Chemokine Expression Predicts MDD Severity

Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) had significantly reduced expression of chemokine receptor 4 on blood T lymphocytes, which predicted disease severity in combination with polygenic risk scores in a study of 54 individuals. Chemokines and their receptors “influence neuroendocrine signaling, neurotransmission, and interaction between neurons and microglia and have therefore been suggested to be … 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

How Are Canadians Minding Their Mental Health During COVID?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian adults reported actively taking care of their mental health through activities such as staying in touch with loved ones and participating in hobbies, according to a new report. The vast majority of those who responded to a survey said they communicated with friends and family, and more than half … Read more

Mixed Results for Intensive Home Care for Psychiatric Crises

Intensive home treatment may offer an alternative to inpatient care for patients in acute psychiatric crisis — but the intervention is no outright alternative, new research suggests. In a randomized controlled trial of more than 200 participants, intensive home treatment was associated with a 34% decrease in the number of inpatient hospital days in the … 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

Anxiety Spreads From Mother to Daughter, Father to Son

Transmission of anxiety appears to be sex-specific ― spreading from mothers to daughters and from fathers to sons, new research shows. The new findings suggest that children learn anxious behavior from their parents, study investigator Barbara Pavlova, PhD, clinical psychologist with Nova Scotia Health Authority, told Medscape Medical News. “This means that transmission of anxiety … Read more

WHO Examines the Effects of Climate Change on Mental Health

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) a policy report to confront the launched strong and lasting impacts that climate change is having directly and indirectly on people’s mental health and psychosocial well-being. In addition to the high incidence of mental disorders (eg, emotional distress, stress, and suicidal behavior) affecting people worldwide, the WHO warned … Read more

Both Parents at Risk for Depression Following Birth

Physicians have screened new and expectant mothers for perinatal depression for years. But what about fathers? A new systematic review and meta-analysis suggests it’s time for healthcare providers to ask both parents about any mental health symptoms before and after their baby is born. Dr Kara Smythe “We are screening most mothers for signs of … 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

Hormonal Contraceptives Protective Against Suicide?

Contrary to previous analyses, women without a history of psychiatric illness who take combined hormonal contraceptives do not have an increased risk for attempted suicide but may have a reduced risk with extended use, new research suggests. In a study of more than 800 women younger than age 50 who attempted suicide and more than … Read more