Two news events got people talking recently. One was that Casey was deemed not guilty of killing little daughter Caylee ( “O.J. all over again”, I heard repeatedly). I must admit I was rather surprised….
The second was the results of two new studies that were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. One of them stated that environmental factors during pregnancy might contribute as much as genetics in the development of autism spectrum disorders. The 2nd study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Northern California found a 3 times higher risk of autism if the mother took antidepressants in the first trimester of pregnancy.
With the incidence of autism disorders increasing over time to the current range of 3-6 per 1,000 births, these studies are of interest to millions of parents and professionals. Autism affects boys at a rate of three times more than girls, and is usually detected by the age of 3. The cause has been maddeningly unknown.
While genes certainly play a part (as they do in most every disorder) other theories and assertions have been disproven. It certainly does not have anything to do with “poor mothering” or “lack of maternal bonding”. Those theories did more harm than bloodletting in the 19th century! The link between autism and vaccines has been thoroughly debunked. If you believe in science and research, you must believe that vaccines are not the cause and finally leave that one in the dust. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
In a well done placebo-controlled study published in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), use of escitalopram (Lexapro) reduced hot flashes in menopausal women.
Investigators enrolled 205 women, randomizing them to either Lexapro 10 mg or placebo, with instructions to increase to two pills a day if needed after four weeks. Lexapro users experienced about a 60 percent reduction in hot flash frequency over the eight-week study. About half ended up on the larger 20 mg daily dose by study’s end. The drug’s effect was apparent at about one week of use, and it was well tolerated.
As in almost studies of menopausal treatments, the placebo group also experienced a significant reduction in symptoms — about 40 percent — but the difference between placebo and drug groups was significant. Compared to placebo users, Lexapro users had a bigger rebound of symptoms when stopping their treatment, were more satisfied, and more likely to want to continue the study drug, another validation of the drug’s efficacy. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at tbtam*
I guess I actually knew this intuitively, as the number of people I know who mention “trying antidepressants” rises, but the Archives of General Psychiatry article by Drs. Olfson and Marcus (August, 2009, 66(8), pp, 848-856) has confirmed my sense that antidepressant use has risen.
In fact, in the United States between 1966 and 2005 the annual rate of antidepressant use for people rose from 5.84 percent to 10.12 percent – translating into 27 million people over the age of six who were taking antidepressants. FYI, that makes antidepressants the most widely prescribed class of medication in office-based and hospital outpatient-based medical practices. Read more »
This post, The Rise In Antidepressant Use: Are We Neglecting Therapy?, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..