Maurice Rapport, 1919-2011, discovered serotonin
At the time Serotonin was discovered in 1948, Freudian theories guided explanations for behavior. Maurice Rapport's discovery of serotonin revolutionized the understanding of chemical neurotransmitters with vast consequences for all of medicine, most importantly for psychiatry. Rapport died in North Carolina last week, one month shy of 92. []
Persons with Mental Illness Neglected, Abused in Florida Facilities
Violent deaths, restraints, over medication, and untreated infections are just some of the problems cited in the Miami Herald's year-long investigation into Florida's assisted living facilities. Homes for people with a mental illness were disproportionately affected, leaving advocates to grapple with a new set of problems. Angela Wilson explains. . . []
Prescriptions for antipsychotic medication grew by 10% in 2010
Abilify, Zyprexa and Seroquel led the growth of second generation anti-psychotics led spending growth with a combined $1.4 billion. Download the entire report from the IMS, Institute for Health Care Informatics. ... []
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? []
Reactions to Ryan's proposal
. . .fast and furious []
Deep Medicaid cuts for mental health
Doctors, patients, nursing homes, the young, the elderly, and diabetics who already own one pair of shoes will take hits from Medicaid cuts. []
Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry, by Daniel Carlat, MD
Unhinged.jpg Once a specialty rich with the interactions between client and doctor which used to comprise a 50-minute hour, to one that has become a 15-minute, billable med check, psychiatry has become "unhinged" in the words of author Dr. Daniel Carlat. In a review of Unhinged, psychiatrist Richard Evans asks how to reconcile the pendulum swing for a professional with "an extremely challenging mandate." []
In Some States, Incarcerated Kids Get Drugged to Alter Behavior, Despite Risks
The excessive use of antipsychotic medication in juvenile facilities is the focus of a ProPublica story about findings from a recent study indicating most states are not monitoring how these drugs are used, often off-label. []
In 2009, $23.25 billion was spent on drugs treating psychiatric disorders.
This figure comes from an AP report about new approved uses for Merck drug treating schizophrenia. Read more here.... []
Schizophrenia and aspirin
Research from the Netherlands suggests aspirin might not just be for headaches anymore. PsychCentral reviewed an article published in the June issue of Journal of Clinical Psychiatry with promising findings. . . []
Trial over Seroquel side effects continues
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Seroquel watchers have been reporting on the New Jersey trial of AstraZeneca, alleged to have had prior knowledge of side effects of Seroquel causing excessive weight gain leading to diabetes, and heart disease. Internet coverage includes. . . []
Witnesses spar at hearings over anti-depressant -- suicide risks
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Calling PTSD and Traumatic brain injury "the signature wounds of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Rep. Bob Filner who opened House committee hearings about military suicides. . . []
A trial, and an ad, featuring Seroquel
. . .evidence vs. spin []
Screening absent for Medicaid patients with psychiatric diagnosis
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Medicaid patients taking second generation anti-psychotic drugs (SGA) didn't get adequate screening for baseline serum glucose and lipids. . . []
FDA cautions Zyprexa for teens
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Metabolic side effects will become standard black box warnings for adolescents taking olanzapine (Zyprexa) as a result of an FDA ruling. The new guidelines. . . []
New depression studies raise questions
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A study in Journal of the American Medical Association about the effectiveness of anti-depressants has been widely reported. The conclusions, that drug therapies are most beneficial for people with the most serious symptoms, but are no better than a placebo for those with mild symptoms, does not square with the clinical observations of doctors. . . []
Side effects largely untended
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Despite FDA warnings seven years ago, people taking second generation anti-psychotic (SGA) medicines are still not receiving adequate follow-up for life-shortening side effects. []
From community mental health to substance abuse treatment: bridging treatment cultures
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Dr. David Moltz describes how his work with opiod dependent clients incorporated approaches from his successful career in community psychiatry. Read more about the practical solutions he introduced to substance abuse 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.... []
Off label antipsychotic drugs increased at VA
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A study appearing in Psychiatric Services describes a hike in prescribing antipsychotic medications over a ten-year period at the Veterans Administration. Sixty percent of antipsychotic drugs were prescribed off-label . . . []
The cost of second generation atypical drugs average $10 a day.
"Off Label Use of Antipsychotic medications in the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System" appears in the September issue of Psychiatric Services. Abstract available. ... []
Depression studies
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More prescriptions for antidepressants and less psychotherapy are the findings of a study about treatment with medication between 1996 and 2005 published in the August edition of Archives of General Psychiatry. []
Is talk of rationing a three-dollar bill?
. . .rationing in mental health []
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. []
Spending on antipsychotic medication reached $13.1 billion in 2007, third highest of all drugs.
Read more about atypical antipsychotic medication in Health Affairs. ... []

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