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

How Nature Nurtures the Brain: New Imaging Data

Getting close to nature has a positive impact on brain regions involved in stress processing. In a study of healthy adults, researchers observed a decrease in activity in the amygdala after a 1-hour walk in the forest, but not after a stroll on a busy city street. “The results support the previously assumed positive relationship … Read more

Home-Based Stimulation Linked to ‘Clear Improvement’ in Adult ADHD

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) using a home-based device can help improve attention in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are not taking stimulants, new research suggests. Results from the sham-controlled trial also showed that the tDCS treatment was both safe and well tolerated. Overall, the findings suggest that the device could be a nondrug … Read more

Quitting Smoking Can Halt Dangerous Drinking, Too

Medications that help smokers quit appear to have another benefit: reducing heavy drinking. Researchers in the United States and Russia have found that a variety of therapies to reduce the craving for nicotine ― including prescription and over-the-counter medications ― cut smoking and drinking levels in tandem. People who stopped smoking entirely reduced their drinking … Read more

Local Public Health Efforts in Schools May Not Work

Efforts to prevent and curb substance use in schools through public health engagement (PHE) appear to be effective where use of cigarettes and cannabis is high but had the opposite impact in where use of alcohol and cannabis is low, according to a cross-sectional study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health. The study … 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

A Hit and a Miss for Novel Autism Drug

Balovaptan, a novel drug that binds to and blocks vasopressin 1A (V1a) receptors, does not improve social communication in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), new research shows. Efficacy analysis from a phase 2 trial included more than 160 participants, making it the largest of its kind to date, convicts note. Although the … Read more

How Physicians Can Combat Gun Violence: Lessons From Tobacco

Emotion not reason drives belief. People defend their feelings with reasons, but they are really rationalizations —conscious explanations for unconscious causes. That’s how we vote; that’s how we believe or disbelieve in religion; that’s how we take sides on a myriad of social and cultural issues. A century of psychiatric knowledge and research, including twin … Read more

Bullying People With Hidden Disabilities Creates Misery, Fear

Bullying of disabled people is extensive. According to a Columbia University study, 1 in 3 disabled children have globally experienced violence. It is not only children who are the target of bullying; bias against disabled adults is also common. In my almost 30 years of treating people with disabilities, I have seen the intense emotional … Read more

Novel Long-Acting Injection Cuts Schizophrenia Relapse

A long-acting subcutaneous antipsychotic (LASCA) suspension that combines risperidone with a novel copolymer substantially reduces both risk for relapse and time to impending relapse for patients with schizophrenia, new research suggests. In the phase 3 Risperidone Subcutaneous Extended-release (RISE) trial, which included more than 500 patients with schizophrenia, those who received the novel combination treatment, … Read more