Posts tagged ‘mental health news’

November 9, 2009

Mental Health News Roundup

Washington Post-At Walter Reed, a palpable strain on mental-health system
More than two years after the nation’s political and military leaders pledged to improve mental-health care, their promises have fallen short at military hospitals around the country, according to mental-health professionals, Army officials, and wounded soldiers and their families. Those hospitals include Walter Reed, where the man accused of the Fort Hood shootings, Nidal M. Hasan, spent four years as a psychiatric intern, resident and fellow.

ABC News-Treating Depression in Teens Has Lasting Benefits

Dr. John March, of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues found that the treatment benefits in terms of lower levels of depression and suicidal thoughts observed at the end of active treatment persisted during follow-up. In addition, the findings demonstrate that longer-term treatment results in clinically meaningful improvement even when active treatment is stopped, they report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

USA Today-Eastern ‘collectivist’ culture may buffer against depression
People who live in Western culture may get depressed more than those from East Asian culture because Westerners don’t have the cultural support that can protect them from a genetic vulnerability to depression, suggests a new study from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill..

US News-Depression May Blur Memory of Aches and Pains: Expert suggests having people write down symptoms as they occur
Depressed people tend to report more physical symptoms than they actually experience, a new study finds.

CNN Money-Depression Treatments Reviewed by NeuroInvestment

HealthScout-Therapy better than light treatment for SAD: study
Cognitive behavioral therapy specially designed to treat people with SAD is more effective at preventing recurrences of depression than either light therapy or a combination of the two, the study found.

Medical News Today-American Psychiatric Association Encourages Passage Of House Healthcare Reform Proposals
While H.R. 3962 is – like any legislation – not perfect, Schatzberg notes in the letter to the Speaker, the APA clearly recognizes that it offers many benefits for psychiatrists and other physicians and, most importantly, for patients and their families. These include:
— Expanding health insurance coverage to millions of Americans who now lack it.
— Ending pre-existing condition exclusions. This alone will be of direct benefit to our patients, even more so when coupled with the elimination of lifetime limits, barring insurers from varying premiums due to health status, and adding coverage of young adults up to age 27 on their parents’ insurance.
— Establishing a public insurance option within the Health Insurance Exchange while preserving voluntary physician participation in public plans.
— Ensuring that coverage of treatment for mental illness, including substance use disorders, is required as part of the required basic benefits package for all insurance marketed within the Exchange, while avoiding loopholes that might inadvertently have undermined mental health “parity” coverage.
— Extending until 2011 the current mental health add-on as enacted in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.
— In conjunction with H.R. 3961, eliminating the pending 21% reduction in the Medicare payment update for physicians, while permanently reforming the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula that is the source of these draconian annual cuts.

September 19, 2009

mental-health news roundup

Here are some interesting news I found before I left town for the weekend.

Drinking, Weight, Depression linked in Young Women: US News & World Report

"A study in the September/October issue of General Hospital Psychiatry found that women with alcohol abuse issues at age 24 had three times the risk of obesity by age 27. And women who were obese at 27, the researchers found, were twice as likely to be depressed by the time they turned 30."

Telehealth to manage Depression: Psychcentral
"German researchers report positive result from a new means to monitor depression managed by a primary care practice. The method involves monthly phone calls to patients with depression by health care assistants."

Biomarker Predicts Response to Antidepressant Treatment : Medscape Medical News
"These findings suggest that the biomarker, used early in treatment, may help identify not only whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor but also whether a patient is likely to respond if switched to a different antidepressant early in treatment."

Study: 8 million Americans consider suicide: AP
"About 32,000 suicides occur in the United States each year, but a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicates that many more give the idea serious thought. The new SAMHSA report is based on a survey of 46,190 people aged 18 and older. In the past, the question about suicide had only been asked of people who reported major depression but in 2008 it was added to all questionnaires."

September 14, 2009

All the mental-health news fit to this post

Thanks to, I gathered up some recent news in the world of mental health:

Yale Researchers Succeed In Repairing Brain Damage Caused By Chronic Stress, Lead Poisoning, Potential Implications For Bipolar Disorder

” These findings have direct relevance to our understanding of bipolar disorder, where genetic insults increase protein kinase C signaling which may be associated with a loss of prefrontal grey matter and behavioral control.”

Depression increases cancer patients’ risk of dying

“‘We found an increased risk of death in patients who report more depressive symptoms than others and also in patients who have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder compared to patients who have not,’ said Satin. In the combined studies, the death rates were up to 25 percent higher in patients experiencing depressive symptoms and 39 percent higher in patients diagnosed with major or minor depression.”

Ketamine reduces suicidality in depressed patients: Science Daily

“Ketamine acutely reduced suicidal thoughts when patients were assessed 24 hours after a single infusion. This reduction in suicidality was maintained when patients received repeated doses over the next two weeks.”

Study: Mild depression in teens often gets worse (

“Teenagers who experience mild depression are more likely to suffer from major depression, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders as adults, researchers say. The investigators say their finding suggests that it’s vital to provide support and assistance to teens who show two or more persistent depression symptoms.”

Study: Social networks benefit our health (

“It’s much cheaper than medication, with far fewer side effects, and is also much more enjoyable.”

April 3, 2009

In Other Mental Health News…

U.S. government is now offering mental health plan via website as the economy places more stress on its constituents.

Authors of psychological treatment guidelines often tied to drug companies – The Boston Globe

Affordable housing has reduced use of mental health facilities – FOX Business

Suicidal thoughts, high blood pressure associated with insomnia -CNN
Though FDA is still debating over the risks of the drug Seroquel, apparently Ireland has approved Seroquel XL for treatment of bipolar disorder, according to  Irish Medical Times. Last month, the Kaiser Family Health Report also pointed out that an unpublished study linked Seroquel to weight gain and diabetes (the original article was in The Washington Post).

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