Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker
If psychiatric medications are doing the job, why are more disabled by a mental illness than 25 years ago? That is the disturbing question, says Dan Herman, that permeates Robert Whitaker's new book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. if our psychiatric treatments are truly effective, why aren't people with mental illness doing better? []
FDA says Pfizer study overdosed kids
Consistent overdosing of seven children in a clinical study conducted by Pfizer was described in a warning letter posted on the FDA's website. []
A trial, and an ad, featuring Seroquel
. . .evidence vs. spin []
The bar for normal -- DSM update
Advancing the conversation about revising the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM-V, On the Media's Brooke Gladstone. . . []
Researchers discovered a gene associated with depression and bi-polar disorders.
Read Genes and Circuitry, Not Just Clinical Observation, to Guide Classification for Research about the overlap of depression and bipolar disorder on Chromosome 3, one of the many genes researchers believe will one day influence classification, diagnosis and treatment. ... []
Lithium's effect was discovered accidentally by an Australian doctor experimenting with guinea pigs.
Read more about the process by whiche Dr. John Cade learned that lithium had a calming effect in the laboratory. To test the properties of lithium, Cade used took it himself before giving it to 10 patients on an experimental basis.... []
Bipolar diagnosis mixed bag in youth
With the hike in diagnosing bipolar disorder, and prescribing drugs for kids, researchers wanted to know the circumstances in which these decisions were made. Researchers reviewed 1.3 million insurance claims for youth under the age of 17. . . []
Safety of atypical antipsychotics
Atypical antipsychotic drugs are used widely beyond the original group of mental disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for which they were initially approved. []
Schizophrenia's genetic puzzle
Research published in the current issue of Nature offers a clue to the genetic puzzle of schizophrenia. . . []
When there is a dual diagnosis, mood disorders are most likely to be associated with substance use disorders.
Read more about dual disorders from AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).... []
APA: May is Borderline Personality Disorder month
. . .John Gunderson, M.D., lecture []
Personal narratives of recovery and activism
Three engaging, powerful, personal narratives about managing with a mental illness are available. In the May-June issue of Health Affairs, television news personality Jane Pauley discusses her bipolar disorder, diagnosed when she was 50. And Fred Frese, former president of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and a psychologist who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1966, calls for mental health professionals to come out of the closet. His remarks are also available in a webcam of the Health Affairs conference.... []
Bipolar disorder ranks 6th of causes of disability worldwide.
Read more from Psychiatric Services. ... []
Broadway lifts curtain on bipolar disorder
A musical might seem a surprising venue for a play about bipolar disorder, but New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley gives "Next to Normal" a thumbs up. He says the play, which opened this week, "assesses the losses that occur when wounded people are anesthetized." In his estimation, part of the success comes from "never releasing the audience from the captivity of its characters' minds." He calls it "brave."... []
Awards for stories about mental illness
The Association of Health Care Journalists announced five of its annual awards will go to reporters who have written about mental illness. They are: •Mary Carmichael of Newsweek for a story detaiiling how bi-polar disorder dominates the life of one youngster and his parents. •Randy Dotinga, of Voice of San Diego, for a story about the bridge in San Diego which has been used by people intending suicide since 1973. •Sharon Salyer and Alejandro Dominguez, of the Daily Herald in... []
Premature death associated with bipolar disorder
Evidence of premature death for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder comes from a study published in Psychiatric Services (abstract available). This study adds to previous warnings discussing risk factors contributing to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. The authors reviewed 17 published studies (between 1959 and 2007) involving more than 330,000 people.... []
Mental illness does not predict violence
A new study concludes that mental illness alone does not predict violence. For the past two decades, debate about a putative link between mental illness and violence has been heated with implications for policy, treatment and legal decisions. The authors of this study, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, interviewed 34,500 people in a national sample who were diagnosed with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and major depression. Their findings, based on interviews roughly 3 years apart, indicate that of the numerous... []
New books about bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia
Two books have been published this month for an audience concerned about mental illness in their families. Author Michael Greenberg writes about his daughter and her hospitalizations, starting as a teenager, when she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Greenberg's discussed Hurry Down Sunshine, with radio host Lenny Lopate on WNYC. Researchers at New York State's Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Irene and Jerome Levine, wrote ... []
Seroquel update from FDA
Seroquel appears on the FDA's list of drugs with serious risks that were compiled by the Adverse Event Report System between Jan-March 2008. The FDA warning attributed labeling confusion on sample packs to overdoses. Seroquel is made by AstraZeneca and is a mood stabilizer prescribed for bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.... []
Canadian series on bipolar disorder
Inside Toronto continues its series about bipolar disorder with a story detailing speak outs aimed to diminish stigma.... []
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder-shared qualities
An article in Advance Access Schizophrenia Bulletin discusses neurobiology and genetic studies about overlapping etiologic determinants" in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (Abstract available; full text requires subscription.) ... []
Regulating residential treament programs
Parents with troubled teens often choose mental health and behavioral treatment programs within an industry suffering from lack of state and federal oversight. Congressional hearings, and an April GAO report about reforms needed in the residential treatment industry are part of the background to a bill proposed by Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), "Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008" 
(H.R. 5876). Kathryn Whitehead (above) discusses her experience in a Montana program.... []
Growth in antipsychotic meds for kids
A British study reported in Pediatrics indicates a hike in prescribing atypical anti-psychotic medication for kids “despite the lack of conclusive evidence showing their superiority over older conventional antipsychotics.” About six times as many American children take antipsychotic medication, according to the Associated Press. Recent research indicates conditions for which they are being used, including bipolar disorder, might be over diagnosed. ... []
About the APA
Highlights. . . []
Home genetic tests: science or marketing?

With daily updates about genetics, the direct-to-consumer marketing of testing kits is proliferating. Whom do these kits serve? asks Laura Hercher.


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