA Psychiatry, Sept 14, 2016