Will Mental Health Elements of Gun Law Prevent Mass Shootings?

On June 25, President Joe Biden signed into law the most extensive gun safety legislation in decades. Coming after a rash of mass shootings this year, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expands background checks for gun purchasers younger than 21 years and stiffens penalties against so-called straw purchasers, who buy a gun and sell it … Read more

Genetic Testing for Best Antidepressant Accurate, Cost-Effective

Genetic testing to determine the best antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) has the potential to lead to an optimal drug choice on the first try and reduce healthcare costs, new research suggests. CYP2D6 and CYP2C19, from the cytochrome P450 family, are involved in the metabolism and elimination of various molecules, including medications. … Read more

Opioid Use in the Elderly a Dementia Risk Factor?

Opioid use in the elderly is associated with an almost 40% increased risk of dementia, in new findings that suggest exposure to these drugs may be another modifiable risk factor for dementia. “Clinicians and others may want to consider that opioid exposure in those aged 75-80 increases dementia risk, and to balance the potential benefits … Read more

Abortion Debate May Affect Rx Decisions for Pregnant Women

Obstetrician Beverly Gray, MD, is already seeing the effects of the Roe v. Wade abortion debate in her North Carolina practice. Dr Beverly Gray The state allows abortion but requires that women get counseling with a qualified health professional 72 hours before the procedure. “Aside from that, we still have patients asking for more efficacious … Read more

Clozapine and Cancer Risk: New Data

Dr. Jari Tiihonen Long-term treatment with clozapine is associated with a small, but significant, risk of hematological malignancies in individuals with schizophrenia, new research shows. Investigators found long-term clozapine use of more than 5 years was linked to a 2.7-fold increased risk of hematological malignancies in a dose-dependent manner compared with other antipsychotics. “Our results … Read more

High Suicide, Depression Risks for Patients With Cancer

Living with cancer can be emotionally devastating. Now, two expansive studies underscore the scale of the burden a cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on patients’ mental health and risk of suicide. In one, a meta-analysis of 28 studies that included more than 22 million patients, researchers found that among people with cancer, the suicide … Read more

J&J’s Janssen Settles With WVa for $99M in Opioid Lawsuit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive $99 million in a settlement finalized Monday with Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. over the drugmaker’s role in perpetuating the opioid crisis in the state that has long led the nation in drug overdose deaths. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said during a news briefing … Read more

Top Drug Official Wants New Approach to Abuse Crisis

When a chemical spill left 300,000 West Virginians in need of clean drinking water and a public official they could trust, Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, was there. When the March of Dimes needed a voice to fight legislation that threatened to gut healthcare for pregnant women, Gupta was front and center. Dr Rahul Gupta, MD … Read more

New Data Focus Need for Tailored Schizophrenia Care in Elderly

Older adults with schizophrenia are not a homogenous patient population, with various subgroups that differ significantly in terms of comorbid illness and mortality rates and causes, new research shows. For example, individuals in a group characterized by substance use disorders (SUDs) had a depression prevalence of about 60% and relatively high death rates from unintentional … Read more

From COVID to Ukraine, Fighting Crisis Fatigue

In casual conversation these days, you’re likely to hear: “I’m just done with COVID.” The problem is the virus isn’t done with us, yet. Nor is Ukraine inflation, or nuclear threats, to name a few. The statistics 2 years into the pandemic are sobering, or should be. Deaths from COVID-19 in the United States are … Read more