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August 5, 2005
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Hill Stabbing Suspect Testifies In Civil Trial
Take: Mom Targets Video Games
hope for schizophrenia sufferers
garden equates to strong life skills in program
suspect to have mental exam
seeking bipolar Garland woman
parenting trial begins with news footage
Warren County prosecutor sentenced in embezzlement scheme
disorder hits the youngest the hardest
owner reports thief taking food
Treatment for recurrent depression available through study at UT Southwestern Click here for more.
A structure of antidepressants' binding sites Click here for more.
Cognitive therapy effective in preventing repeat suicide attempts Click here for more.
Developer to Convert Abandoned Psychiatric Hospital into Luxury Homes
Real estate developer AvalonBay Communities plans to build 497 high-end apartments and condos on a 75-acre property that now contains the Danvers State Hospital outside of Boston. The company will raze most of the buildings that made up the hospital, which closed in 1992, and will include an outdoor memorial to the hospital’s patients, although mental health advocates wanted a museum. It will also include access to the hospital’s cemeteries and 10 apartments designated for people with mental illnesses. Other communities throughout the nation are considering similar proposals to develop properties that were once used for psychiatric hospitals. (The Wall Street Journal, 7/27/05)
Bush to Host Summit to Encourage Corporate Donations to Faith-based Groups
President Bush announced last week that he will hold a White House summit in March with corporate leaders to encourage their companies to donate more money to local faith-based community groups. Seventeen percent of top 50 Fortune 500 companies’ foundations have policies banning or restricting donations to religious organizations, said White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives Director Jim Towey. President Bush has said that he feels that faith-based organizations often do a better job than other organizations in helping people with low incomes and meeting other social needs. (Dow Jones Newswires, 7/25/05)
House Approves Increased Funding for Veterans’ Health
The House of Representatives approved legislation last week that included a provision to add $1.5 billion to veterans’ healthcare through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The additional funding came after Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson had revised an earlier estimate of the number of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, many of whom have severe combat-related injuries, who would need healthcare from about 23,000 to 103,000. (Reuters Health, 7/29/05)
Comprehensive Drug Studies’ Results “Anxiously” Awaited
Health plans and psychiatrists are “anxiously awaiting” the release in coming months of the results of three comprehensive NIMH-funded studies on the efficacy of depression and schizophrenia treatments. The studies were designed to help fill in the gap left by pharmaceutical studies, which usually show whether a particular drug is effective against an illness not whether one drug may work better than another. One study’s results on adolescent depression was released last year. The results from the other three, which will be released within the next few months, include bipolar disorder, serious depression and schizophrenia. (The Wall Street Journal, 7/27/05)
Epilepsy Drug Found Effective in Treating Alcoholism and Nicotine Addiction: University of Virginia researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine that topiramate, a drug sold as Topamax by Johnson & Johnson to treat epilepsy and migraines, appears to be effective in treating alcoholism. The researchers also found that many study participants who were addicted to both alcohol and nicotine also stopped smoking, although the researchers weren’t studying the drugs’ effects on smoking. About 80 to 90 percent of people who have alcoholism are also addicted to cigarettes, according to the study’s lead researcher. (Dow Jones Newswires, 7/25/05)
Antipsychotic Drug More Effective Than Lithium in Treating Some Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, Company Says: The antipsychotic drug olanzipine, which is sold as Zyprexa by Eli Lilly and Company, is “significantly” more effective in treating mania and mixed episode recurrence in people who have bipolar disorder than lithium, a Lilly study indicates. Both drugs were about as effective in preventing a relapse or reoccurrence of depression. The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. (Reuters Health, 7/29/05)
Even One Dose of Meth Found to Cause Lasting Damage in Developing Fetuses: Just one dose of methamphetamine taken by a pregnant woman may induce fetal brain damage and increase the risk of long-term motor development problems, a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine indicates. "We've known for a while that meth abuse during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, cleft palates and other malformations but this is the first research demonstrating that even a single exposure can cause long-term damage," said the University of Toronto’s Peter Wells, the study lead investigator. Wells also pointed out that methamphetamine use is increasing among women of child-bearing age. (Reuters Health, 7/29/05)
Russian Drug Addiction “Catastrophic,” Government Official Says: Drug addiction has reached “catastrophic” proportions with about four percent of the Russian population – 6 million people –addicted to drugs, according to Viktor Khvorostyan, head of the Moscow section of the Federal Narcotics Service. About 70,000 Russian die each year – more than 200 a day – from drug overdoses. Factors involved in Russian drug addiction include the country’s proximity to Afghanistan, a major heroin producer, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and corruption. (Reuters Health, 7/29/05)
California: The U.S. Department of Justice has given the state until Aug. 15 to carry out “minimum remedial measures” to correct problems at the Napa State Hospital, a psychiatric facility. Justice Department investigators found “widespread and systemic deficiencies” in care, including patients who have overdosed on illegal drugs, were improperly restrained for hours and had been forced to spend up to 12 hours wearing soiled diapers. (The New York Times, <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/29/national/29brfs.html> 7/29/05) California Department of Mental Health Director Stephen W. Mayberg disputed the report disputed the report’s findings, saying that they were “exaggerated.” (Los Angeles Times , 7/31/05)
New Jersey: The state launched a post-partum depression awareness campaign last week, which was prompted by Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, whose wife has spoken out about her experience with the condition. The campaign includes a Web site, http://njspeakup.gov, and a postpartum depression help line that offers information as well as emergency assistance. (The New York Times, 7/27/05)
Aussies hopeful of first biological test for schizophrenia
AAP General News (Australia); 8/2/2005
By Janelle Miles, National Medical Correspondent
BRISBANE, Aug 2 AAP - Australian research is showing promise
for the development of
Currently, psychiatrists have to rely on observation and a
patient's own description
But University of NSW scientists are hopeful the results of
preliminary research looking
Their pilot study, comparing 17 schizophrenia patients with
healthy volunteers, matched
PhD student Nathan Clunas and associate professor of psychiatry
Philip Ward used an
They recorded brain waves as the participants listened to pairs
of sounds and performed
The distinctive pattern found in the healthy volunteers was
disrupted in the patients
Early results of 12 bipolar patients appeared to show
differences again but these were
While the research is positive news, both Mr Clunas and Prof
Ward warned the results
"One of the critical things is, are these brain wave
changes present right at the onset
"We need to test a sample of people who are experiencing
their first episode of schizophrenia
He said patients would need to be tested before receiving
"There's some prior evidence that suggests the particular
part of the brain wave that
"But we do need to confirm that by doing a comparison of
patients on drug therapy and
If the test proves valid, and that will conservatively take
years, Prof Ward said it
"EEG is something that all of our major hospitals are equipped to do routinely," he explained.
"It's something that could be done at a sort of price
that's not beyond the reality
Mr Clunas, who has an undergraduate degree in orthoptics,
decided to switch to psychiatric
He hopes eventually a diagnostic test will be available to
screen people for mental
© 2005 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.
CME LLC Announces 2005 U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress Program Developers.
PR Newswire; 8/2/2005
Specialists Develop Content for Annual Congress on Mental Health Breakthroughs
IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- CME LLC announced today the program developers for its 18th annual U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress to be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Monday-Thursday, November 7-10, 2005. Peter F. Buckley, MD, Jeffrey L. Cummings, MD, Ronald Pies, MD, and Phillip J. Resnick, MD are advisers to CME in the design of the program courses, identification of key speakers and in reviewing final course presentations.
"Selected for their expertise and unique perspectives on the field of mental healthcare, these distinguished medical professionals have received widespread acclaim for their contributions to psychiatry," said Marsha Meyer, RPh, senior vice president of clinical information for CME LLC. "These advisers will ensure the thousands of attending clinicians receive the innovative and practical education they have come to expect from the congress."
Dr. Peter F. Buckley, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia, serves on the National Scientific Council of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. He has received numerous accolades including the APA's 2004 Administrative Psychiatry Award. At the Congress on Tuesday, November 8, Dr. Buckley will present an in-depth exploration of the side effects of antipsychotic medications.
Dr. Jeffrey L. Cummings, professor and executive vice chair in the Department of Neurology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, founded and directs the UCLA Alzheimer's Disease Center. His contributions to the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress 2005 include a focus on the relationship between psychiatry and medical illness.
Dr. Ronald Pies is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine. His eclectic body of work includes not only textbooks and regular contributions to scholarly publications including Psychiatric Times, but also a book on comparative religious ethics and a book of poetry. Wednesday, November 9th's schedule of courses includes a presentation by Dr. Pies on new screening techniques for bipolar disorder.
Dr. Phillip J. Resnick, professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Case School of Medicine, has served as the president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has consulted on many high-profile trials including the Scott Peterson case. Monday, November 7th's sessions include Dr. Resnick's courses on competence, risk assessment for violence and child murder by parents.
With more than 100 sessions and symposia across 12 educational tracks, the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress offers attendees the opportunity to earn up to 30 CME credits as they learn the latest findings and developments in all areas of mental healthcare. More information on the Congress, its developers and other faculty is available at psychcongress.com.
About CME LLC
CME LLC is a leading provider of fully accredited continuing medical education programs and offers a wide range of informational and educational resources for healthcare professionals. Based in Irvine, Calif., CME produces a variety of conferences, multimedia home-study products and Web sites and is the sponsor of the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress and the Issues in Aging Medical Congress. For additional information, visit CME online at http://www.cmellc.com/.
CONTACT: Kraig Smith of media imPRessions, +1-312-222-9591, firstname.lastname@example.org, for CME LLC
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
Mentally ill neglected by communities they live in, report
AAP General News (Australia); 8/2/2005
Fed: Mentally ill neglected by communities they live in, report
By Melissa Polimeni
CANBERRA, Aug 2 AAP - Mentally ill Australians are leading
lives of isolation, neglected
The report Mental Illness and Social Isolation has found
despite the current policy
The research, carried out by mental health group Sane
Australia, says in contrast,
Sane is calling for a coordinated effort by the Commonwealth
and states on mental health
"Renewed efforts are needed to improve understanding of,
and attitudes towards, people
The survey of more than 250 consumers and carers, conducted
earlier this year, shows
The report said social anxiety and paranoia can affect one's
ability to maintain relationships,
Almost 90 per cent of those surveyed said social relationships
were "important" or
"Friendships and social relationships are valued highly by
people affected by mental
Sane executive director Barbara Hocking said the mentally ill,
like Australians in
"This report shows that we have failed to provide enough
community accommodation, rehabilitation,
The report found support services such as rehabilitation
programs were not often used
"This is very concerning as there is a significant
association between attendance and
Sane said both levels of government should urgently implement a
national network of
The group also recommended improved training for doctors and
other health workers to
The report comes as a Senate committee on mental health
continues its hearings, with
The committee is due to hand down its findings in October.
© 2005 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.
A sound diagnosis for brain disorder.
Australasian Business Intelligence; 8/1/2005
Byline: Julie Robotham
Aug 01, 2005 (The Sydney Morning Herald - ABIX via COMTEX) -- Sydney researchers have made findings that could help the understanding and diagnosis of schizophrenia. Psychiatrists at Liverpool Hospital have found that the brains of schizophrenia sufferers overreact to background noise. This could explain confusion in noisy places and auditory hallucinations. The test uses an electroencephalograph which is available in most hospitals. This would allow early testing of patients, so that schizophrenia could be distinguished from bipolar disorder, which is treated differently.
COPYRIGHT 2005 News provided by Comtex.
Pennsylvania Psychiatrist Elected NAMI President; Other New Board Members Elected From California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
PR Newswire; 8/1/2005
ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Delegates to the recent national convention of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in Austin, Texas elected four new members to the organization's board of directors, along with one incumbent, to three-year terms.
NAMI also inaugurated a new executive committee leadership team, with Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D. of Beaver, Pennsylvania chosen to succeed Margaret Stout of Iowa as president of the 16-member board.
"NAMI has tirelessly advanced the cause of persons with mental illness, their families and friends for over 26 years," Vogel-Scibilia said. "We look forward to more successes in the coming years involving our goals of advocacy, support, education, and research."
A clinical psychiatrist, Vogel-Scibilia operates an independent mental health clinic. She has had bipolar disorder since the age of fifteen.
Vogel-Scibilia, is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Western Psychiatric Institute and serves on the faculty of two community hospitals. She stays very active leading local peer education and support groups and acts in an advisory capacity for national organizations.
"Since I am a consumer, a family member and a provider," Vogel-Scibilia said, "I reflect the broad perspective that NAMI brings to our important advocacy movement."
NAMI EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., Pennsylvania, President
NEWLY ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS
Sheila Amdur, Connecticut
INCUMBENTS (through 2006 or 2007)
Xavier Amador, Ph.D., New York
CONTACT: Bob Carolla of NAMI National, +1-703-516-7963, or Bonnie Squires of NAMI PA, +1-610-649-0998
Web site: http://www.nami.org/
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
This Week's Bipolar News
Specific gene variants may raise bipolar disorder risk
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Click here for all Bipolar News.
The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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