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Posts Tagged "psychiatry"

@ScientificAmerican

New E-Book Takes Aim at Understanding Autism

The term “autism” comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning self, used to describe conditions of social withdrawal—or the isolated self. Around 1910, a Swiss psychiatrist first used the term to refer to certain symptoms of schizophrenia. Later, in the 1940s, physicians Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger independently used that name to describe what was [...]

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Brainwaves

A Brief History of Mental Illness in Art

File:Master of Saint Bartholomew - Saint Bartholomew Exorcising - Google Art Project.jpg

“Historically, many cases of demonic possession have masked major psychiatric disorder[s].”-Kazuhiro Tajima-Pozo et. al. BMJ Case Reports 2009 “Juana (also known as Joanna and Joan) of Castile was born in Toledo, Spain on 6 November 1479, the third child of Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. Not long after her marriage [...]

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Brainwaves

Why Feeling Anxious about a Vaccine Makes It More Effective (and Other Benefits of Short-Term Stress)

SAN FRANCISCO—Standing at a podium in front of an audience of psychiatrists, clinicians and scientists, Firdaus Dhabhar brings up a video of his infant son on a large projector screen and presses play. Smiling and wriggling, Dhabhar’s son rests on his back in a doctor’s office—perfectly content. “Watch for the immediate reaction,” Dhabhar tells the [...]

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Brainwaves

No One Is Abandoning the DSM, but It Is Almost Time to Transform It

This month the American Psychiatric Association will publish the latest edition of its standard guidebook for clinicians, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5). In somewhat the same way that a field guide to birds helps people distinguish different species with illustrations and descriptions of physical features—a beak’s hooked tip, a blush [...]

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Cross-Check

Healing thyself: Does psychedelic therapy exploit the placebo effect?

My last post talked about the depressing lack of progress in treatments for depression and other common psychological disorders. Talking cures and antidepressants alike are subject to the "dodo effect," which decrees that all therapies are roughly as effective—or ineffective—as one another. The dodo effect implies that treatments harness the placebo effect, the patient’s expectation [...]

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Cross-Check

DMT is in your head, but it may be too weird for the psychedelic renaissance

You know that psychedelics are making a comeback when the New York Times says so on page 1. In “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In,” John Tierney reports on how doctors at schools like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA and NYU are testing the potential of psilocybin and other hallucinogens for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress [...]

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Cross-Check

Can brain scans help us understand Homer?

In recent posts, I’ve knocked neuroframing, neuroweapons and neurobics. Next up: neuro-lit-crit. New York Times culture reporter Patricia Cohen reports that for insights and inspiration literary scholars are turning, inevitably, to neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. Philosophers are doing the same, as are art theorists, religious scholars, you name it. Edward Wilson must be thrilled. In [...]

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Guest Blog

Blaming parents: What I’ve learned and unlearned as a child psychiatrist

The fact that he’d stopped crying scared me. Damn rear-facing car seat. I couldn’t see him as I was driving to the hospital at 3 a.m. Now the hospital construction was making it impossible to find the entrance to the emergency room, let alone a place to leave the car. Getting out of the car [...]

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Guest Blog

Psychotherapy and the healing power of narrating a life

An important part of the psychotherapy process, as I understand it and have practiced it, involves constructing a narrative of one’s life. This may seem like a curious task given that we all know or should know the story of our lives. We’ve been imagining the movie to be made from that story forever, right? [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

UMN: How many deaths have occurred during your clinical trials?

Angel of Grief

This series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide in 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues of [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Have Pain? Are You Crazy? Rare Diseases Pt. 2

Wretched - Piers Nye

“It’s all in your head,” patients with unexplained pain or unexpected symptoms often hear. My recent post on rare diseases and pediatric pain clearly resonated with a number of people, prompting my immersion in the medical literature and speaking with some experts and patients about these topics and about the difficulties patients with atypical symptoms [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide: What do the UMN and Disney Have in Common?

Disneys Cinderella castle by Childzy-Wikimedia

This research ethics series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Minnesota Attorney General Confirms They Did Not Exonerate UMN in Markingson Death

Dan and his mom, Mary Weiss

This research ethics series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Anti-Psychiatry Prejudice? A response to Dr. Lieberman

Facets of the field

  Kelly Hills (@rocza) was kind enough to call my attention to the guest post on SciAmMind by Jeffrey Lieberman, incoming president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).   Frankly, I’m appalled by Lieberman’s post, especially as it was invited. Although masquerading as a reasoned critique, it is anything but that. Rather, the piece is [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A New University of Minnesota Mystery-The Curious Departure of Mark Rotenberg

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke One month ago, Mike Howard, family friend of Dan Markingson, who committed suicide while participating in a clinical trial at the UMN, launched a petition requesting that Governor Mark Dayton launch an independent investigation of research misconduct in [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide Leave Many Questions: Part 6: The Run-Around, or Why I Now Call for an Independent Investigation of University of Minnesota

Drink me!

  This series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues of [...]

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Observations

Field Tests for Revised Psychiatric Guide Reveal Reliability Problems for 2 Major Diagnoses

DSM

PHILADELPHIA—In the summer of 2011 I began working on a feature article about a book that most people have never heard of—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a reference guide for psychiatrists and clinicians. Most of the DSM‘s pages contain lists of symptoms that characterize different mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia: delusions, hallucinations, [...]

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Observations

Psychological “Growth” through War and Disease: Sometimes It’s Just a Cruel Delusion

  A week ago, The New York Times magazine ran an article on what psychologists call “posttraumatic growth.” An experience that can purportedly occur subsequent to severe life trauma, it might be best titled “The Oprah Moment” for non-clinicians. It entails an arduous life experience—combat, cancer—that, once confronted, is said to engender psychological transformation that [...]

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Observations

Down the hatch: Patients who swallow foreign objects tend to make it a habit [Video]

swallowed knife in patient, removal can be expensive

Steven Moss has pretty much seen it all—lodged in people’s digestive tracts. As a gastroenterologist at Rhode Island Hospital, he has helped remove batteries, blades and even bed springs from people’s esophagi and stomachs. But these patients weren’t children. They were adults who had swallowed dangerous objects on purpose. "Intentional, rather than accidental, swallowing is [...]

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Observations

Nonexpert treatment shown to be more effective than primary care in soothing widespread anxiety

anxiety treatment flexible cognitive behavior therapy computer-assisted

NEW YORK—One-size-fits-all treatments are particularly rare in the mental health world, where each patient’s ailments can seem unique. But a team of researchers seems to have found a therapeutic model to treat anxiety disorders as wide-ranging as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobia and panic disorder. Lead study author Dr. Peter Roy-Byrne, of the Department [...]

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Observations

Unraveling the brain’s secrets: Humility required

Brain image

In early October, the Singularity Summit took place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a conference that highlighted the prospects for abolishing the ravages of aging and disease. So you’ll be able to live forever, unless you get hit by a truck.  Living forever is mainly about preserving brain function. That’s why the cryonicists—the ones who [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Scientists Scan Children’s Brains for Answers to Mental Illness

kid practices getting her brain scanned

In a room tucked next to the reception desk in a colorful lobby of a Park Avenue office tower, kids slide into the core of a white cylinder and practice something kids typically find quite difficult: staying still. Inside the tunnel, a child lies on her back and looks up at a television screen, watching [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Minding Our Children’s Minds

Cute girl looking concerned, pensive

One of the toughest parts of raising children is helping them leap the emotional and intellectual hurdles of life. As parents, we try to ease their pain when friends snub them. We console them when their fears keep them awake at night. We scold them when they behave badly, and counsel them after they forget [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Why Are There No Biological Tests in Psychiatry?

Part 5 of a 5-part series By Allen Frances* When the third edition of psychiatry’s manual of mental illness, the DSM-III, was published 30 years ago, there was great optimism it would soon be the willing victim of its own success, achieving a kind of planned obsolescence. Surely, the combining of a reasonably reliable system [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Trouble at the Heart of Psychiatry’s Revised Rule Book

By Edward Shorter* Part 3 in a series One might liken the latest draft of psychiatry’s new diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, to a bowl of spaghetti. Hanging over the side are the marginal diagnoses of psychiatry, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism, important for certain subpopulations but not central to the discipline. At [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Psychiatrists Are About to Shift the Boundaries between Sane and Insane

We will soon find ourselves plagued by new forms of distress. No, it’s not the economy. It’s not that we are all becoming socially isolated because of Facebook (though it’s possible we are). Rather, doctors are about to redefine what it means to be mentally ill. A select clique of psychiatrists has been at work [...]

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Talking back

Is Ketamine Right for You? Off-Label Prescriptions for Depression Pick Up in Small Clinics, Part 2

Dennis Hartman, a 47-year-old former business executive for an Illinois gaming company, described the diagnosis he had been given as “major depression disorder with severity of the extreme, social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder,” something he had lived with for more than 30 years. He had tried Prozac-like drugs, an earlier generation of antidepressants, tranquilizers, [...]

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Talking back

The Grand Challenge of Schizophrenia Drugs

A milestone for Big Neuroscience came Wednesday with the publication in Nature of a study on the way genes switch on across the whole human brain. Whole brain is all the vogue. Neuroscientists have devoted inordinate energy in recent years to publicize  the need for, not only gene maps, but for a full wiring diagram [...]

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