Federal News & Issues

ATLANTA – Adopting a pet dog may prove a useful addition to treatment for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), helping to alleviate PTSD symptoms, depression and loneliness, according to research presented at the 2016 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

In this pilot trial, researchers led by Stephen Stern, M.D., adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and research investigator at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, compared a control group with a group of veterans with PTSD who adopted a dog as a supplement to usual care. The participants were veterans in active treatment for PTSD.

The participants were randomly placed into either immediate dog adoption group (dog group) or a three...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 14, 2016

ATLANTA – Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be effective for the treatment of schizophrenia, according to research presented at the 2016 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

The study examined the effectiveness of ECT in a large clinical sample of patients with schizophrenia and looked at factors associated with treatment response and adverse effects. Many previous studies have looked at use of older equipment and medications that do not reflect current practice.

Researchers, led by Tyler Kaster, M.D., with the University of Toronto, examined the clinical records of 144 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who received ECT and determined treatment response and adverse cognitive effects. The researchers looked at several factors associated with response, such...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 14, 2016

ATLANTA – While eating disorders are more common among women, men with eating disorders are more likely to experience concurrent depression and are less likely to access mental health services, according to a new study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Eating disorders are the third most common diagnosis in adolescent females; they are far less prevalent in young males. Limited evidence has previously suggested some sex-specific differences in patient history and presentation. The study assessed differences in a sample of adolescents admitted for treatment of eating disorders.

Researcher Samuel Ridout, M.D., with Brown University School of Medicine, reviewed charts of adolescent patients (127 women and 21 men) hospitalized for treatment of their eating disorders...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 14, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – Today the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released new evidence-based recommendations on the use of antipsychotics to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia. The guidelines include recommendations for assessment of psychological and behavioral symptoms of dementia, development of a comprehensive treatment plan, assessment of the benefits and risks of antipsychotics, and judicious use of antipsychotics, including specifics for dosing, duration and monitoring.

The population of elderly patients, including those with dementia, is growing and an overwhelming majority of older adults with dementia will develop psychosis or agitation during their illness. Treatment of these symptoms has often involved use of antipsychotic medications. However, in recent years, evidence from...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: May 1, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va. – Men who are heavy marijuana users at ages 18 and 19 are 40 percent more likely to die by age 60 than men reporting no history of marijuana use, according to a study out today in AJP in Advance.

A previous study of the same population showed no association between marijuana use and risk of death. However, with the 40-year time frame of the current study, the men had reached ages at which the health-related, harmful effects of marijuana use (e.g., cancer, pulmonary disease and coronary heart disease) were more likely to be seen.

Edison Manrique-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm examined the records of more than 45,000 Swedish men entering compulsory military training in 1969–1970 and identified deaths between training entry and 2011.

About 4,...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Apr 23, 2016

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