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Hidden truth about the health of homeless people

Hidden truth about the health of homeless people

As many as 4 million Europeans and 3•5 million Americans experience homelessness every year, and the numbers are rising. Homeless people “are the sickest in our society,” but just treating ill health might not be enough to help get people off the streets, according to a new two-part Series on homelessness in high-income countries, published in The Lancet Continue reading

Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

John Boekamp, Ph.D., clinical director of the Pediatric Partial Hospital Program (PPHP) at Bradley Hospital recently led a study that found sleep difficulties — particularly problems with falling asleep — were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders. The study, titled “Sleep Onset and Night Waking Insomnias in Preschoolers with Psychiatric Disorders,” is now published online in the journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development . Continue reading

Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders

John Boekamp, Ph.D., clinical director of the Pediatric Partial Hospital Program (PPHP) at Bradley Hospital recently led a study that found sleep difficulties — particularly problems with falling asleep — were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders. The study, titled “Sleep Onset and Night Waking Insomnias in Preschoolers with Psychiatric Disorders,” is now published online in the journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development . “The most common sleep difficulties reported nationally for toddlers and preschoolers are problems of going to bed, falling asleep and frequent night awakenings — collectively, these problems are referred to as behavioral insomnias of childhood,” said Boekamp. Continue reading

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level

A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine ® scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness. Scientists used a new super-resolution imaging method — the same method recognized with the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry — to peer deep into brain tissue from mice with bipolar-like behaviors. Continue reading

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

A new study conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development. “These findings are important because studies of prenatal drug exposure in humans are always limited by not knowing if infant nervous system damage was due to the effects of a specific drug, such as cocaine, or the effects of other associated factors, such as maternal depression, poor prenatal care and other drug use, that are often linked with maternal drug use during pregnancy,” said Philip Sanford Zeskind, PhD, lead author of the study published October 22 in the journal PLOS ONE . “The discovery of the similar spectral characteristic in rat pup vocalizations will allow for translational analyses that can be used to detect the isolated effects of cocaine or similar drugs on brain limbic mechanisms common to humans, rodents and other mammals,” said Zeskind, a researcher at Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and a research professor of psychology and pediatrics at UNC Continue reading

How troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity

How troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity

The double-whammy of marital hostility and a history of depression can increase the risk for obesity in adults by altering how the body processes high-fat foods, according to new research. In the study, men and women with a history of depression whose arguments with spouses were especially heated showed several potential metabolic problems after eating a high-fat meal. They burned fewer calories and had higher levels of insulin and spikes of triglycerides — a form of fat in the blood — after eating a heavy meal when compared to participants without these risk factors. Continue reading

How troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity

How troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity

The double-whammy of marital hostility and a history of depression can increase the risk for obesity in adults by altering how the body processes high-fat foods, according to new research. In the study, men and women with a history of depression whose arguments with spouses were especially heated showed several potential metabolic problems after eating a high-fat meal. They burned fewer calories and had higher levels of insulin and spikes of triglycerides — a form of fat in the blood — after eating a heavy meal when compared to participants without these risk factors. Continue reading

Siblings of children with autism can show signs at 18 months

Siblings of children with autism can show signs at 18 months

About 20% of younger siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will develop the condition by age 3. A new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found that 57% of these younger siblings who later develop the condition already showed symptoms at age 18 months. Published in the October Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry , this is the first large-scale, multi-site study aimed at identifying specific social-communicative behaviors that distinguish infants with ASD from their typically and atypically developing high-risk peers as early as 18 months of age Continue reading

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugared soda consumption, cell aging associated in new study

Sugar-sweetened soda consumption might promote disease independently from its role in obesity, according to UC San Francisco researchers who found in a new study that drinking sugary drinks was associated with cell aging. The study revealed that telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — were shorter in the white blood cells of survey participants who reported drinking more soda. Continue reading

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts — and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers — may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study, a joint effort by scientists at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, involved 40 teenage boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism. In a report published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of Oct Continue reading