RDOCS and DSM 5: Diagnosis and Psychiatry

Peter Forster Diagnosis

Tom Insel, the Director of the National Institute for Mental Health, to celebrate the release of DSM5 in May of 2013, famously announced that the manual was already irrelevant to psychiatric research. This quote from Psychology Today captures the moment fairly well. Just two weeks before DSM-5 is due to appear, the National Institute of Mental Health, the world’s largest funding agency …

Low Frequency Magnetic Stimulation is Rapid Antidepressant

Peter Forster Bipolar Treatment, Treatments of Depression

There is a lot of interest in an article that just appeared in Biological Psychiatry about a new magnetic stimulation technique that may be associated with rapid antidepressant effects in both unipolar and bipolar depression. Researchers at McLean Hospital were studying Low Frequency Magnetic Stimulation as a way of imaging the brains of bipolar patients and discovered that many of …

New Drug with New Mechanism for Insomnia – Suvorexant

Peter Forster Insomnia, Insomnia Treatment

Belsomra (suvorexant) was approved earlier this week by the FDA for use as needed to treat difficulty in falling and staying asleep. ​ The drug blocks receptors for orexin – also known as hypocretin – the master hypothalamic regulator of the sleep-wake cycle. There are, in fact, two forms of orexin, A and B; hence it is a dual orexin …

Depression Costs US 200 Billion Dollars Per Year

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Treatments of Depression

A meta-analysis of more than 60 clinical studies covering almost 60,000 adult patients estimates that the total cost in the United States of the treatment of patients with depression is in the range of $188 billion to $200 billion. Roughly a third of all costs ($64 billion) are related to people with treatment-resistant depression, who represent only a fraction of all cases. The article, “A Review of the Clinical, Economic, …

Biomarker for Suicidality

admin Testing, Treatments of Depression

A just published study by Jerry Guintivano, et al, in the July issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry reports having identified a gene that seemed to predict suicide. The study used one population to identify the risk association and then confirmed it prospectively in a second population. Zachary Kaminsky, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at …

Lithium Treats Bipolar Depression

admin Bipolar Treatment

In a special symposium on bipolar disorder at the 2014 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, researcher Mike Bauer reviewed a new meta-analysis that showed lithium not only has significant effects in preventing manias, but also depressions. Mike Bauer is currently the Director and Executive Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, and the Physician-in-Chief, at the Psychiatric Hospital …

Simple Test May Predict Which Antidepressant Will Work

admin Treatments of Depression

A simple laboratory test may predict which antidepressant will work best. This is the result of a study reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry by a team of Canadian and European researchers. The study was part of larger research program (Genome-Based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression – an effort to find biomarkers to guide medication selection) and it identified C-reactive …

Antidepressants are not Effective for Bipolar Depression

admin Bipolar Treatment

Mark Frye, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic, gave a lecture on antidepressants in bipolar illness at the 2014 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. The newest data from meta-analyses indicate that traditional antidepressants that are effective in unipolar depression are not effective in bipolar depression. Some patient groups, especially those with very early onset depression …

Questions and Answers about Cognitive Therapy from Judith Beck

admin General

Judith S. Beck, Ph.D. Director, Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research Q: What is cognitive therapy? A: Cognitive therapy is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective in over three hundred clinical trials for many different disorders. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is usually more …

Vortioxetine a New Antidepressant

admin Treatments of Depression

Vortioxetine (Brintellix) is a new antidepressant that has a range of effects on serotonin receptors, making it different from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most common type of antidepressants, which work only on the serotonin transporter. Researcher Johan Areberg et al. reported at the 2014 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that the drug is an antagonist at receptors …