Can Sensitivity to Common Smells Sniff Out Depression, Anxiety?

Sensitivity to specific common odors correlates with symptoms of depression or anxiety, new research shows. A study of more than 400 participants showed that symptoms of anxiety were associated with heightened awareness of floral scents or kitchen smells, while depression was to increased awareness of linked social odors including “good” and “bad” smells of other … Read more

Impaired Vision an Overlooked Dementia Risk Factor

Impaired vision in older adults is an underrecognized and modifiable dementia risk factor, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed estimated population attributable fractions (PAFs) associated with dementia in more than 16,000 older adults. A PAF represents the number of dementia cases that could be prevented if a given risk factor were eliminated. Results showed the PAF … Read more

Alcohol Dependence Drug the Next Anti-Anxiety Med?

Disulfiram, a US Food and Drug Admiistration (FDA)–approved medication for the treatment of chronic alcohol dependence, shows promise as a potential anxiolytic, early research suggests. Japanese researchers, headed by Akiyoshi Saitoh, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacy, Tokyo University of Science, compared the reactions of mice that received a classic anxiolytic agent (diazepam) to … Read more

A Novel Target in Schizophrenia?

AUT00206, a novel compound that targets potassium channels in brain interneurons, not only improves gamma oscillations in patients with schizophrenia, it also improves their symptoms, new randomized trial data suggest. In a randomized, double-blind study that included two dozen men with schizophrenia, AUT00206 compared with placebo increased the power of gamma oscillations, which were in … Read more

Psilocybin ‘Rewires’ the Brain to Alleviate Depression

New research points to a general mechanism that may explain how psychedelics act on the brain to alleviate depression and potentially other psychiatric conditions marked by fixed patterns of thinking, including rumination and excessive self-focus. Led by investigators from the University of California San Francisco and Imperial College London’s Center for Psychedelic Research, the findings … Read more

Novel Medication Tied to Better QoL in Major Depression

DENVER ― An investigational once-daily oral neuroactive steroid is linked to significant improvement in quality of life (QoL) and well-being in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), new research shows. In a phase 3 trial that included more than 500 adult patients with MDD, those who received zuranolone for 14 days showed greater improvement at … Read more

‘Alarming’ Rate of Suicidal Behavior in Long-term Care Residents

Suicidal behaviors are common in older adults — and especially older women, new research suggests. In a meta-analysis that included 20 studies and more than 3 million total individuals living in long-term care (LTC), the prevalence rate for suicidal behavior was more than 6%. In addition, the most common of these behaviors was suicidal ideation. … Read more

Microdosing Psychedelics: Untapped Potential in Psychiatry?

In her month-long memoir, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life (Knopf, 2017), author Ayelet Waldman turns herself into a one-woman experiment. Over a single month she takes one tenth of a recreational dose of LSD every third day. She plots her emotions, her … Read more

Unexpected Effect of Muscle Relaxation on Grief Severity

DENVER — A first-of-its-kind study evaluating a mindfulness intervention to ease unexpected grief showed that the control treatment, progressive muscle relaxation, was more effective. Dr Lindsey Knowles “Both progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness training were shown to improve severity, yearning, depression symptoms, and stress; [but] The results from this study suggest that progressive muscle relaxation … Read more

Psychedelics’ Interaction With Psych Meds: More Q’s Than A’s

Psychedelics, including psilocybin and MDMA, are promising for a variety of psychiatric disorders, but there are few data showing how these drugs interact with traditional psychiatric medications, new research shows. “Despite prolific psychedelic research and public interest, I was surprised to see little clinical research on how psilocybin and common psychiatric treatments interact,” study investigator … Read more