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

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

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

Definitions, Best Treatments Remain Elusive

NEW ORLEANS – Research into video game addiction is turning up new insights, and some treatments seem to make a difference, according to addiction psychiatry experts speaking at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Still, understanding remains limited amid a general lack of clarity about definitions, measurements, and the most effective treatment strategies. … Read more

Multiple Mental Health Woes? Blame It on Genetics

Different psychiatric disorders often share the same architecture, which may help explain why many genetic individuals diagnosed with one psychiatric disorder will be diagnosed with another in their lifetime, new research suggests. Investigators conducted a genetic analysis of 11 major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. “Our findings confirm that high comorbidity across some … Read more

The Psychopathic Brain: New Insight

Structural brain differences appear to distinguish psychopaths from individuals without psychopathic traits, new research shows. Using MRI, researchers found that the striatum was about 10% larger on average in adults with psychopathic traits than in matched control persons and that this relationship was mediated by stimulation seeking and impulse. The striatum is a subcortical region … Read more