Source: Press Release, National Institute of Mental Health
A combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication appears to be the most effective treatment for adolescents with major depressive disorder-more than medication alone or psychotherapy alone, according to results from a major clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published in the October 2007 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
The long-term results of the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) found that when adolescents received fluoxetine (Prozac) alone or in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over the course of 36 weeks, they recovered faster than those who were receiving CBT alone.
The Balanced Mind Parent Network urges the FDA to ensure that significant funding be devoted to research in the use of psychotropic medications by children and adolescents. The Balanced Mind Parent Network further urges that the FDA ensure that children have access to medications for treatment.
An errant enzyme linked to bipolar disorder, in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, impairs cognition under stress, an animal study shows. The disturbed thinking, impaired judgment, impulsivity, and distractibility seen in mania, a destructive phase of bipolar disorder, may be traceable to overactivity of protein kinase C (PKC), suggests the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the Stanley Foundation. It explains how even mild stress can worsen cognitive symptoms, as occurs in bipolar disorder, which affects 2 million Americans.
The 1936 propaganda film, “Reefer Madness”, urged parents to warn their kids that smoking marijuana caused reckless driving, sexual assault, violent behavior, permanent psychosis, and suicide. Dire outcomes and lurid scenes are dramatized to the hilt. The movie flopped, and was forgotten until its re-discovery by gleeful advocates of marijuana legalization in the 1970s. Its success as a camp hit on college campuses helped launch New Line Cinema and led to a musical on Broadway, with a film version due later this year.
Some might consider all this harmless fun but a series of compelling studies published in recent years shows that cannabis is an addictive substance. Some individuals do suffer harm from smoking pot— particularly youth who already have mild psychotic symptoms or have relatives with mood disorders with psychosis or schizophrenia (placing them at high risk genetically for these conditions). These findings are coming to light just as liberalization of marijuana laws is gaining ground, a change sure to ease access to marijuana. This may send the signal that pot is considered relatively benign by the authorities and further tempt risk-loving and impulsive adolescents. It appears from these studies that marijuana can do serious harm to our children with bipolar disorder and their well siblings, and is far more likely to harm them than their peers.
News article discussing the pros and cons in the use of lithium to treat a variety of disorders.