US Ketamine Poisonings Up 81%

Ketamine poisonings in the United States increased 81% between 2019 and 2021, according to a new analysis of calls to poison control centers. Although the overall ketamine exposures were low, researchers say the findings add to a growing body of research that suggests recreational ketamine use may be on the rise. “Ketamine is by no … Read more

German ‘Island’ Aids Children and Adolescents With Addiction

They come from broken homes, from youth welfare organizations, or from the street. These are the addicted children and teenagers who seek help at Germany’s “Teen Spirit Island.” Medscape spoke to the pediatric and adolescent psychiatrist Frank M. Fischer, MD, senior physician of the Addiction and Trauma Therapy Ward at the Auf der Bult Children’s … Read more

FDA Serotonin Syndrome Warning Unnecessary?

The oral antibiotic linezolid does not increase risk for serotonin syndrome in patients taking antidepressants, new research suggests — contradicting a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2020 warning. Results from a study that included more than 1,100 patients who were prescribed linezolid, about 20% of whom were also taking antidepressants, showed that serotonin syndrome … Read more

Antipsychotic Use in Pregnancy: New Data

New data suggests that in general, antipsychotics are not associated with any increased risk of congenital malformations in a growing fetus, new data show. Dr Krista Huybrechts Overall, the findings suggest that antipsychotics are “not major teratogens and are therefore generally reassuring for women who require treatment with antipsychotics during pregnancy,” study investigator Krista Huybrechts, … Read more

Noninvasive Laser Therapy Tied to Improved Short-Term Memory

Transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM), a noninvasive laser light therapy, can improve short-term memory in young adults when applied to the right prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the brain, new research suggests. Investigators compared the effect of 1064 nm of tPBM delivered over a 12-minute session to the right PFC vs three other treatment arms: delivery of the … Read more

Improving Sleep Boosts Cognition in Refractory Epilepsy

NASHVILLE, Tennessee ― Targeting relevant sleep problems for patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) improves cognition, results of a new, double-blind, randomized controlled trial suggested. Study findings show significant improvement in REM sleep and language scores for patients with TLE who took the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil and better slow-wave sleep and memory scores for … Read more

Brain Imaging Validates Cognitive Problems After Lyme Disease

New imaging data show distinctive brain changes that appear to explain memory and cognitive problems following Lyme disease. Using fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques, investigators found changes in white matter and other brain tissues in patients with posttreatment Lyme disease (PTLD) in comparison with healthy control persons who did not have a history … Read more

Focusing on What Goes Right: The Safety-II Mindset

Amy C. Edmondson, known for her work in psychological safety and organizational behavior, squarely places healthcare organizations in the category of “complex systems.” In her article “Strategies for Learning from Failure,” she suggests that “failures are due to the inherent uncertainty of work.” The very nature of the work requires healthcare professionals to be skilled … Read more

Inhaled, Systemic Steroids Linked to Changes in Brain Structure

New research links the use of glucocorticoids with changes in white matter microstructure — which may explain the development of anxiety, depression, and other neuropsychiatric side effects related to these drugs, investigators say. Results from a cross-sectional study showed that use of both systemic and inhaled glucocorticoids was associated with widespread reductions in fractional anisotropy … Read more

I Missed It: Coping With Medical Error

Thursday Night It was 9 o’clock at night when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but decided to answer it anyway. It was my doctor. “Chase, I got your labs back and you have a critically low level. I spoke with someone at the hospital, I think I know what is happening, but … Read more