Shared Gene Expression

Shared Gene Expression in Mental Disorders

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Psychobiology Leave a Comment

Four distinct psychiatric disorders – autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression – have shared gene expression, according to research published online Feb. 8 in the journal Science. Researchers arrived at the study’s findings by analyzing RNA in 700 tissue samples from the brains of dead people who had autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression or alcohol abuse disorder, then comparing those samples …

Adult Onset ADHD

Adult Onset ADHD Symptoms – What Do They Mean?

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Other Psychiatric Disorders Leave a Comment

Adult onset ADHD symptoms – symptoms of inattentiveness or hyperactivity that are present in adulthood but did not exist to a clinically significant degree in childhood – have been the subject of much controversy in the research literature in the last three years. Until recently,  it was understood that ADHD had to have its onset in childhood. In other words …

psychosis risk prediction

Psychosis Risk Prediction

Peter Forster Best Practices, Diagnosis, Other Psychiatric Disorders Leave a Comment

Accurate psychosis risk prediction might allow us to provide early intervention and prevention services to young people at risk of developing psychosis. However our current tools for identifying those at risk are not able to accurately predict and identify those who might benefit from these services. A major step forward was the development of the concept of an At Risk …

Lurasidone for Depression with Mixed Features

Peter Forster Bipolar Treatment, Diagnosis, Major Depression, Treatments of Depression

Lurasidone (Latuda) May Treat Depression with Mixed Features A recently published clinical trial suggests that lurasidone, which is an atypical antipsychotic with strong evidence for efficacy in treating bipolar depression, may be associated with response in patients who, according to DSM5, do not meet criteria for bipolar disorder, but do have evidence of mixed features. The study points to the importance …

Another Blood Test for Depression

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Major Depression, Testing

We ran across a recent article that promised a “blood test for depression” and thought how strange it was that this article was being republished in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.  After all we wrote about a blood test for depression based on an article that appeared in translational psychiatry just a few months ago. Imagine my surprise when I …

Brain Morphometry Separates Bipolar vs Unipolar

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Psychobiology, Testing

Brain Morphometry refers to a technique for comparing the sizes of different structures in the brain. A new study suggests that using MRI scans of brains it is possible to distinguish between bipolar and unipolar depression with some degree of accuracy (70 – 80% accuracy). The study looked at two separate groups of patients, one from Munster, Germany and one …

Bipolar or Unipolar Depression?

Peter Forster Diagnosis

Bipolar or unipolar depression: How to distinguish between these two conditions, which can have very different treatment response remains a difficult question without really satisfying answers. As noted in the picture to the right, misdiagnosis is common and can have serious consequences. An article in European Psychiatry adds to the literature pointing to certain features that increase the odds that someone …

Blood Test for Depression

Peter Forster Basic Science, Diagnosis, Major Depression, Psychobiology, Testing, Treatments of Depression

How many times has a new patient in the clinic asked, “isn’t there a blood test for depression?” Always in the past we had to say that there were no reliable tests that could identify depression. There was some evidence that functional brain imaging could do so but the technique was expensive and experimental. In an article published in the …

Predicting Bipolar Disorder

Peter Forster Diagnosis, Testing

Predicting bipolar disorder might allow early intervention that could change the course of the condition, or prevent at risk adults or adolescents from developing severe mood swings. But is predicting bipolar disorder a reasonable goal? What is the science behind this effort? The August 2014 issue of Bipolar Disorders (the official journal of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders) has …