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Testosterone and suicidal behavior in women with bipolar disorder

Leo Sher, M.D.

Multiple lines of evidence suggest that testosterone may affect mood and behavior both in males and in females. However, the role of testosterone in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior remains unclear. Studies of the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior have been mostly focused on male populations and produced inconsistent results. The variations between the results of the studies of the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior could be related to many factors including differences in sample selection criteria and differences in time intervals between suicide attempts and blood sampling. We have recently published the results of the first study on the relation between testosterone and suicidal behavior in females (1).

Sleep disordered breathing in hyperactive children

Suneela Cherlopalle, M.D., Murali K. Kolikonda, M.D., Manasa Enja, M.D., Steven Lippmann, M.D.

You are in your office evaluating a child with hyperactivity and inattention. The parents want quick intervention;  the teacher suggests to “start medication” now. Under pressure, you are considering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the child appears to fit the criteria. However, sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and ADHD can present similarly, with hyperactivity and inattentiveness. So similarly, that mis-diagnoses can occur. Erroneous diagnosis leads to ineffective treatment and may make things worse.

Fortunately, office-based screening with a history from the parents about the child’s sleep can quickly help rule out sleep disordered breathing.

Human behaviour and degrees of freedom

Said Shahtahmasebi, Ph.D. 

Human behaviour is dynamic. This means it changes over time. How does this change occur? To answer this question it is necessary to take a look at our own lives as individuals. We do not wake up one day to find out that we are smokers, a champion athlete, obese, have health issues, depressed, or have a tendency towards excessive drinking, and/or other behaviour. What is meant by phrases such as ‘time will change a person’, or ‘time is a great healer’? Is it human nature to learn from changes in our surroundings? Time in itself is simply a vehicle that takes us from the start line to the finishing line. In other words, it is what happens on the journey that brings about change, e.g. through aging (physiological and biological changes), knowledge and experience, and through interactions with the living environment (communities, health and social policies).

Is it possible to enhance voluntary help seeking among doctors with mental disorders? The experience of the Barcelona Physicians’ Health Program

M. Dolores Braquehais, M.D., Ph.D.

Specific programs to treat doctors who suffer from mental disorders and/or addictions (Physicians’ Health Programs, PHPs) seem to provide the best available measures for protecting patients, recovering physicians’ careers and their psychosocial wellbeing (1). First PHPs were developed in the USA since the late 1970s in order to identify and treat physicians who had had misconduct behaviours as a consequence of a mental disorder, mainly, substance use disorders (2). The US Federation of PHPs offers state programs (44 states are full members, as membership is voluntary) and meetings, where issues concerning physicians’ health are discussed (2). Similar PHP were developed later in every Canadian province (3), in Australia (4), and the UK (5).

Late life depression and associated Alzheimer’s Disease

Yulin Chu, N.P.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and depression associated with AD are two chronic and serious mental illnesses. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that affects about 5.1 million Americans (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2013).  Depression associated with AD, usually called Late life Depression (LLD), refers to late-onset depression occurring in a person over 65 years old. While depression is not a normal part of the aging process, it does occur and should be treated or it can lead to disability and increased mortality (National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, n. d.) Patients with LLD are much more likely to develop cognitive deficits, vascular dementia, and AD (Barnes et al., 2012).

The Milestone project

Leo Sher, M.D.

The graduate medical education in the United States has a long and interesting history. In 1840s, there were about 30 medical schools in the US. Seven of them were located in New York (1). In 1847, the American Medical Association (AMA) was formed. The primary task of the AMA was to raise ethical standards in the practice of medicine. In 1876, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) was created. Around 1900, the AMA began rating medical schools.

In 1910, Abraham Flexner (1866-1959), an educator working for the Carnegie Foundation, published the Flexner Report, which assessed the quality of education in medical schools in North America (1-3). Flexner visited all 155 medical schools in the US and Canada.

A new article on depression-related suicides in primary care

Leo Sher, M.D.

Profs. Zoltan Rihmer and Xenia Gonda have recently published the research article entitled, "Prevention of depression-related suicides in primary care." This article was published in Psychiatria Hungarica. Most readers of our web site, do not have access to articles published in this Journal. However, the Editors of Psychiatria Hungarica have graciously given a permission to publish this Editorial to Therefore, we are publishing the article, "Prevention of depression-related suicides in primary care" below.

The World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) Task Force on Men's Mental Health

Leo Sher, M.D., Timothy R. Rice, M.D.

The importance of men’s mental health requires special recognition.  For example, more than 1 in 10 men between the ages of 20 and 44 in the United States take some form of prescription antidepressant, antipsychotic, ADHD drug, or anxiolytic.  These numbers are up 43% from 2001. 

Men experience physical and sexual abuse, and may be victims of domestic violence. Northern Ireland police records for the 2012 listed 2,525 male victims of domestic violence. A study in the U.S. showed that about 7% of men were physically assaulted by a wife or female cohabitant.