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

Skin-Picking, Hair-Pulling Disorders: Treatment Options Limited

INDIANAPOLIS – despite the common prevalence of skin-picking disorder and trichotillomania (hair pulling), no Food and Drug Administration–approved treatments exist for either condition. And while both body-focused repetitive disorders affect a greater proportion of females than males, “we have no current information that is useful about what hormonal influences may or may not play in … Read more

High Rate of Mental Health Problems in Transgender Children

Transgender children, even those young as 9 or 10 years old, already show increased susceptibility to mental health problems compared with their cisgender peers, new research suggests. Investigators assessed a sample of more than 7000 children aged 9-10 years in the general population and found those who reported being transgender assessed significantly higher on all … 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

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … 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

When Suffering Defies Diagnosis

I still remember the woman who came to my office that day, years ago. She was struggling and uncomfortable, and she wanted “something” for stress. She described her life, and to me, it sounded stressful. She lived in a blended family and she described the chaos that one might expect to find in a household … Read more

Triptans in Pregnancy and ADHD in Kids: New Reassuring Data

Triptan use during pregnancy does not increase the risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring, new research suggests. Hedvig Nordeng, PhD “The findings should satisfy women who need to take this class of drugs during pregnancy,” study author Hedvig Nordeng, PhD, professor and head of the Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety Research Group at the University … Read more

When Does an Elite Athlete Need Mental Health Treatment?

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — Many athletes get the “jitters” — a feeling of anxiety — just prior to competing. For elite athletes, whether they’re participating in an individual event or as part of a team, whether on a track, court, rink, or field, this feeling can affect performance. It is a well-known, and not … Read more