Folic Acid Tied to a Reduction in Suicide Attempts

Prescription folic acid, a synthetic form of vitamin B9, may provide a safe and effective approach for decreasing suicidal ideation, new research suggests. After adjusting for multiple factors, results from a large pharmaco-epidemiological study showed taking folic acid was associated with a 44% reduction in suicide events. Dr Robert Gibbons “These results are really putting … Read more

A ‘Setback’ for Anti-inflammatory Treatment in Depression

The broad-spectrum antibiotic minocycline (multiple brands) is not effective when added to standard antidepressant therapy, the largest randomized controlled trial of minocycline in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) shows. In the MinoTRD trial, 6 weeks of minocycline 200 mg daily added to stable antidepressant therapy did not show a statistically significant advantage over placebo on the overall … Read more

Expert Views on Psychoactive Drugs at Odds With US Policy

Psychiatrists’ perceptions of the safety, therapeutic value, and abuse potential of psychoactive drugs are inconsistent with current drug policy, results from a new survey show. Adam Levin, MD “The consensus among experts, including psychiatrists, about specific drugs is not consistent or congruent with the schedule of these drugs” in the United States, lead author Adam … Read more

What Ketamine and Psilocybin Can and Cannot Do in Depression

Recent studies with hallucinogens have raised hopes for an effective drug-based therapy to treat chronic depression. At the German Congress of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Torsten Passie, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the Hannover Medical School, gave a presentation on the current state of psilocybin and ketamine/esketamine research. Passie, who also is … Read more

A Novel Target to Improve Outcomes in Late-Life Depression?

A new study sheds light on the neurologic underpinnings of late-life depression (LLD) with apathy and its frequently poor response to treatment. Investigators headed by Faith Gunning, PhD, of the Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, analyzed baseline and posttreatment brain MRIs and functional MRIs (fMRIs) of older adults with depression who … Read more

Pharmacogenomic Testing May Curb Drug Interactions in MDD

Pharmacogenetic testing, which is used to classify how patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) metabolize medications, reduces adverse drug-gene interactions, new research shows. In a randomized clinical trial that included almost 2000 adults with MDD, patients in the pharmacogenomics-guided group were more likely to receive an antidepressant that had no drug-gene interaction than the patients … 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

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … Read more

Unique Primary Care Model Effective for Comorbid Depression, PTSD

A unique primary care program successfully manages patients with depression and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, if widely implemented may result in more rapid treatment and help alleviate wait times for specialty psychiatric care. Zachary Zuschlag, MD “We know there are strains on the mental healthcare system, and sometimes something as simple as getting … Read more

Death Risk Spikes With New Onset-Depression After RA Diagnosis

The development of depression after a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis increased the risk for death “more than sixfold” when compared with having no depression at diagnosis, according to Danish researchers. Cumulative mortality at 10 years was approximately 37% in patients with comorbid RA and depression versus around 13.5% of RA patients with no depression, Jens Kristian … Read more