The Week in Review: December 19-23

From current treatments for cannabis use disorder to new possibilities for the treatment of dementia, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

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This week, Psychiatric TimesTM covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from current treatments for cannabis use disorder to new possibilities for the treatment of dementia. Here are some highlights from the week.

Cariprazine FDA-Approved as Adjunctive Therapy to Antidepressants

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AbbVie’s cariprazine (Vraylar) as an adjunctive therapy to antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults.

“Many living with [MDD] find that their ongoing antidepressant therapy does not offer meaningful relief from the symptoms they experience every day,” said Thomas Hudson, MD, senior vice president of research and development and chief scientific officer at AbbVie. “Today’s approval of Vraylar provides an important new treatment option to meet a critical unmet medical need.” Continue Reading

Current Treatments for Cannabis Use Disorder

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Cannabis is the most widely used psychoactive substance after alcohol and tobacco; 4% of the global adult population (200 million people) endorses its use. Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is defined by an inability to stop a problematic pattern of use despite significant negative consequences. CUD has traditionally been thought to affect 1 in 10 people who use cannabis, but recent evidence has indicated that the lifetime incidence may be closer to 1 in 5.

In the United States, there are nearly 14 million daily or near-daily cannabis users; the prevalence doubled between 2010 and 2019. Increased rates of cannabis use likely follow changes in legalization and social acceptance; reduced cost; increased potency; and expanded preparation and routes of administration (ie, edibles, waxes, extracts, and vaping). Despite reduced public perception of risk, research has shown that heavy cannabis use is associated with neurocognitive impairment, psychiatric and medical comorbidities, as well as disruption of employment and educational functioning. Continue Reading

TAAR1 and the Future of MDD Treatment

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In December, the first patient was enrolled in the first trial studying the use of a trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1) agonist to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. This Phase 2/3 clinical study will aim to evaluate the TAAR1 agonist ulotaront (formerly known as SEP-363856) as an adjunctive therapy for adults with MDD.

In this Mental Health Minute, John Kraus, MD, PhD, shares his insights and thoughts on what the activation of the TAAR1 receptor could mean for the future treatment of MDD. Kraus is executive vice president and chief medical officer at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. Otsuka and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals are jointly developing and studying the agent. Continue Reading

Exploring the New Era of Hope and Possibilities for Patients With Dementia

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One of the benefits of having worked in a field for a long time is you gain perspective. That has certainly been the case for my clinical experiences in treating patients with dementia. Early on, the diagnosis was a challenge. Neurodegeneration starts early and progresses before any clinical signs are evident. The average patient with dementia is in the moderate stage before they receive a diagnosis.

In the past, it became important to identify earlier stages such as mild cognitive impairment. Today, we see discussions of prodromal phases prior to that. This change has resulted in the ability to recruit research participants for studies that will lead to meaningful treatments. Continue Reading

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