November 1st, 2011

Study: Drug does not reduce PTSD severity

By Pamela Berard

A recent study showed that a widely-prescribed medication within the Department of Veterans Affairs used in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder did not reduce overall PTSD severity Risperidone (Risperdal) is the second most widely prescribed second-generation antipsychotic within the VA for PTSD. Two serotonin reuptake inhibitors have FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD, but they appear to be less effective in men than women and less effective in chronic PTSD than acute PTSD, according to the study. Second-generation antipsychotics like Risperidone (which is not approved by the FDA to treat PTSD) are commonly prescribed as an add-on treatment [More]

July 1st, 2017

Study: Facebook makes you feel bad

By Janine Weisman

Nearly 1.3 billion daily active Facebook users around the world spend an average of 50 minutes each day using the social media network or one of its apps, according to the company. But they might be using Facebook at the risk of their own health and happiness. A recent study documented a negative association between Facebook use and overall well-being in contrast to the positive impact of in-person interactions. A pair of authors found that liking the content of others and clicking links significantly predicted later self-reports of diminished physical and mental health and life satisfaction. “If I go out [More]

August 24th, 2012

Study: Ketamine holds promise for PTSD treatment

By Janine Weisman

A fast acting anesthetic approved more than 40 years ago for American soldiers during the Vietnam War may hold the key to better treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the 21st century. Ketamine has already shown effectiveness in lifting symptoms of deep depression. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and other research institutions are pursuing more studies to learn more about how ketamine can work within hours to alleviate symptoms “I don’t think any drug is a miracle drug, but I think that ketamine has produced some very [More]

June 1st, 2015

Study: Kids with ADHD treated with drugs

By Rivkela Brodsky

Nationally it appears most children are being treated for ADHD by medication alone, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Medication treatment was the single most common treatment with about 43 percent of children receiving medication alone,” said Susanna Visser, DrPH, lead epidemiologist of child development studies at the CDC and lead author on the study. “That was followed with combination therapies at 31 percent.” The study was the first national study by the CDC examining the use of behavioral therapy and supplements alongside medication to treat ADHD during 2009 and 2010 in children [More]

March 1st, 2017

Study: Lying with the truth is risky

By Janine Weisman

During the Sept. 26, 2016, presidential debate, Donald Trump responded to a question about a 1973 federal lawsuit charging his family’s company with housing discrimination this way: “We settled the suit with zero – no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do. But they sued many people.” The U.S. Justice Department had charged Trump, his father and their company, Trump Management Inc., with violating the Fair Housing Act for refusing to rent to African-Americans. A New York Times story on the case reported there was no evidence that Trump personally set rental policies, but consent decrees customarily don’t [More]

April 1st, 2012

Study: Manual changes could result in false-negative diagnoses

By Pamela Berard

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital determined that recommended changes in the upcoming revision to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition” (DSM-5) could result in false-negative diagnoses. In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the researchers examined the impact of deleting five personality disorders in the new DSM-5 – paranoid, schizoid, histrionic, narcissistic and dependent personality disorders. The deletions were among recommendations made by the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders work group and were being looked at as a way to reduce the level of comorbidity among the disorders. (The work group has since decided to retain [More]

October 1st, 2010

Study: Maternal affection impacts adult mental health

By Pamela Berard

A new study suggests that infants who received high levels of maternal affection may be better able to deal with life stressors as adults. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, was based on 482 people in a Providence, R.I., birth cohort of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project in the late 1950s/early 1960s. As part of the project, psychologists observed and objectively rated mothers during routine developmental assessment of their eight-month-olds. The psychologists rated how the mother coped with her child’s tests and how she responded to the child. The amount of affection was categorized in [More]

July 1st, 2017

Study: Military with mental issues discharged for misconduct

By Catherine Robertson Souter

According to a federal study, a high number of military personnel are given less-than-honorable discharges in spite of the fact that they had been diagnosed with conditions such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury. In 2010, Congress passed a law requiring the military to assess the impact of a PTSD or TBI diagnosis before separation for misconduct and the DOD issued policies to address separations for misconduct that involve PTSD or TBI. The study, mandated as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), also found that Department of Defense policies on addressing the impact of these injuries are [More]

March 1st, 2017

Study: Mindfulness programs prevalent

By Pamela Berard

More than 60 percent of all U.S. medical schools have a mindfulness program to support students, residents or providers, according to a study by researchers at Cambridge Health Alliance and the University of Southern California, published in the journal, Mindfulness. Mindfulness was most commonly integrated into medical schools as an option for health care providers looking for ways to care for themselves and enhance resiliency, such as through mindfulness-based therapies or wellness groups. “This is the first attempt to capture the national scope of mindfulness activity within academic medicine and it suggests that mindfulness is no longer a fringe concept [More]

May 1st, 2014

Study: Neurofeedback helpful for ADHD

By Catherine Robertson Souter

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of children aged 4-17 diagnosed with ADHD in the past 10 years has risen dramatically, from 7.8 percent in 2003 to 11 percent by 2011. It is a number that has researchers scrambling to find ways to treat these children in ways that may help them avoid medication and its potential side effects. “The CDC now shows the prevalence at 11 percent. That really is a lot of people,” says Naomi Steiner, M.D., developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. “There has been a gap in non-pharmaceutical [More]

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