New treatments for depression

The Food and Drug Administration, the United States’ regulatory agency, has approved an intranasal formulation of esketamine (Spravato) as an adjunct to an oral antidepressant for treatment-resistant depression. The product, marketed by Janssen, was awarded fast-track and breakthrough status during development.
Esketamine is the s-enantiomer of …

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Poor mental health common among students

One in three university students say they have a serious personal, emotional, behavioural or mental health problem for which they feel need professional help, according to a survey by The Insight Network, a private provider of therapy services (www.theinsightnetwork.co.uk).
The survey included 37,654 students from 140 …

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Symptoms and treatment for dementia in the community

The majority of people with dementia who are living in the community have hyperactivity (75%) and mood disorder or apathy (72%), most often manifesting as aberrant motor behaviour (28%), agitation/aggression (24%) and apathy/indifference (22%), a survey of patients and their carers in the Netherlands has …

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International treatment of OCD variable and not in accordance with guidelines

A review of the management of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has concluded that management guidelines are not fully implemented and clinical practice varies between countries.
Statistics on medication, psychological therapies and novel therapies used to treat OCD in 19 centres of excellence in 15 countries in …

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Clozapine reduces mortality in treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Psychiatrists in London have found that clozapine is associated with a 40% reduction in mortality in people with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.
Their analysis of an historical cohort of 1,025 patients with a diagnosis of treatment-resistant schizophrenia between 2008 and 2016 showed that, after controlling for potential confounders …

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Potential of cannabinoid for epilepsy confirmed

UK and US researchers have shown that cannabidiol is effective in controlling seizures in a range of animal models with ‘a potential disease‐modifying effect… on reducing both seizure burden and associated comorbidities well after the onset of symptomatic seizures’ (Epilepsia 2018. First published: 26 December …

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Childhood infections linked to wide range of mental disorders

Infections and the response of the immune system are associated with a wide range of mental disorders in children and adolescents, say Danish researchers.
Their analysis of Danish national registry data included over one million individuals born in Denmark between 1995 and 2012. All infections treated …

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Novel strategy for Alzheimer’s disease identified

US researchers have identified an orally active compound that appears to interfere with an early step in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
They showed that polymeric degradation products of poly [4-styrenesulfonic acid-co-maleic acid], an antibacterial compound, bind to cellular prion protein and prevent neuronal binding of …

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NICE updates PTSD guidance

NICE has updated its clinical guideline on recognising, assessing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children, young people and adults (NG 116). New recommendations cover access to care and supporting transitions between services; principles of care, including providing support and information; management of PTSD …

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Women’s mental health prioritised

The final report of the 2017 Women’s Mental Health Taskforce calls on the Government and NHS to improve their response to women’s health issues. The Taskforce, set up in recognition that women are experiencing deteriorating mental health failing support services, was led by the Minister …

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