Deep Brain Stimulation Effective for OCD, but Barriers Persist

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is safe and effective for individuals with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that has been resistant to conventional therapy, a meta-analytic review confirms. “DBS is a viable option for treatment-resistant OCD that can be expected to produce a significant clinical benefit in about 2 out of 3 cases,” study investigator Wayne Goodman, … Read more

Toward a New Open-Door Model for Psychiatric Wards

If isolated, patients with mental disorders may end up having higher levels of social impairment. This has led several hospitals in Spain to set up open-door departments that are more accessible. The purpose of the open-door model is to help remove the stigma from individuals who need to be admitted to a psychiatric ward because … Read more

California Governor OKs Mental Health Courts for Homeless

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With more than 100,000 people living on California’s streets, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its kind law on Wednesday that could force some of them into treatment as part of a program he describes as “care” but opponents argue is cruel. Newsom signed the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment Act on … Read more

A ‘Setback’ for Anti-inflammatory Treatment in Depression

The broad-spectrum antibiotic minocycline (multiple brands) is not effective when added to standard antidepressant therapy, the largest randomized controlled trial of minocycline in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) shows. In the MinoTRD trial, 6 weeks of minocycline 200 mg daily added to stable antidepressant therapy did not show a statistically significant advantage over placebo on the overall … Read more

Mental Disorders Up in Youth With Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

Exposure to cannabis in the womb may leave children at risk for psychiatric disorders and problematic substance abuse, particularly as they enter peak periods of vulnerability in late adolescence, new research shows. In a study published September 12 in JAMA Pediatrics, the investigators say the results should prompt further caution against the use of cannabis … Read more

How Nature Nurtures the Brain: New Imaging Data

Getting close to nature has a positive impact on brain regions involved in stress processing. In a study of healthy adults, researchers observed a decrease in activity in the amygdala after a 1-hour walk in the forest, but not after a stroll on a busy city street. “The results support the previously assumed positive relationship … Read more

Hepatitis C Meds Linked to Improved PTSD Symptoms

The combination of the two antiviral medications glecaprevir and pibrentasvir (Mavyret) is linked to improved symptoms in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research suggests. A national cohort study of US Department of Veterans Affairs patients included more than 250 participants with PTSD and comorbid hepatitis C virus. Results showed the glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (GLE/PIB) combo was more … Read more

CA Lawmakers Approve Mental Health Care Plan for Homeless

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will establish a new court program to steer — even force — homeless people with severe mental disorders into treatment after lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal pitched in March by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Senate unanimously agreed to changes approved in the Assembly late Tuesday, … Read more

Subtle Visual Dysfunctions Often Precede Early-Stage Psychosis

Subtle subjective visual dysfunctions (VisDys) are common and are associated with poorer outcomes of patients with schizophrenia and recent-onset psychosis or who are at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, new research suggests. A multinational group of investigators found that said Vis-more often by patients with recent onset psychosis and CHR than by those with … Read more

Expert Views on Psychoactive Drugs at Odds With US Policy

Psychiatrists’ perceptions of the safety, therapeutic value, and abuse potential of psychoactive drugs are inconsistent with current drug policy, results from a new survey show. Adam Levin, MD “The consensus among experts, including psychiatrists, about specific drugs is not consistent or congruent with the schedule of these drugs” in the United States, lead author Adam … Read more