Great blog in which a man discusses his experience with depression and then his subsequent experience with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); an innovative and relative new form of treatment that uses a pulsed magnetic field to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. This new treatment offers a lot of promise and yet there are still a lot of questions to be answered regarding its efficacy and side effects that may result from the treatment. Read more here.
A growing number of researchers and psychiatrists are calling for a comeback for shock therapy. The treatment, which largely fell out of fashion after negative portrayals in Hollywood films and elsewhere in popular culture, should be considered a viable, effective treatment for some mental health conditions, the scientists said. Read more here.
Today, most psychiatrists rely on their education and experience to choose which of the dozens of FDA-approved antidepressants is likely to work best for a particular patient. But human biology (and especially the brain) is complex. So often, it’s not until a doctor’s second (or third or fourth…) “guess” that they land on a medication that’s effective. Now, psychiatrists can use something far more concrete to guide their antidepressant decisions: a patient’s DNA. Read more here.
Ketamine, which has been called “the most important discovery in half a century,” just got a step closer to becoming the first new depression drug in 35 years. Johnson & Johnson, one of the pharmaceutical companies pursuing the drug’s fast-acting antidepressant qualities, presented some promising new research on Saturday that could raise the drug’s profile as a potential treatment for the condition. Read more here.
Clinical studies show that regular aerobic exercise is effective as antidepressants in reducing mild to moderate depression. In fact, exercise causes the same structural changes to the brain as antidepressants do and is a treatment option that is not recommended enough and is underutilized in the United States. Read more here.
Ketamine has been called the biggest thing to happen to psychiatry in 50 years, due to its uniquely rapid and sustained antidepressant effects. However, although there are multiple theories, researchers do not quite know how ketamine combats depression. It is therefore hoped that new research has uncovered a mechanism that may, in part, explain ketamine’s antidepressant properties. Read about it here.
In response to the outcry following the Florida School Shootings, the Trump Administration is exploring expanding inpatient mental health treatment using medicaid funds. Read more here.
Obviously part of a huge debate across the country right now, mental illness has been unfairly scapegoated as the chief reason for gun violence in America. In this article doctors point out that, while additional recognition and resources for treating mental illness are welcome, the health epidemic resulting from deaths and injuries inflicted by assault weapons is staggering and cannot be alleviated by “treating mental illness.” Read the article here.
Connecting Patients to the drug that best fits their genetic makeup-a discipline called pharmacogenetics-is gaining in popularity, including amongst those suffering from mental illness. Recent research suggests that 2 in 3 Americans suffering from mental illness are interested in taking a genetic test to determine their best treatment plan. Read more here.
In answer to the question, ‘can we improve the success rates of treatment for depression?’ Dr. Azab answers with a ‘definite yes.’ She believes correctly and thoroughly diagnosing the interrelated yet distinct causes of depression is the key first step in doing so. Read more here.