Is acupuncture a useful alternative therapy for your patients? Perhaps. In 2007, the National Health Interview Survey noted that more than three million American adults were using acupuncture each year to ease chronic pain, a number that is likely to have risen in the past five years.
With an ongoing desire for “natural” products, and disappointment with the cost and efficacy of current prescription medications, more patients have turned to supplements. As a psychiatrist, the more you know about these supplements, the better you can have a conversation about their known risks and benefits.
Given that taking B vitamins can lower plasma homocysteine levels, a group of researchers recently examined whether supplemental B vitamins could low the rate of brain atrophy in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
More than 38% of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) yearly, with 12.7% using so-called “natural products." More than a third of people over age 50 report use of supplements, yet only about half have discussed this with their doctors.
Ronald C. Albucher, MD, is the director of counseling and psychological services and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.
Steve Balt, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay area.
Richard Gardiner, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Potter Valley, CA.
Alan D. Lyman, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, NY.
James Megna, MD, PhD, is the director of inpatient psychiatry and an associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.
Robert L. Mick, MD, is a contract physician in addiction medicine and military psychiatry in Bloomfield, NY.
Michael Posternak, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Boston, MA.
Glen Spielmans, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN.
Marcia L. Zuckerman, MD is director of Psychiatric Services at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA.
All editorial content is peer reviewed by the editorial board. Dr. Albucher, Dr. Balt, Dr. Gardiner, Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Lyman, Dr. Megna, Dr. Mick, Dr. Posternak, Dr. Spielmans, and Dr. Zuckerman have disclosed that they have no relevant financial or other interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity. Dr. Balt discloses that his spouse is employed as a sales representative for Otsuka America, Inc.