Mental Illness Tied to More Healthcare Use Among Homeless

Among adults experiencing homelessness in Ontario, Canada, those with a mental illness are more likely to use emergency, inpatient, and physician services, according to a new report. In general, homelessness is associated with higher healthcare needs, hospitalizations, and primary care appointments, compared with low-income control groups, the study authors wrote. At the same time, healthcare … Read more

Marital Stress Tied to Worse Outcome in Young MI Patients

Severe marital stress was associated with worse recovery after myocardial infarction (MI) in a large US cohort of married/partnered patients aged 55 years or younger. Compared with patients who reported no or mild marital stress a month after their MI, patients who reported severe marital stress had worse physical and mental health, worse generic and … Read more

Impaired Communication May Predict Coercive Psychiatric Care

Psychiatric patients with impaired communication abilities were significantly more likely to be admitted involuntarily to inpatient care and to experience coercive measures after admission, based on data from more than 1,500 individuals. Celline Cole Despite improvements in reducing coercive measures in psychiatric inpatient care, both involuntary admission and coercive measures remain in use in many … Read more

Major Depression Treatments Boost Brain Connectivity

VIENNA — Inpatient treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) can lead to brain connectivity increases that are associated with degree of symptom improvement, new research suggests. In a “repeat” MRI study, adult participants with MDD had significantly lower brain connectivity compared with their healthy peers at baseline — but showed significant improvement at the 6-week … Read more

Four Commonly Abused Drugs Linked With Atrial Fibrillation

Cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, and cannabis may independently increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), based on data from almost 24 million people. While more work is needed to uncover causal links, physicians should be aware that these commonly abused substances could be driving new cases of AFib, reported investigators from the University of California, San … Read more

‘Disturbing’ Lack of Follow-up Care After a Psychiatric Crisis

There is a concerning lack of follow-up care for young people who experience a mental health crisis, new research suggests. Results from a large database study showed less than half of youth and young adults hospitalized for a psychiatric event received follow-up care within 7 days. The follow-up rate was less than 30% for those … Read more

Gut Microbiota Disruption a Driver of Aggression in Schizophrenia?

Disturbances in the gut may help explain why some patients with schizophrenia are aggressive whereas others are not, new research suggests. However, at least one expert expressed concerns over the study’s conclusions. Results from a study of 50 inpatients with schizophrenia showed significantly higher pro-inflammation, pro-oxidation, and leaky gut biomarkers in those with aggression vs … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

Toward a New Open-Door Model for Psychiatric Wards

If isolated, patients with mental disorders may end up having higher levels of social impairment. This has led several hospitals in Spain to set up open-door departments that are more accessible. The purpose of the open-door model is to help remove the stigma from individuals who need to be admitted to a psychiatric ward because … Read more

Ketamine Linked to Reduced Suicidal Thoughts, Depression, Anxiety

Ketamine infusions can help reduce symptoms of suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), new research suggests. Results from a retrospective chart review analysis, which included more than 400 participants with TRD, illustrated that ketamine is a safe and rapid treatment in a real-world patient population, lead author Patrick A. Oliver, … Read more