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News and Multimedia from 2008 Featuring DSIR

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NIMH Staff Honored for Work on Behalf of Returning Veterans

Science Update

Several NIMH staff members will be awarded the 2008 Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America for their work in addressing the mental health needs of returning veterans.

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Not All Antipsychotics Created Equal: Analysis Reveals Important Differences

Science Update

An analysis of studies on antipsychotics reveals multiple differences among the newer, second-generation antipsychotics as well as the older medications, and suggests the current classification system blurs important differences, rendering it unhelpful.

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Depression Relapse Less Likely Among Teens Who Receive CBT After Medication Therapy

Science Update

Adolescents with major depression who received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) after responding to an antidepressant were less likely to experience a relapse or recurrence of symptoms compared to teens who did not receive CBT, according to a small, NIMH-funded pilot study published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Long-term Academic Effects of Child’s ADHD May Extend to Siblings

Science Update

The long-term academic problems that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often experience may affect their siblings as well, according to an analysis partially funded by NIMH and published in the Journal of Health Economics.

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NIMH, U.S. Army Sign MOA to Conduct Groundbreaking Suicide Research

Science Update

NIMH and the U.S. Army have entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to conduct research that will help the Army reduce the rate of suicides.

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New Grant Aims to Reduce Rate of College Suicide by Helping Students Better Adjust

Science Update

A new grant funded by NIMH will test an intervention designed to prevent or reduce suicide among college students.

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Study Identifies Three Effective Treatments for Childhood Anxiety Disorders

Press Release

Treatment that combines a certain type of psychotherapy with an antidepressant medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but each of the treatments alone is also effective.

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Certain Antipsychotic Medications May Increase Risk for Heart Disease

Science Update

Certain atypical antipsychotic medications may raise the risk for heart disease in people with schizophrenia, according to an analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study.

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New Study to Evaluate Ways to Control Metabolic Side Effects of Antipsychotics

Science Update

A new NIMH-funded grant will examine ways to control the metabolic side effects associated with the use of the newer atypical antipsychotic medications in children with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

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Study Examines the Prevalence and Impact of Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism

Science Update

A new study examines the characteristics of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) who also have gastrointestinal problems.

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New Grants Will Further Understanding of the Biology, Genetics and Treatment of Eating Disorders

Science Update

Eating disorders, which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, are complex and often life-threatening illnesses.

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Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Drug in Treating Child and Adolescent Schizophrenia

Press Release

Two newer atypical antipsychotic medications were no more effective than an older conventional antipsychotic in treating child and adolescent schizophrenia and may lead to more metabolic side effects, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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Family-Focused Therapy Effective in Treating Depressive Episodes of Bipolar Youth

Science Update

Adolescents with bipolar disorder who received a nine-month course of family-focused therapy (FFT) recovered more quickly from depressive episodes and stayed free of depression for longer periods than a control group, according to an NIMH-funded study published September 2008 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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New Research to Refine Approaches in Psychotherapy

Science Update

Psychotherapy is a crucial part of treatment for many mental disorders, but it can be difficult to identify the right approach for an individual.

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Antipsychotic Does Not Harm—and May Improve—Cognitive Skills in Children with Autism

Science Update

The atypical antipsychotic medication risperidone (Risperdal) does not negatively affect cognitive skills of children with autism, and may lead to improvements, according to an NIMH-funded study published recently in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

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Health Risks Associated with Certain Antipsychotics Warrant Extra Monitoring

Science Update

Some atypical antipsychotics may be more likely than others to cause metabolic and cardiovascular side effects, according to recent analyses using data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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Age-related Decline of ADHD Symptoms Disrupted by Middle School

Science Update

Although symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD) can last into adulthood, typically they decline as a child gets older.

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Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Medications in Reducing Schizophrenia-related Violence

Science Update

Antipsychotic medications can reduce the risk of violence among people with schizophrenia, but the newer atypical antipsychotics are no more effective in doing so than older medications, according to a recent analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE).

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Antipsychotic Medications May Ease Some Alzheimer’s Symptoms, Not Others

Science Update

Antipsychotic medications may lessen symptoms like hostility and aggression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, but do not appear to lessen other symptoms or improve quality of life, according to a recent analysis of data from the NIMH-funded Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness Alzheimer’s Disease (CATIE-AD) study.

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New Grant Aims to Overcome Obesity in People with Serious Mental Illness

Science Update

A new grant funded by NIMH will test the effectiveness of a promising intervention designed to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) who are overweight or obese lose weight and keep it off.

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Medication-only Therapy and Combination Therapy Both Cost Effective for Treating Teens with Depression

Science Update

Treating depressed teenagers with either the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) or a combination of fluoxetine and psychotherapy can be cost effective, according to a recent economic analysis of the NIMH-funded Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). The study was published online ahead of print April 15, 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Mental Disorders Cost Society Billions in Unearned Income

Press Release

Major mental disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published online ahead of print May 7, 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry

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Journal Highlights Effectiveness of Research Based Psychotherapies for Youth

Science Update

Reviews of the current research on psychosocial and behavioral therapies, or psychotherapies, for children and adolescents found a number of "well established" and "probably efficacious" treatments for many mental disorders. For example, six were "probably efficacious" for anxiety disorders, and two were "well established" for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to scientists funded by NIMH and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, divisions of the National Institutes of Health.

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Maintenance Treatment Crucial for Teens’ Recovery from Depression

Science Update

Long-term maintenance treatment is likely to sustain improvement and prevent recurrence among adolescents with major depression, according to an NIMH-funded study published in the April 2008 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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New Research to Help People with Mental Disorders Quit Smoking

Science Update

A new grant funded by NIMH will develop an intervention designed to help people with serious mental illness (SMI) quit smoking. The addiction is very common among people with SMI, and contributes significantly to deteriorating health and higher costs for care. But it is difficult to treat among people with SMI because they require a tailored approach that is incorporated into their existing mental health treatment.

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Paying More for Prescriptions May Limit Seniors’ Access to Antidepressants

Science Update

New cost-sharing policies may prevent some older adults diagnosed with depression from filling new antidepressant prescriptions, according to an analysis published in the April 2008 issue of Psychiatric Services.

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State Survey Finds FDA “Black Box” Warning Correlates with Curtailed Antidepressant Prescriptions

Science Update

After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “black box” warning on antidepressant medications, Nebraskan doctors began prescribing fewer antidepressant medications to children and teens and referring more patients to specialists, according to a state survey. The study, which involved NIMH-funded researchers, was published in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

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Teens with Treatment-resistant Depression More Likely to Get Better with Switch to Combination Therapy

Press Release

Teens with difficult-to-treat depression who do not respond to a first antidepressant medication are more likely to get well if they switch to another antidepressant medication and add psychotherapy rather than just switching to another antidepressant, according to a large, multi-site trial funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The results of the Treatment of SSRI-resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) trial were published February 27, 2008, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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Co-occurring Anxiety Complicates Treatment Response for Those with Major Depression

Science Update

People with major depression accompanied by high levels of anxiety are significantly less likely to benefit from antidepressant medication than those without anxiety, according to a study based on data from the NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study. The study was published online ahead of print in January 2008, in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Primary Care Doctors May Overlook Elderly Patients’ Mental Health

Science Update

Doctors spend little time discussing mental health issues with their older patients and rarely refer them to a mental health specialist even if they show symptoms of severe depression, according to an NIMH-funded study published December 2007 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Genetic Variation May Influence Response to Depression Treatment

Science Update

Variations in a gene known as TREK1 may explain some forms of treatment-resistant major depression, according to a new study analyzing genetic data from the NIMH-funded Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial. The study was published online February 20, 2008, in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Team Care for Depressed Older Adults Cuts Overall Medical Costs

Science Update

A team approach to depression treatment for older adults, already shown to be effective, is also less expensive than usual care, according to an NIMH-funded study published February 2008 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

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Mental Disorders Persist Among Hurricane Katrina Survivors

Science Update

More residents affected by Hurricane Katrina are enduring mental disorders than was initially determined a few months after the storm, according to a study published online January 8, 2008, in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The trend runs counter to the typical pattern of recovery after a natural disaster, in which the prevalence of mental disorders among the survivors gradually decreases and fades out after about two years.

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