Mechanical Touch Therapy Device Promising for Anxiety

An at-home investigational device is a promising noninvasive therapeutic approach for anxiety disorders, results from an open-label pilot trial suggest. The small study showed users of the Mechanical Affective Touch Therapy (MATT) had improved anxiety and depression symptoms, which corresponded to positive changes in alpha and theta oscillatory activity. Dr Linda Carpenter “MATT is part … Read more

ADHD Genetic Risk Probed as Biomarker for Alzheimer

The study covered in this summary was published in medrxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer-reviewed. Key Takeaways Elderly patients with a high attention deficit hyperactivity disorder polygenic risk score but no clinical ADHD diagnosis are at elevated risk for progressive longitudinal cognitive deterioration. Cognitive decline was most common in people with … Read more

‘Fragmented’ Speech Patterns May Predict Psychosis Relapse

Patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) show altered speech patterns and content that could pinpoint symptom severity — and help predict future relapse, two new studies suggest. In the first study, an algorithm was created to analyze speech patterns and semantic content to create novel “speech networks.” Compared with their healthy peers, patients with FEP had … 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

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

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

Brain Implant Allows Fully Paralyzed Patient to Communicate

An experimental brain-computer interface has allowed a man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who was unable to speak or move to communicate. Using a commercially available implant and newly designed software, the patient, who was in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease and unable to move his eyes, was able to interact with researchers … Read more

Navigating Graduate School

Navigating life is challenging, whether you’re a student, performing an entry-level position, or are well established in your career. As the environment around us is constantly changing and roles are ever-evolving, there may never be a “catch-all” solution to navigating these challenges. For the longest time, my goal was to become a physician. When I … Read more

Why I Left Pharma — After ‘Leaving’ Academia for Pharma

Why don’t we have better psychiatric drugs? After a few years in the pharmaceutical industry, I think I finally understand why. Four years ago, I left full-time academic employment to take full-time research employment at a pharmaceutical company. I wrote a commentary about it for Medscape soon thereafter titled “How Academia Left Me.” Now it’s … Read more