Poor Visual Acuity Linked to Depression, Brain Structure Changes

Poor visual acuity, defined as difficulty discerning letters or numbers at a given distance, is associated with depression in middle-aged and older individuals, new research suggests. After multiple adjustments, analysis of data from more than 114,000 participants in the UK Biobank Study showed that visual impairment was linked to a 19% higher risk for depression. … Read more

Brain Shrinkage in First-Time Dads: It’s a Good Thing

First-time fathers appear to experience a loss of cortical volume following the birth of their child, new research suggests. Investigators associated with the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain, and the University of Southern California compared MRIs of the brains of 40 new fathers (half located in the United States and the … Read more

Is Corporate Telepsychiatry the Solution to Access to Care Problems?

When Sue W’s mother died in 2018, she struggled terribly. She was already seeing a psychotherapist and was taking duloxetine, prescribed by her primary care physician. But her grief was profound, and her depression became paralyzing. She needed to see a psychiatrist, and there were many available in or near her hometown, a Connecticut suburb … Read more

Ketamine Promising for Rare Condition Linked to Autism

Ketamine may be an effective treatment for children with activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) syndrome, a rare genetic condition associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Also known as Helsmoortel–Van Der Aa syndrome, ADNP syndrome is caused by mutations in the ADNP gene. Studies in animal models suggest that low-dose ketamine increases expression of ADNP … Read more

Clozapine Best Choice for Reducing SUD Risk in Schizophrenia?

Clozapine or antipsychotic polytherapy appear to be the best approach in reducing the risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) in adults with schizophrenia and for preventing relapse in patients with both diagnoses, results of a real-world study show. “Our findings are in line with a recent meta-analysis showing superior efficacy of clozapine in schizophrenia … Read more

Telehealth Benefits for OUD Prompts Call for Permanent Adoption

A new study provides strong support for permanent adoption of expanded telehealth services and flexible prescribing of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD), experts say. Results showed that expanded access to telehealth services, authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic, led to more Medicare beneficiaries with OUD entering treatment and staying in treatment, as well as to … Read more

A Novel Target to Improve Outcomes in Late-Life Depression?

A new study sheds light on the neurologic underpinnings of late-life depression (LLD) with apathy and its frequently poor response to treatment. Investigators headed by Faith Gunning, PhD, of the Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, analyzed baseline and posttreatment brain MRIs and functional MRIs (fMRIs) of older adults with depression who … Read more

No Evidence Low Serotonin Causes Depression?

There is no convincing evidence that low serotonin levels are the primary cause of depression. This is the conclusion of an “exhaustive” review by UK investigators, which upends the widely held belief that depression is the result of lower levels, or reduced activity, of the chemical. Researchers say the results call antidepressant use into question. … Read more

988 Suicide Lifeline in Place, but Access to Care Falls Short

Half of US counties have no access to a suicide intervention team, including those with the highest suicide rates, a timely new analysis shows. As of July 16, Americans experiencing a mental health crisis can call the federally mandated 988 national suicide lifeline to be connected to services and counselors. “Authorizing 988 provides needed support … Read more

Growing Evidence Gardening Cultivates Mental Health

Taking up gardening is linked to improved mood and decreased stress, new research suggests. The results of the small pilot study add to the growing body of evidence supporting the therapeutic value of gardening, study investigator Charles Guy, PhD, professor emeritus, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, in Gainesville, told Medscape Medical … Read more