May 20, 2005
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Study Review Supports Benefits in Bipolar Mania
Chase Man on Stolen Backhoe
Disorder: A Cycle of Highs and Lows
rejects J&J's Risperdal autism drug
Administration to Create Medicaid Reform Panel
The Bush administration announced last week that it will create a new advisory panel that will suggest “big” changes to the Medicaid program. To start, the panel will recommend by Sept 1 . ways to cut $10 billion in expenses from the program, after which it will make long-term reform recommendations by Dec. 31, 2006. Voting members of the panel will be appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, who reportedly rejected a congressional suggestion that he create a bipartisan Medicaid-reform commission under the National Academy of Sciences’ auspices. (Dow Jones Newswires/The New York Times, 5/12/05)
Public Citizen Urges FDA to Reject Depression Treatment Implant
The consumer group Public Citizen sent the FDA a letter urging the agency to not approve an implantable device to treat depression. Last summer, a FDA panel recommended that the agency approve the device for treatment-resistant depression, but the agency temporarily rejected it pending submission and review of new safety data, which the company that created the device has since submitted. The Public Citizen letter criticized the new data and raised concerns about the effectiveness of the device. The company’s chief executive, Robert P. "Skip" Cummins, wouldn’t comment on the letter, but said that the FDA has all the data now to make a final decision. (The Wall Street Journal, 5/11/05)
Some Adults With ADHD Find Continuing With Their Treatment Is a Benefit
Many adults who were diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when they were children are finding that their disorder may be a lifelong condition. As a result, some adults who stopped taking their ADHD medication when they entered the workforce have obtained new prescriptions so that they can perform in their jobs. Most experts agree, however, that adults shouldn’t rely only on medication to treat the disorder, but should also consider psychotherapy and lifestyle changes. (The Associated Press, 5/10/05)
Exercise Complements Other Depression Therapies: Several recent studies suggest that exercise can be effective as a complement to other therapies in relieving the symptoms of depression among some people, experts say. Despite the effectiveness of exercise, however, many mental health professionals aren’t trained to monitor how exercise affects their patients, even those who are aware of the research. As a sign that exercise may be gaining acceptance, the American Psychiatric Association recently created a panel to help explore the role of alternative therapies – including exercise – in psychiatry. (The Wall Street Journal, 5/10/05)
Americans Link Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders to Increased Awareness: Most Americans attribute the recent increase in children’s mental health disorders diagnoses to physicians’ improved ability to recognize and diagnose such disorders, a new Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive Survey indicates. Parents’ increased willingness to talk to physicians about their children’s mental health is also linked to higher rates of mental disorders, Americans believe. A majority of Americans feel, however, that physicians often go “overboard” in prescribing medications used in treating these disorders, especially for ADHD. (WSJ.com, 5/10/05)
Treating Depression Doesn’t Alleviate Children’s Weight Problems: Although there’s some question about whether childhood depression leads to childhood obesity or obesity leads to depression, many experts agree that by just treating the depression of a child who is obese won’t necessarily help with his or her weight problem. Most children are faced with daily pressures, such as television advertising, that often makes eating healthy, nutritious food difficult. Many schools are also cutting back on physical education classes. (Intellihealth/New York Times, 5/9/05)
Arkansas: Mental health treatment services in northwest Arkansas are doing relatively well, according to David Williams, Ph.D., the president and CEO of the Ozark Guidance Center in Springdale. His center, for example, has received authorization to spend $450,000 to renovate space in a former general hospital to provide 16 additional inpatient beds. Despite the success in treating mental illnesses, much more can be done in preventing them, according to Williams, who noted that demand for his center’s services often outstrips supply. One area in particular he notes that needs increased attention is the effects of stress on individuals’ mental and physical health. (Northwest Arkansas Times, 5/16/05)
STATE NEGLECTS SEVERELY MENTALLY ILL
Denver Rocky Mountain News; 5/15/2005; Stephanie Allard
It's high time for Coloradans and the Colorado media to realize
the real status of mental health care for the severely mentally
ill in our state.
2. There is a third criterion for treatment (besides danger to
self and others) in the state of Colorado. That criterion is
"gravely disabled," meaning that the person is in danger
of serious physical harm due to his illness (see Colorado Revised
Statutes 27-10-102.(5)(a)(I) ; www.psychlaws.org/Legal Resources/StateLaws/Colorado
statute.htm). However, because of Colorado's financial problems,
that criterion is ignored by law enforcement and mental health
professionals alike. This is not a supposition - I have heard this
from the professionals.
Copyright © 2005, Denver Publishing Co.