The Week in Review: November 7-11

From the cross-cultural dimensions of psychosis to the economic burden of schizophrenia, here are highlights from the week in Psychiatric Times.

This week, Psychiatric TimesTM covered a wide variety of psychiatric issues and industry updates, from the cross-cultural dimensions of psychosis to the economic burden of schizophrenia. Here are some highlights from the week.

HIPAA vs Ethical Care: Accounting for Privacy With Neuropsychiatric Impairments

The law presumes that individuals are rational. The reasonable individual, a hypothetical figure whose actions judges and juries weigh against others, will lucidly consider risks versus benefits before acting. Yet, we know that neuropsychiatric impairment can impede the capacity for making these calculated judgments, and in some cases this impairment is associated with a lack of illness awareness (or “insight”) that affects adherence with treatment.

Nevertheless, patients, families, and clinicians must still make critical health care decisions, such as a patient’s determination to engage in or refuse treatment, often with urgency and limited information. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the obstacles physicians commonly face in gaining patient acceptance of treatment and psychiatric referral; physicians often encounter exacerbated suspicion, mistrust, and emotional isolation even in individuals who do not suffer from neuropsychiatric impairment. Continue Reading

Study Identifies Promising Potential Treatment for Alzheimer Disease

A study found that intranasal (IN) delivery of an oxytocin derivative to the brain may be an effective treatment for cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer disease.

Leveraging previous research suggesting that introducing cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) and a penetration-accelerating sequence (PAS) via structural modifications can benefit the nose-to-brain delivery pathway, the investigators created the oxytocin derivative PAS-CPPs-oxytocin. Their goal was to see if IN delivery of this oxytocin derivative would help improve cognitive function in mice similarly to the more invasive intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration method. Continue Reading

The Economic Burden of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, disabling mental health disorder that is associated with significantly increased morbidity and premature mortality. Schizophrenia is also associated with a significant economic burden. In the early 2000s, the annual cost of schizophrenia in the US was estimated to be greater than those for all cancers combined. These costs include direct health (eg, outpatient, inpatient, emergency department, and pharmacy) and non-health care (eg, law enforcement and homeless shelters), and indirect (eg, unemployment and premature mortality) costs. A more recent study estimated the annual US societal cost of schizophrenia in 2013 as about $156 billion. However, this estimated does not reflect recent health care system reforms and treatment advances. Continue Reading

The Cross-Cultural Dimensions of Psychosis

Psychiatrists have been interested in the cross-cultural dimensions of psychosis since Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) sailed to Java in 1904 and published his pivotal Vergleichende Psychiatrie (Comparative Psychiatry). Kraepelin provided the first known comparison of psychotic symptoms across populations: “The early stages of a depression were rarely seen, and violent excitement was also uncommon, but at the same time the very severe forms of dementia, so common in our own mental hospitals and found among the Europeans in Java as well, seem rarely to develop among the indigenous population.” 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