TMS for Anxiety

Peter Forster Anxiety

“How effective is TMS for anxiety?” The young woman with a remarkable history of serious adverse effects from multiple trials of psychiatric medications for anxiety recently asked me this question. This post summarizes the results of a thoughtful literature search using the UCSF medical library, data from the Medical Affairs departments for two of the TMS manufacturers, and clinical experience at …

A New Model of Anxiety and Fear

Peter Forster Anxiety, Psychobiology

We often tell our patients that the treatment of anxiety is primarily through psychotherapy, in contrast to the treatment of mood disorders which is often based on medications or brain stimulation. In fact, it is one of the more frustrating aspects of psychiatry that there has been so little progress in terms of the biological treatments of anxiety and fear …

Benzodiazepines and Dementia

Peter Forster Insomnia Treatment

High use of benzodiazepines is not associated with an increased risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease according to a large prospective study published in the British Medical Journal. Previous research had suggested that there might be a link and we all know that single doses of benzodiazepines impair cognition and memory so it made sense that there might be such …

Chronic Pain and Depression

Peter Forster Major Depression, Physical Conditions and Health

Chronic pain and depression often co-occur in the relationship between the two experiences can be hard to separate. An important article just published in Biological Psychiatry (Barthas, et al) identifies 2 sets of circuits in the brain for processing pain: One is located in the anterior cingulate cortex and seems to be involved in the emotional experience of pain, the …