Pandemic May Be Limiting ED Access for Sexual Assault

Emergency department (ED) encounters for sexual assault increased before the COVID-19 pandemic, decreased immediately after lockdowns were implemented, and fluctuated as the pandemic continued, an analysis of more than 10,000 such visits in Canada’s most populous province shows. Dr Katherine Muldoon “In 2020, we hoped that the COVID pandemic would only last a few months. … Read more

Overdose Deaths up 81% in Pregnant, Postpartum Women

Drug overdose deaths in pregnant and postpartum women rose by about 81% from 2017 to 2020, researchers report in a JAMA research letter published online Dec. 6. Pregnancy-associated overdose deaths were highest in 2020 as the COVID pandemic began, according to the researchers, Emilie Bruzelius, MPH, and Silvia S. Martins, MD, PHD, with the department … Read more

Telepsychiatry Tips: Etiquette and Ethics

From providing virtual therapy sessions to patients in the front seats of their cars, to sessions with patients who turn out to be in another state, the new paradigm of telepsychiatry is presenting clinicians with a host of situations with unwritten or constantly changing rules. Dr Sanjay Gupta But key practice tips are emerging for … Read more

Sexual Assault-Related Visits to the ED Are on the Rise

Visits to emergency departments (EDs) following sexual assault increased 15-fold from 2006 through 2019, as determined from a national database of visits to hospitals in the United States. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) show an increase in reported rapes and sexual assaults (SAs) since 2006, and studies of victims show an increased … Read more

Heart Failure Drug a New Treatment Option for Alcoholism?

Spironolactone, a potassium-sparing diuretic typically used to treat heart failure and hypertension, shows promise in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), new research suggests. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and Yale University School of Medicine investigated the impact of spironolactone on AUD. Initially, … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

CDC Says About 20% Get Long COVID. New Models Try Define It

As the number of people persistent, and sometimes debilitating, symptoms from COVID-19 increases, researchers have struggled to pinpoint exactly how common so-called “long COVID” is, as well as how to clearly define exactly who has it or who is likely to get it. Now, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers have concluded that … Read more

Study Provides New Data on Isotretinoin and Psychiatric Effects

The use of isotretinoin to treat acne was not associated with an increase in adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes, compared with the use of oral antibiotics, in a large retrospective cohort study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. Although severe neuropsychiatric effects associated with isotretinoin therapy in patients with acne have been reported, “the evidence base…is … Read more

Disparities Shrink With Aggressive Depression Screening

An analysis at a large academic health system suggests that universal screening might help to reduce problematic disparities in depression treatment. The study began soon after the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended depression screening for all adults in 2016. The task force based this recommendation on evidence that people who are screened and treated … 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