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Depression in psoriasis: potential mechanisms for overlap

Cody J. Connor, Jess G. Fiedorowicz, M.D., Ph.D.

Psoriasis vulgaris is a chronic, immune-mediated skin disorder characterized by well-defined, salmon-colored patches with a silvery scale. It’s believed to occur when T cells and dendritic cells migrate from the dermis to the epidermis and aberrantly release inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a), interleukin 1 (IL-1), and IL-6, that cause inflammation and keratinocyte proliferation. These skin cells then accumulate without shedding, resulting in the characteristic, thickened, scaly appearance. Although often overlooked, this condition causes much disability to affected patients, and some contend that the burden imparted is comparable to that of other chronic conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure [1].
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A new article on the clinical significance and construct validity of hypomania and bipolar II disorder

Leo Sher, M.D.

Prof. Zoltan Rihmer and his colleagues have recently published an interesting Editorial entitled, "Hypomania and bipolar II disorder – diagnostic validity and clinical utility." This article was published in Psychiatria Hungarica (2013; 28:345-348). Most readers of our web site, www.internetandpsychiatry.com do not have access to articles published in this Journal. The Editors of Psychiatria Hungarica have graciously given a permission to publish this Editorial to www.internetandpsychiatry.com Therefore, we are publishing the article, "Hypomania and bipolar II disorder – diagnostic validity and clinical utility."
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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.
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A new review article on the prevention of suicide in patients with mood disorders

Leo Sher, M.D.

Professor Zoltan Rihmer, an eminent psychiatrist and a leading world expert in psychiatric research, and his colleague, Professor Xenia Gonda have published the article, “Pharmacological prevention of suicide in patients with major mood disorders” (1). Mood disorders are frequently associated with suicidal behavior. Between 5 and 15% of patients with unipolar major depression and bipolar disorders die by suicide, and among mood disorder patients who have ever been hospitalized the suicide rate is between 15 and 20%. This underlines the importance of discussing how to prevent suicide in individuals with mood disorders.
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Heroin-assisted treatment

Leo Sher, M.D.

Heroin (diacetylmorphine, (5a,6a)-7,8-Didehydro-4,5-epoxy-17-methylmorphinan-3,6-diol diacetate (ester), diamorphine, or Diagesil®) is a semi-synthetic morphine derivative and a powerful opioid analgesic (1). Heroin was created in 1874 by Dr. Charles Romley Alder Wright, a British chemistry and physics researcher who worked at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London (2). Heroin was first marketed in 1898 as an antitussive for patients with asthma and tuberculosis.

The blood brain permeability of heroin is about 10 times that of morphine (1,3).  When heroin crosses the blood brain barrier, it is hydrolyzed into 6-acetyl morphine and morphine, which then bind to opioid receptors.
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80-90% of suicide cases had depression: fact or speculation?

Said Shahtahmasebi, Ph.D.

You know, when I was at primary school and subsequently high school my teachers used to tell me and other vertically challenged students to play basketball so we would become tall. Well, because I was young and because society at that time had faith in authority, in particular, teachers and doctors, I believed them. I tried to get on basketball teams but no one would have me because I was too short!  This is known as ‘selection bias’ where it is not the game that causes children to grow tall, rather, it is the nature of the game that seeks out the selection of tall people.
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Is there a right to prescription privacy?

Jacob M. Appel, M.D., J.D.

Concern over “doctor shopping”—the practice of obtaining prescriptions for controlled substance from multiple physicians under false pretenses—has led to a complex patchwork of state laws to track and punish abusers.  At the federal level, the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1970 prohibits patients from obtaining scheduled medication through “misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.”  All fifty states have also adopted anti-shopping statutes, although these vary considerably.
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Breastfeeding history affects women's risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Leo Sher, M.D.

Considerable evidence suggests that that breastfeeding history may affect maternal disease risk. For example, longer breastfeeding history is associated with lower rates of osteoporosis. It has also been proposed that there may be a connection between the physiological effects of lactation and Alzheimer’s disease. A new research report published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicates that breastfeeding a baby could lower women's chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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