New Insight Into How Brain Stimulation Eases Major Depression

For the first time, researchers understand what happens to the brain when patients with treatment-resistant depression receive repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), they showed that rTMS induces widespread alterations in functional connectivity in brain regions involved in emotion and motor control. ‘How does rTMS work?’ is one of the … Read more

The Stigma Associated With Mental Illness and Antidepressants

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s easy to talk about the good, but when it comes to having real conversations about mental health, it’s sometimes an uphill battle. We see so much about mental well-being, services, and hotlines available for those in need. In fact, it’s almost expected for schools and workplaces to … Read more

Does Suicide Risk Show Up in the Blood?

Newly identified serum biomarkers have the potential to flag patients, via blood testing, with major depressive disorder (MDD) at high risk of suicide. Investigators found patients with MDD who died by suicide had a gene expression signature in blood distinct from patients with MDDwho died by other means. The signature included genes involved in stress … Read more

New Data Support Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression

Advocates and users of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have received further scientific backing: a retrospective cohort study has provided further evidence that ECT can prevent suicide among severely depressed patients. The patient cohort comprised 27,231 men and 40,096 women who had been treated as inpatients. The average age was 45.1 years (range: 18-103 years), and 4982 … Read more

Cannabinoids in Medicine: Limitless Hope or Hype?

What is the role of cannabinoids as an intoxicant and in medical applications today? This was the question addressed by Dieter Braus, MD, psychiatrist and neurologist at Vitos Clinic Rheingau in Eltville, Germany, at the DGIM Congress 2022. Dampening the Dopamine System Regardless of the type of substance-dependent addiction — whether alcohol, opiates, nicotine, or … Read more

Running to the Top: Exercise and Mental Health

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! We’ve probably been given this advice or know of others who have been given this advice time and time again… to eat healthier, and more important, to exercise. While exercise is not necessarily the cure-all for the world’s infections and diseases, it plays an important role in … Read more

What You Need to Know

Eating disorders are among the most prevalent, disabling, and potentially fatal psychiatric illnesses, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated their burden, with a 15.3% increase in incidence in 2020 compared with previous years.1 This increase was almost difficult among adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa (AN), which is often insidious in onset and more difficult to … Read more

Neuropsychiatric Risks of COVID: New Data

The neuropsychiatric ramifications of severe COVID-19 infection appear to be no different than for other severe acute respiratory infections (SARI). Results of a large study showed risks of new neuropsychiatric illness were significantly and similarly in adults surviving either severe COVID-19 infection or other SARI, compared with the general population. This suggests that disease severity, … Read more

The Role of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Major Depressive Disorder

This transcript has been edited for clarity. Madhukar Trivedi, MD: Hello. Welcome to the podcast. My name is Madhukar Trivedi. I’m professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and the founding director of the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care. Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce my colleague and friend, Dr Jonathan Downar, … Read more

Can Sensitivity to Common Smells Sniff Out Depression, Anxiety?

Sensitivity to specific common odors correlates with symptoms of depression or anxiety, new research shows. A study of more than 400 participants showed that symptoms of anxiety were associated with heightened awareness of floral scents or kitchen smells, while depression was to increased awareness of linked social odors including “good” and “bad” smells of other … Read more