Research Update

Research Update

Beta Blockers and Depression: The Controversy Revisited

Topics: Alpha Agonists | Beta-blockers | Guanfacine | Medical Comorbidities | Research Update

Review of: Agustini B et al, J Hum Hypertens 2020;34(11):787–794 Study Type: Cross-sectional Antihypertensives are among the world’s most widely prescribed drugs, but many of them impact pathways associated with depression. Beta blockers have long been believed to cause depression, but most of the studies suggesting this were carried out decades a

Read More
Research Update

Mood Stabilizers: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Them

Topics: Antipsychotics | Aripiprazole | Asenapine | Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Cariprazine | Lithium | Lurasidone | Mania | Medication adherence | Mood Stabilizers | olanzapine | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychopharmacology | Psychopharmacology Tips | Quetiapine | Research | Research Update | Risperidone | safety | Saphris | Side Effects

Review of: Bai Y et al, J Clin Psychopharmacol 2020;40(2):167–179 STUDY TYPE: Combined meta-analysis and literature review of placebo-controlled trials Medication adherence is an ongoing struggle in bipolar disorder, and it’s compounded by the fact that our patients often don’t advertise their ­non-adherence. While numbers vary, reviews general

Read More
Research Update

Guanfacine ER for Adults With ADHD?

Topics: ADHD | Alpha Agonists | attention | Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder | Guanfacine | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology | Research Update

Review of: Iwanami A et al, J Clin Psychiatry 2020;81(3):19m12979 Study type: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial Stimulants are rapid, safe, and effective first-line treatments for many adults with ADHD. However, there are inevitably patients for whom stimulants are not indicated or tolerated—those with arrhythmias or stimulant use d

Read More
Research Update

Two Augmentation Strategies Compared in Bipolar I

Topics: Bipolar Disorder | Lithium | Mania | Mood Stabilizers | Oxcarbazepine | Pharmacology | Psychopharmacology | Research | Research Update

Review of: Missio G et al, Trials 2019;20(1):608 STUDY TYPE: Randomized, open-label controlled trial It’s rare to see full recovery in bipolar I disorder with a single medicine, so we often depend on some combination of mood stabilizers and/or antipsychotics. Even then, weight gain and metabolic problems are deal-breakers. Some experts favor the c

Read More
Research Update

Insight in Therapy: Still Relevant After All These Years

Topics: Psychotherapy | Research Update

Review of: Jennissen S et al, Am J Psychiatry 2018;175(10):961–969 STUDY TYPE: Systematic review and meta-analysis What makes psychotherapy work? Contenders abound, including the therapeutic alliance, behavior change, and cognitive restructuring. This meta-analysis looked at the role that insight plays in psychotherapy outcomes. The authors defined

Read More
Research Update

A New Antipsychotic for Bipolar Depression

Topics: Antipsychotics | Bipolar Depression | Bipolar Disorder | Bipolar II | Caplyta | Lumateperone | Research Update

Lumateperone (Caplyta) just hit the pharmacy shelves with FDA approval in schizophrenia (see TCPR March 2020), and its manufacturer is pursuing further approval for bipolar depression. So far they’ve completed two phase III trials—one negative and one positive—and the positive one was presented in poster form by Suresh Durgam and colleagues at the

Read More
Research Update

Autism: The Goal Posts Have Moved

Topics: Autism | Autism Spectrum Disorder autism spectrum disorder | Diagnosis | Research Update

Review of: Rødgaard EM et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2019;76(11):1124–1132 Study Type: Meta-analysis of meta-analyses We’ve heard a lot about the increasing prevalence of autism, up from 1 in 2,000 in 1965 to 1 in 45 in 2015. What we have not heard are definitive answers as to why. This study used a novel design to explore whether the research has i

Read More
Research Update

Optimal Antidepressant Doses in Major Depression

Topics: Antidepressants | Bupropion | Citalopram | Depression | Depressive Disorder | Escitalopram | Fluoxetine | Mirtazapine | Paroxetine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Research | Research Update | Sertraline | SSRIs | Venlafaxine | Wellbutrin

Review of: Furukawa TA et al, Lancet Psychiatry;2019;6(7):601–609 Type of study: Systematic review and meta-analysis Most antidepressants do not have a linear response curve. In other words, the benefits level off as the dose goes up. If the dose gets too high, the side effects start to outweigh those diminishing returns. What’s not clear is whe

Read More
Research Update

An Answer for Psychotic Depression

Topics: Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Deprescribing | Depression | Depressive Disorder | olanzapine | Pharmacology | Pharmacology Tips | Psychosis | Psychotic Depression | Research | Research Update | Tardive dyskinesia

REVIEW OF: Flint AJ et al, JAMA 2019;322(7):622–631 TYPE OF STUDY: Randomized, placebo-controlled trial Psychotic features in depression indicate a more severe form of the disease, with a higher risk of hospitalization and double the rate of disability compared with non-psychotic depression. A combination of an antipsychotic and an antidepressant is

Read More
Research Update

Pharmacology for GAD: Complex Choices

Topics: Cymbalta | Duloxetine | Effexor | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Lyrica | Pharmacology | Pregabalin | Research | Research Update | SSRIs | Venlafaxine

Review of: Slee A et al, Lancet 2019;393(10173):768–777 Study Type: Network meta-analysis With over 2 dozen choices, how do we pick a medication for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)? The authors of this network meta-analysis sought to answer this question. Network meta-analysis allows researchers to gauge treatments that haven’t been directly c

Read More
Research Update

Olanzapine for Anorexia Nervosa

Topics: Anorexia Nervosa | Antipsychotics | Eating Disorders | olanzapine | Research | Research Update

Review of: Attia E et al, Am J Psychiatry 2019;176(6):449–456 Type of study: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial Antipsychotics have been tried in anorexia since 1960, but their success has been mixed and often outweighed by their risks. Seven controlled trials have tested atypical antipsychotics in anorexia, and although most were p

Read More
Research Update

Is There a Case for Cannabis in the Treatment of Pain?

Topics: Cannabidiol | Cannabis | Marijuana | Opioids | Pain | Research | Research Update

Review of: Da Vita et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2018;75(11):1118-1127 Study Type: Meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials In the midst of the opioid epidemic, researchers are looking for new ways to treat chronic pain. Interestingly, states that have legalized medical marijuana have fewer opioid prescriptions but no clear reduction in mortality over

Read More
Research Update

Another Black Eye for Prazosin in PTSD?

Topics: Hypnotics | Insomnia | Nightmares | Prazosin | PTSD | Research | Research Update | Sleep | Suicidality

Review of: McCall W et al, J Clin Psychopharmacol 2018;38(6):618–621 Study Type: Randomized single-blind controlled trial (pilot study) Prazosin has become a mainstay in the pharmacologic treatment of PTSD. A selective antagonist of the noradrenergic alpha-1 receptor, it has modest benefits in sleep and nightmares that are supported by around ha

Read More
Research Update

Moderate Alcohol Use Associated With Reduced Risk of Dementia

Topics: Alcohol Use | Dementia | Geriatric Psychiatry | Research Update

Review of: Sabia S et al, BMJ 2018;362:k2927 Type of study: Prospective cohort study Excessive alcohol use is neurotoxic, but some studies have found that moderate alcohol intake might actually reduce the risk of dementia. Most of these studies, however, have focused on geriatric patients. What about the cumulative impact of alcohol over one’s lifet

Read More
Research Update

Amphetamines Stand Out in ADHD

Topics: ADHD | Amphetamines | Research Update

Review of: Cortese S et al, Lancet 208;5:727–738 Type of study: Meta-analysis With so many medications available to treat ADHD, wouldn’t it be nice to know if some are better than others? In this comprehensive meta-analysis, researchers sought to compare the relative efficacy and tolerability of both stimulant (methylphenidate and am

Read More
Research Update

Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Young Adults

Topics: Child Psychiatry | Gender Dysphoria | Research Update

Review of: Littman L, PLOS ONE 2018;13(8):e0202330 Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) is a newly coined but non-standardized characterization of gender dysphoria (GD). In this conceptualization, GD begins abruptly during or after puberty in adolescents or young adults (AYAs) with no prior symptoms of GD. Clusters of GD outbreaks have been noted by p

Read More
Research Update

How Helpful Is Computerized Testing for ADHD?

Topics: ADHD | Child Psychiatry | Research Update | Technology

Review of: Hollis C et al, J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2018;59(12):1298–1308 With busy clinic schedules and the ever-burgeoning load of documentation, computerized diagnostic aids are in more demand than ever. For ADHD, the gold standard is still a clinical assessment with information from parents and teachers, but those reports are difficult to obt

Read More
Research Update

Would Treating Kids With ADHD Help Their Mothers?

Topics: ADHD | Child Psychiatry | Research Update | Working With Families

Review of: Gokcen C et al, J Child Adolesc Psychopharm 2018;28(5):350–353 Parenting a child with ADHD can be challenging. Parents often report feeling stressed, burned out, or depressed while caring for their children with ADHD. When ADHD medications lead to significant improvements in a child’s behavior, can that alleviate symptoms in parents? A

Read More
Research Update

Is Watching ‘13 Reasons Why’ Bad for Teens?

Topics: Research Update

Review of: Zimerman A et al, J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2018;57(8):610–613 13 Reasons Why, a popular Netflix series, stirred controversy when it portrayed the bullying and suicide of a teenager. Although the program increased awareness of these issues, some clinicians argued that it glamorized suicide and would be detrimental to vulnerable

Read More
Research Update

Does Augmenting Varenicline with Bupropion Work Better than Varenicline Alone?

Topics: Bupropion | Research Update | Smoking Cessation | Varenicline

Review Of: Cinciripini PM et al, Addiction 2018;113:1673-1682 We have a good array of smoking cessation treatments to choose from, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion, and varenicline. Varenicline is the most effective monotherapy agent, somewhat better than bupropion and single-product NRT, and comparable to combination NRT. Theo

Read More