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. []
Dubious value of SGAs as add-ons for PTSD
soldier ptsd story.jpgThe recent spike in treating soldiers with PTSD relied mostly on off-label with second generation antipsychotics. A study in JAMA showed that when compared to a placebo, the drug being study, Risperidone, had little effect, raising the question of whether the substantial side effects justified any benefit. []
An attitude of gratitude
. . .promotes mental health []
Placebo as good as antidepressant (reboxetine)
For more than a decade, reboxetine (Edronax) has been sold in Europe as an antidepressant, although not in the US. Research published in the British Medical Journal now indicates that Pfizer withheld initial studies showing it was no better than a placebo. Moreover, the authors of this study in the British Medical Journal say it might be harmful as well as ineffectual. []
ADHD -- genetic link
ADHD, like other mental illnesses, has often been subjected to stigma through lack of understanding. Because it runs in families, there has been a suspicion that it was genetic, but until recently a direct genetic link had not established. Research in Britain has changed that. . . []
16 NIH Institutes and Centers support research on the nervous system.
To see them all, click here.... []
Advocacy loses a pioneer: Gwill York Newman, 1932-2010
gwillnewman87x95.jpgAfter her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, Gwill Newman became a fierce advocate as well as donor for research about the brain. . . []
New psychiatric drugs in pipeline
PhRMA has released a report of more than 300 drugs in the pipeline for psychiatric medications. Many are in the initial stages. Some, such as Johnson and Johnson's . . . []
Mental Health Care in the College Community, Editors Jerald Kay and Victor Schwartz
MentalHealthCollege.jpeg College educators now recognize that promoting mental health for students plays a key role in achievement. A new book, says Anna Scheyett, fills a gap about planning and implementing essential services. Read her review of Mental Health Care in the College Community. []
Mental Health Care in the College Community, Editors Jerald Kay and Victor Schwartz
MentalHealthCollege.jpeg College educators now recognize that promoting mental health for students plays a key role in achievement. A new book, says Anna Scheyett, fills a gap about planning and implementing essential services. Read her review of Mental Health Care in the College Community. []
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. . . []
Two books on practicalities of recovery research
Paula Goring and Jijian Voronka, researchers in Canada's At Home project, review two books about the practicalities of recovery research. Read their review []
NIH wants tighter disclosure rules
Proposals for transparency about outside income creating a conflict-of-interest for investigators under contract with the National Institute of Mental Health were released last week and lower the threshold from $10,000 to $5,000 for reporting outside income. . . []
Exercise and schizophrenia
The role of exercise has long been thought to be significant for improving physical and mental health. Yet only a handful of studies have systematically studied this for people diagnosed with schizophrenia. In a review of the literature, The Cochrane Study Group. . . []
NARSAD seminars launched for 2010
For the next two months, local universities and medical centers will host seminars featuring research about mental illnesses to highlight "the latest breakthroughs in mental health research." The seminars are free, open to the public, and sponsored by NARSAD. Some will be carried live by webcast. []
Fish oil protects against psychosis
Omega 3iStock.jpg
Fish oil, Omega 3, was found to protect those at high risk for first-episode psychotic disorders, according to the findings of Swiss, Austrian and Australian researchers. . . []
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. ... []
Brain scans detect PTSD
A highly technical study with remarkably optimistic rates of accuracy for confirming a diagnosis of PTSD was explained in Scientific American. Magnetoencephelography (MEG),. . . []
Feb. 12: National Advisory Mental Health Council meeting
"The National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) advises the Secretary of Health and Human Services; the Director, National Institutes of Health; and the Director, National Institute of Mental Health, on all policies and activities relating to the conduct and support of mental health research, research training, and other programs of the Institute." These are open to the public. Forms to register for the upcoming meeting are available here. Friday, February 12, (8:30 am-12:30 pm) NIH Campus, Bldg. 31C, 6th Floor,... []
New depression studies raise questions
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. . . []
Architecture of genetic risk for schizophrenia
Perhaps thousands of genetic variations contribute to schizophrenia, write authors of a new study about genetic architecture. Hope to find "the" gene or genes has given way to a more complicated picture. []
Review of psycho-social interventions for schizophrenia
Delays in implementing recommended psycho-social services as an adjunct to medication can prolong disabilities associated with schizophrenia, write the authors of a study in the on-line Advance Access Schizophrenia Bulletin. In a comprehensive project (citing 233 references) []
Models beyond outpatient commitment
In the ten years since Kendra Webdale was pushed to her death by a man who was denied services for his mental illness, questions about what led to this tragedy have been widely discussed. Led by New York, more than 40 states now believe they have addressed this with laws mandating outpatient or involuntary commitment (AOT). But the issue is hardly resolved, as evidenced by the activists, services providers and psychiatrists who crowded the Columbia University law school law school to discuss what it means to "gain compliance in the community." []
Violence with psychosis rare toward strangers
Worries about violence and mental illness have affected public attitudes and influenced treatment options around the world. Researchers in Canada, Finland, Australia and the Netherlands looked at "stranger homicide" as a way to answer the question about whether psychosis threatens strangers. []
Adults remember childhood abuse accurately
With evidence about the association of trauma, physical, and emotional abuse with the etiology of psychotic disorders, British researchers investigated the validity of retrospective reporting. . . []

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