The Week in Review: August 21-25

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From informed consent in treatment with psychedelics to an anti-fentanyl antibody that may reverse the signs of carfentanil overdose, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

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This week, Psychiatric Times® discussed a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from informed consent in treatment with psychedelics to an anti-fentanyl antibody that may reverse the signs of carfentanil overdose. Here are some highlights from the week.

Study Shows That Anti-Fentanyl Antibody Reverses Signs of Carfentanil Overdose

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momius_AdobeStock

A study found that an anti-fentanyl antibody reversed the signs of carfentanil overdose.

In the study, the investigators developed an antibody in single-chain fragment variable format that binds with very high affinity to several variants of fentanyl, including carfentanil—the most dangerous variant. They designed the antibody to enter the bloodstream quickly via intramuscular injection and to persist in the body in order to offer long-term protection.

Upon administering the antibody to rodents in the study, the investigators found that administration shortly following an overdose of carfentanil reverses the signs of the potentially deadly respiratory depression caused by carfentanil overdose. Continue Reading

Ketamine and Psychedelics: The Journey From Magical Mystery to Informed Consent

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maaramore©/AdobeStock

Since the 1960s, interest in the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs has been periodically revived, with significant resources being invested in drug development and proof of efficacy. Sparking the current revival has been the drug ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic that also induces profound psychedelic experiences and hallucinations. There has been a groundswell of enthusiasm, interest, and investment in—and also skepticism of—the medical potential of psychedelics, as researchers have gathered data supporting the benefits of psychedelics for the treatment of emotional problems and psychiatric disorders.

Such favorable data sparked authorized clinical trials of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) for posttraumatic stress disorder, with the US FDA designating these molecules as breakthrough drugs. Although there is growing optimism that the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry will be open to further research on the medical applications of psychedelics, use of and even research on many of these drugs currently is unlawful for the most part, as these drugs are designated as Schedule I controlled substances. However, this will likely change as the data accumulate. Continue Reading

Science and Art in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Filip_AdobeStock

Can creativity play a role in psychiatric treatment? Studies have shown that music and art therapy can be helpful for patients with schizophrenia, depression, dementia, and other mental disorders. Creativity can also enhance the therapeutic alliance.

Norman Cotterell, PhD, senior clinician at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, is no stranger to leveraging creativity when supporting patients. His interest in the arts stem back to his school days, when he was in the drama club, the Princeton University Gospel Ensemble, and the Princeton Inn Theatre. To help clinicians cultivate creativity in clinical practice, Cotterell shared insights with Psychiatric Times. Continue Reading

The Unheralded Revolution in Psychotherapy Research

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Alice/AdobeStock

In May of this year, The New York Times Magazine published a feature article called, “Does Therapy Really Work? Let’s Unpack That.” I must confess that I am in 2 minds about this article. On one hand, it contains plenty of good, solid information. The writer, Susan Dominus, confesses that she has used therapy herself more than once. “Talk therapy works,” she declares, based not only on her own experience but several important meta-analyses, each described in some detail. She thoughtfully engages a number of eminent researchers, from the more enthusiastic to the more skeptical, and subtly articulates the relational power of psychotherapy.

On the other hand, I have a serious problem with this article: its misplaced ambivalence, starting with the title itself. “Does Therapy Really Work?” This is the title, really? It reminds me of an earlier New York Times article, “How Much Do Antidepressants Help, Really?” which followed an earlier article, “Mental Illness Is All in Your Brain – or Is It?” In this case, ambivalence runs through the entire piece. Dominus asserts that a simple, rosy view of psychotherapy “overpromises.” Continue Reading

See more recent coverage from Psychiatric Times here. And be sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Psychiatric Times E-newsletter.

Do you have a comment on any of these or other articles? Have a good idea for an article and want to write? Interested in sharing your perspectives? Write to us at PTeditor@mmhgroup.com.

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