Ketamine Promising for Rare Condition Linked to Autism

Ketamine may be an effective treatment for children with activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) syndrome, a rare genetic condition associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Also known as Helsmoortel–Van Der Aa syndrome, ADNP syndrome is caused by mutations in the ADNP gene. Studies in animal models suggest that low-dose ketamine increases expression of ADNP … Read more

Inhaled, Systemic Steroids Linked to Changes in Brain Structure

New research links the use of glucocorticoids with changes in white matter microstructure — which may explain the development of anxiety, depression, and other neuropsychiatric side effects related to these drugs, investigators say. Results from a cross-sectional study showed that use of both systemic and inhaled glucocorticoids was associated with widespread reductions in fractional anisotropy … Read more

I Missed It: Coping With Medical Error

Thursday Night It was 9 o’clock at night when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer it anyway. It was my doctor. “Chase, I got your labs back and you have a critically low level. I spoke with someone at the hospital, I think I know what is happening, but … Read more

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

Mortality After Hip Fracture Greater in Patients With Dementia

Patients with dementia are six times more likely to die after sustaining a hip fracture than are those without dementia, new research shows. Preliminary results from a registry-based study also showed that the percentage of participants who could not walk 4 months after a hip operation was almost double for those with dementia than it … Read more

Hypervigilance and Helplessness in Facing Death of a Patient

It’s an early Friday morning during the pandemic. I arrive at my clinic to find my 8 o’clock slot booked with a same-day patient. As a clinical psychologist embedded within a primary care team, I meet with patients at varying frequency. I had just met with this patient on Monday — twice in one week … Read more

FDA Denies Petition to Disqualify Researchers Over Controversial Ketamine Studies

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined to take further action against a group of investigators at Hennepin County Medical Center/Hennepin Healthcare (HCMC), who conducted controversial studies involving ketamine and other sedatives in agitated persons without their consent. A citizen filed by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, had asked the FDA to … Read more

Has the Anti-Benzodiazepine Backlash Gone Too Far?

When benzodiazepines were first introduced, they were greeted with enthusiasm. Librium came first, in 1960, followed by Valium in 1962, and they were seen as an improvement over barbiturates for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. From 1968 to 1982, Valium (diazepam) was the No. 1-selling US pharmaceutical: 2.3 billion tablets of Valium were … Read more

Women Have Made Strides in Medicine, but There Are Miles to Go

As a female physician, I was excited that March was recognized as International Women’s Month. Reflecting back on the day, I was happy about the strides the medical community has made in regards to including women and treating women as equals. As the only woman in my residency class, it is clear that the medical … Read more

Sublingual Dexmedetomidine May Rapidly Calm Bipolar Agitation

An investigational, orally dissolving formulation film of dexmedetomidine (BXCL501, BioXcel Therapeutics) can rapidly relieve mild to moderate acute agitation in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), new research suggests. The phase 3 SERENITY II trial included almost 400 adults with bipolar I or II disorder and acute agitation. Results showed relief from acute agitation kicked in … Read more