Combination Antidepressant Treatment Outperforms Monotherapy

In clinical management of depression, combining a reuptake inhibitor with presynaptic alpha2-autoreceptors significantly improves treatment outcomes, compared with monotherapy, a meta-analysis found. Clinicians should consider this approach as a viable first-line treatment for severe depression and for nonresponders, a team of German researchers concluded. The findings were published online Feb. 16 in JAMA Psychiatry. Combining … Read more

High Praise, Condemnation for CMS Aduhelm Coverage Plan

Medicare has received a key endorsement of its plan to restrict payment for the controversial Alzheimer’s disease (AD) drug aducanumab (Aduhelm) — but also drew pleas from other groups for more generous reimbursement of the drug, as well as expected similar medications currently in development . The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) received … Read more

How Providers can Support Psychiatric Drug Discontinuation

A new article published in the Community Mental Health Journal documents service users’ challenges when choosing to discontinue their psychiatric medication. Written by American researchers Sabrina Darrow, Morgan Pelot, Sarah Naeger, and Laysha Ostrow, the article attempts to fill a gap in the literature on psychopharmacology and service user perspectives. The research design was specifically … Read more

ILAE Offers First Guide to Treating Depression in Epilepsy

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) has issued recommendations for treating depression in patients with epilepsy. The new guidance highlights the high prevalence of depression among patients with epilepsy while offering the first systematic approach to treatment, reported lead author Marco Mula, MD, PhD, of Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Center at St George’s University Hospital, … Read more

Why Social Anxiety and Depression Often Appear Together

By Grant H. Brenner Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) are often co-present, up to 20 percent of the time, higher in some groups. Social anxiety starts earlier in life, affecting nearly 5 percent of people, foreshadowing future depression with a five-fold risk of depression for those with prior social anxiety (Ohayon … Read more

Regulators Are Approving Drugs Without Clear Evidence That They Work

In my main field of research—antidepressant drugs for depression—A common reply to studies challenging the efficacy of these drugs is that they clearly work in a meaningful and consistent way, otherwise drug regulators would not have approved them in the first place. In fact, drug regulators frequently approve drugs despite contradictory clinical trial results, and … Read more

Doctor Tried to Navigate US Healthcare for Her Autistic Son

Alexander Roodman was packing up his room, preparing for a gap year before college, when I met him at his family’s Washington, DC, townhouse. The room was a typical teenage disaster zone, with clothes and books strewn everywhere. Then, Alex picked up an origami sculpture that rippled with dozens of ridges and depressions. “It’s kind … Read more

Does “Mass Formation Psychosis” Really Exist?

Source: US National Archives & DVIDS/Public Domain “Mass psychosis,” “mass delusion,” “mass formation psychosis,” and “mass delusional psychosis” are terms being thrown around a lot lately to describe our ideological opposites. This is a pejorative and inappropriate use of psychiatric terminology as I explained in my previous blogpost. Here are some additional thoughts that came … Read more

Fear and Loathing in the ECT Debate

The Lack of Evidence for ECT To the surprise of many people, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is still being administered to approximately a million people a year internationally, predominantly women and old people. It involves passing enough electric current through the human brain, eight to twelve times, to cause convulsions, in the hope of somehow alleviating … Read more