Does Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Augment CBT for Depression?

Noninvasive brain stimulation does not appear to augment cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), new research shows. Results of a multicenter, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials showed adjunctive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was not superior to sham-tDCS plus CBT or CBT alone. “Combining these interventions do not lead to added … Read more

Virtual Reality Therapy Promising for Agoraphobia

A novel virtual reality (VR) intervention significantly reduces agoraphobia in patients with psychosis, new research suggests. The cognitive-behavioral therapy-based treatment was particularly effective for patients with the highest level of avoidance of everyday situations. “Virtual reality is an inherently therapeutic medium which could be extremely useful in mental health services,” study investigator Daniel Freeman, PhD, … Read more

How Can We Help Refugees With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

This article was originally published in Italian on Univadis . The arrival of Ukrainian refugees in Italy, and especially the arrival of women and children coming from the cities most affected by the attacks, has made local medical services the first point of contact for the diagnosis and care of the psychological effects of war. … Read more

Ukraine and PTSD: How Psychiatry Can Help

The war in Ukraine is resulting in a devastating loss of life, catastrophic injuries, and physical destruction. But the war also will take an enormous mental health toll on millions of people, resulting in what I think will lead to an epidemic of posttraumatic stress disorder. Think about the horrors that Ukrainians are experiencing. Millions … Read more

Psychiatrist Steps Up to Deliver Precious Cargo to Ukraine

Just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, child and adolescent psychiatrist Dennis Ougrin, MBBS, PhD, and his wife Roxanne Litynska, who are both originally from Lviv, drove their car full of critical cargo from London to Przemyśl — a Polish border town that was experiencing a huge influx of refugees fleeing the war. The vehicle was … 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

Patients With Heart Failure May Need Psychological Treatment

Depression and other psychosocial risk factors can foster the onset of heart failure and exacerbate its course. The significance of this connection is often underestimated, however. A position paper by the European Association of Preventive Cardiology therefore recommends that psychosocial risk factors be more integrated into the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure. “Patients … Read more

The Importance of Treating Insomnia in Psychiatric Illness

Insomnia rates continue to rise in the setting of the pandemic,1 Contributing to increasing rates of depression and anxiety, as well as worsening symptoms of other severe mental illnesses. Data suggests this symptom, defined as chronic sleep onset and/or sleep continuity problems associated with impaired daytime functioning, is common in psychiatric illnesses, and can worsen … Read more

High-Intensity Exercise Helps Patients With Anxiety Quit Smoking

DENVER ― High-intensity exercise may help patients with anxiety quit smoking, new research shows. Results from a randomized study of 150 participants reporting symptoms of anxiety showed that among daily smokers who received a personalized, high-intensity aerobic intervention, rates of smoking abstinence were nearly twice as great as for those who received a lower-intensity exercise … Read more

Executive Function Deficits a New Treatment Target for PTSD?

DENVER — Deficits in executive function are linked to with development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and exacerbation of such symptoms over time, new research suggests. “To our knowledge, this study is the first to show that executive function deficits maintain PTS symptoms following trauma exposure,” investigators note in research presented here at the … Read more