June, 2014 | Vol: 12 Issue: 6

In this issue

Learning Objective


Cannabis and the Endocannabinoid System

Considering the increased efforts to legalize marijuana in many states, greater public awareness of marijuana and its potential medicinal uses, and new research on cannabis and its constituents, it is essential that psychiatrists understand some of its proposed benefits—and fundamental risks.

Expert Q&A

Marijuana in Psychiatry

President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine Itai Danovitch offers an overview of what psychiatrists should know about medical marijuana.

Research Update

Maternal Flu and Risk of Bipolar Disorder

Several past studies have investigated a possible link between infections during pregnancy and psychiatric illness in the offspring. These studies may be biased, however, by poor recall or by a clinical, as opposed to serological, diagnosis of infection in the mother. A recent study attempted to overcome this bias by measuring influenza antibodies—a more precise manner of identifying influenza exposure—drawn from the mothers of bipolar offspring.

The Media’s Role in Suicide Clusters

Does newspaper coverage of suicide promote copycat suicides? A recent retrospective study examined this question by comparing suicide clusters among teens to isolated suicides, and how local newspapers covered these events.

News of Note

FDA Issues Safety Warning on Lunesta

In mid-May, the FDA released a warning that eszopiclone (Lunesta) can cause next-day impairment when taken at the recommended target dose of 3 mg/day. As a result, the FDA has lowered the recommended starting dose to 1 mg/day.

Move Over Ketamine? New Fast-Acting Antidepressant Shows Promise

A new drug is showing rapid, long-lasting results in early rodent studies, according to a paper presented by Jeffrey Talbot of Roseman University of Health Sciences at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB) in April.