Novel Smartphone App Helps Reduce Fear of Cancer Recurrence

A novel “smartphone psychotherapy” application has been shown to relieve some of the anxiety and fear about cancer recurrence (FCR) that often causes distress to cancer survivors. The intervention is comprised of smartphone problem-solving therapy and behavioral activation apps, and was tested in a study that involved 447 survivors of breast cancer. The results showed … Read more

1 in 7 Mortality Postsurgery; ECT and MDE; and Monkeypox News

One in Seven Older Adults Die Within 1 Year After Surgery One in seven older adults die within 1 year of major surgery. The risk for mortality is higher among people older than 80 years or who are frail or may have dementia, according to a new study of community-living individuals. The study did not … Read more

ECT Tops Ketamine for Major Depression

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is more effective than intravenous (IV) ketamine for patients experiencing a major depressive episode (MDE) in new findings that are in line with the KetECT study ― the first head-to-head trial of ketamine and ECT. As reported by Medscape Medical News, the KetECT trial was published earlier this year. It showed that … Read more

Self-Worth Training Boosts Ketamine’s Effects in Severe Depression

A simple computer-based neurocognitive training program that emphasizes self-worth can extend the antidepressant effects of ketamine for up to 30 days in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), new research suggests. The double-blind, randomized clinical trial is the first to assess combining ketamine with a low-cost protective learning program, researchers note. They add that the findings … Read more

Heart Failure Drug a New Treatment Option for Alcoholism?

Spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic typically used to treat heart failure and hypertension, shows promise in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), new research suggests. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and Yale University School of Medicine investigated the impact of spironolactone on AUD. Initially, … Read more

MDD Tied to Childhood Trauma Is Treatable

Despite a higher symptom burden, patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and a history of childhood trauma (CT) can achieve significant recovery following treatment with a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, new research suggests. Results from a meta-analysis of 29 studies from 1966 to 2019, which included almost 7000 adults with MDD, showed that more … Read more

Visual Impairment More Common in Minority Youth

Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are closely associated with visual impairments in adolescents in the United States, researchers have found. The study showed that adolescents who identified as Black, Mexican-American, of low-income, or as non-US citizens were two to three times more likely than White adolescents to report vision problems and to perform worse on … Read more

Urgent Need for Research Into Psychedelic Tx for Older Adults

Older age is associated with many health conditions that could potentially benefit from psychedelic-assisted therapy, yet very few older adults have been included in clinical trials of psychedelics, new research shows. “Geriatric psychiatrists and others caring for older adults are interested in how much is known about psychedelic use in older adults,” study investigator C. … Read more

Time to Test Effects of CBD in Cardiovascular Disease?

Well-designed clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) for cardiovascular disease are needed, based on evidence from preclinical studies showing that it has anti-inflammatory effects, a new report suggests. The systematic review of nine preclinical studies found reproducible positive adverse outcomes in vivo models with CBD. Mechanisms for the findings included … Read more

Easing the Trauma of Terminal Illness

Something was gnawing at Manish Agrawal, MD. Every day, the oncologist treated patients with standard cancer therapies, but his care could never touch their deepest pains: their despair about death. “In 20 years, I’ve treated close to 100,000 patients,” Agrawal says, “and the one thing I know we don’t do well is dying.” Hospitalist Shoshana … Read more