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Latest News Around the Web

Johns Hopkins Withdraws From Marijuana Study Over Dispute Concerning Federal Rules

The Washington Post (3/31, Gregg) reported, “Johns Hopkins University has pulled out” of a study to test whether marijuana can “treat post-traumatic stress disorder.” A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins “said the university’s goals were no longer aligned with those of the administrator of the study, the Santa Cruz-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS),” while “a spokesman for MAPS said the dispute was over federal drug policy, and whether to openly challenge federal rules that say medical cannabis research must rely on marijuana grown by the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse.”

Related Links:

— “Johns Hopkins was ready to test pot as a treatment for PTSD. Then it quit the study.,” Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, April 2, 2017.

Adults Who Self-Harm May Be At Increased Suicide Risk Over The Next Year, Research Suggests.

HealthDay (3/31, Preidt) reported, “Adults who self-harm appear to be at increased risk for suicide over the next year,” researchers found after examining “Medicaid data on more than 62,000 people in 45 states diagnosed with an initial self-harm episode between 2001 and 2007.” The findings were published online March 21 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association.

Related Links:

— “Self-Harm Can Be a Harbinger of Suicide,” Robert Preidt, HealthDay, April , 2017.

Report Recommendations Aim To Rectify Severe Shortage Of Psychiatrists In The US

Medscape (3/30, Anderson) reports a panel of experts has “released a new report [pdf] containing recommendations to rectify the severe shortage of psychiatrists and the dearth of mental health services in the” US. Contained in the report are “a wide-ranging set of recommendations that touch on every area of the specialty, including training, funding, and models of care delivery.” American Psychiatric Association (APA) CEO and Medical Director Saul M. Levin, MD, joined the report’s lead authors to discuss “the report’s recommendations at a press briefing on March 28.” The experts “recommended new and advanced forms of treatment, such as collaborative care and telepsychiatry. ‘We should all be advocating for new, innovative models of care, such as telepsychiatry, which can increase access to specialty psychiatric services across the country,’ said Dr Levin.” The APA now “has a toolkit to help educate psychiatrists and other healthcare” professionals “on how to practice telepsychiatry, said Dr Levin.”

Related Links:

Medscape (requires login and subscription)

Depression Now Leading Cause Of Ill Health, Disability Around The Globe, WHO Says

Reuters (3/30, Kelland) reports, “Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO)” announced on March 30, “with more than 300 million people suffering” from the disorder. In fact, “rates of depression have risen by more than 18 percent since 2005, but a lack of support for the mental health combined with a common fear of stigma means many do not get the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives.” The organization is now “running a mental health campaign to tackle stigma and misconceptions called ‘Depression: Let’s Talk.’”

The New York Daily News (3/30, Jagannathan) reports the WHO campaign “urges sufferers to both seek and get help for depression.” Currently, the WHO “estimates depression and anxiety fuel a global loss of roughly $1 trillion associated with lost productivity, people being unable to work and health care expenses…said” Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Even in countries with higher incomes and “advanced health care systems,” almost “half of people suffering from depression aren’t properly identified or treated.”

Related Links:

— “‘Let’s Talk’, WHO says, as depression rates rise 18 percent in a decade,” Kate Kelland, Reuters, March 30, 2017.

Trauma, Stress In Teen Years Associated With Greater Risk Of Mid-Life Depression In Women

The Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer (3/29, Giordano) reports, “Women who suffered multiple traumatic events as they were growing up are at significant risk of serious depression beginning in the years leading into menopause,” researchers found.
HealthDay (3/29, Preidt) reports investigators arrived at these conclusions after following some 250 women for “16 years.” The findings were published online March 29 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “Study: Girlhood trauma linked to depression in menopause,” Rita Giordano, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 29, 2017.

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