Responding to parents’ concerns about the safety and tolerability of medications used to treat pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Association have released a medication guide for parents of children with the disorder.
The guide, available at www.ParentsMedGuide.org, provides information on symptoms, treatment options, types of medications, side effects, and co-occurring disorders.
ParentsMedGuide.org also offers a medication guide for parents of children with depression.
Two genetic markers might increase a patient’s risk of suicidality during antidepressant treatment, new findings suggest.
Researchers collected DNA samples from 1,915 patients during the first phase of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial. The patients had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and were receiving the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram.
Patients assessed their suicide risk by completing item 12 of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology—Self Report, which asks about “thoughts of death or suicide.” Patients who scored zero on this question before taking citalopram but scored 1, 2, or 3 at least once during treatment were considered to have treatment-emergent suicidality.
Compared with other study groups, patients with both genetic markers had the highest prevalence of suicidal thoughts. No one in the high-risk group attempted suicide but 2 other participants did; one of these persons had both markers.
The findings appear in the October American Journal of Psychiatry.
The bill, which President Bush signed into law Sept. 27, will empower FDA to order studies, strengthen and improve access to clinical trial data, and require label changes for medications.
The legislation will enable FDA to:
• adopt scientific approaches and improve existing tools for detecting and preventing adverse events
• implement a comprehensive system of electronic access to clinical trial data
• improve disclosure of private and public clinical research and agency decision-making
• create a program to review drug company advertising.
The law also will reduce FDA’s reliance on outside advisors and enhance its ability to monitor the safety of drugs on the market.
Cancer exacts the same emotional impact on patients and their spouses, and the toll increases with severity of illness, new findings suggest.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center asked 263 men with prostate cancer and their spouses to rate their quality of life, taking into account physical, social, family, emotional, and functional issues.
Quality of life varied little between patients and spouses but differed greatly based on phase of illness. Couples coping with advanced cancer had significantly poorer overall quality of life than did newly diagnosed men and their spouses.
Compared with patients, spouses also felt less able to manage the illness and received less social support.
The researchers—whose findings appear in the Sept. 20 Journal of
Clinical Oncology—call for interventions that target both spouses and patients.
The Dalai Lama will meet with neuroscientists, academic leaders, and mental health professionals during a daylong conference at Emory University October 20.
“Mind and Life XV: Mindfulness, Compassion and the Treatment of Depression” is jointly presented by the Mind and Life Institute and Emory. Thought leaders will discuss various aspects of spiritual and mental well-being, including:
• early life factors in depression
• neurophysiologic and cognitive nature of depression
• how compassion training affects the neural systems of emotions, and more.
Previous “Mind and Life” meetings have spurred research on enhancing human development and alleviating mental suffering.