Deprescribing benzodiazepine receptor agonists taken for insomnia: a review and key messages from practice guidelines – Polish Archives of Internal Medicine (free PDF)

Related: Guideline: Deprescribing Benzodiazepines (free guideline and resources) AND Position Statement: Reducing Inappropriate Medication Use & Polypharmacy (several articles and commentaries on the subject)



This Is Your Brain Off Facebook – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

Original randomized trial, involving nearly 3000 individuals: The Welfare Effects of Social Media (free PDF)

“Expect the consequences to be fairly immediate: More in-person time with friends and family. Less political knowledge, but also less partisan fever. A small bump in one’s daily moods and life satisfaction. And, for the average Facebook user, an extra hour a day of downtime.”


Prevalence of Cannabis Use Among Medical Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis – Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment (free)

“1 in 3 medical students has used cannabis, whereas 8.8% were current users”


Study: Suicide Among Cancer Patients

15 Jan, 2019 | 00:13h | UTC

Study: Trazodone Associated Risks

30 Nov, 2018 | 02:40h | UTC

Associations Between Breast Cancer Survivorship and Adverse Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review – JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (free)

Commentary: Adverse Mental Health Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors – The ASCO Post (free)

“There is compelling evidence of an increased risk of anxiety, depression and suicide, and neurocognitive and sexual dysfunctions in breast cancer survivors compared with women with no prior cancer.”


Review: Lithium and Nephrotoxicity

20 Nov, 2018 | 14:52h | UTC

Antipsychotic drug use and pneumonia: Systematic review and meta-analysis – Journal of Psychopharmacology (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Pneumonia, Meta-Analysis Suggests – Psychiatric News Alert (free)

“Although antipsychotic use was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia, the researchers stopped short of claiming causality, citing a lack of data from randomized, controlled trials and a failure of observational studies to control for relevant confounders like tobacco use and weight.” (from Psychiatric News Alert)


Perioperative alcohol cessation intervention for postoperative complications – Cochrane Library (free)

Summary: Effects of perioperative alcohol cessation interventions on postoperative complications following surgery – Cochrane Library (free)

“Intensive alcohol cessation interventions offered for four to eight weeks to participants undergoing all types of surgical procedures to achieve complete alcohol cessation before surgery probably reduced the number of postoperative complications.”


Antidepressant withdrawal: reviewing the paper behind the headlines – The Mental Elf (free) (via @AllenFrancesMD)

Original Systematic Review: Antidepressant Withdrawal Effects (free article and commentaries)

“Last week a new review said: – Over half of people taking antidepressants experience withdrawal symptoms – These symptoms are severe in over half of cases. The press had a field day! Our blog today by @J_F_Hayes and @sameerjauhar offers a different view” (via @Mental_Elf see Tweet)


Review: Demystifying Serotonin Syndrome

16 Oct, 2018 | 23:23h | UTC

800,000 people kill themselves every year. What can we do? – The Guardian (free) (via @onisillos)

Related Guidelines: Preventing suicide: A community engagement toolkit – World Health Organization (free PDF) AND Preventing suicide in community and custodial settings – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (free)

“In too many places mental health support services are non-existent and those with treatable conditions are criminalized. Bold action is long overdue”


Associations between 24 hour movement behaviours and global cognition in US children: a cross-sectional observational study – The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentaries: Limiting children’s recreational screen time to less than 2 hours a day linked to better cognition – The Lancet (free) AND Limiting children’s screen time linked to better cognition, study says – CNN (free) AND Limiting children’s screen time linked to better cognition – BBC (free)

“Researchers said more work was now needed to better understand the effects of different types of screen use. However, they acknowledge that their observational study shows only an association between screen time and cognition and cannot prove a causal link.” (from BBC)


Healthy dietary indices and risk of depressive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies – Molecular Psychiatry (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentaries: Plant-rich diets may help prevent depression – new evidence – The Conversation (free) AND Eating a Mediterranean diet ‘may lower your risk of depression’ – NHS Choices (free) AND Expert reaction to observational studies on diet and depression – Science Media Centre (free) AND Mediterranean diet could prevent depression, new study finds – CNN (free)

“The current evidence is not sufficient to prove plant-rich diets can prevent depression as most of the evidence so far simply shows that those with poorer mental health eat worse, so it may be that those more prone to depression also choose less health” (from CNN)


Podcast: Geriatric Depression

27 Sep, 2018 | 22:45h | UTC

WHO Toolkit: Preventing Suicide

14 Sep, 2018 | 01:48h | UTC

Antidepressants for treating depression in dementia – Cochrane Library (free for a limited period)

Summary: Antidepressants for treating depression in dementia – Cochrane Library (free)

“On the only measure of efficacy for which we had high-quality evidence (depression rating scale scores), antidepressants showed little or no effect.”


Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome – Therapeutics Initiative (free)

Related Perspective: Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

“Antidepressants should be added to the list of drugs associated with tolerance, dependence and a withdrawal syndrome.”

“Withdrawal symptoms occur in at least one-third of patients who stop.”


Opinion: Endless Gaming May Be a Bad Habit. That Doesn’t Make It a Mental Illness – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free)

Related: Gaming addiction as a mental disorder: it’s premature to pathologise players – The Conversation (free)

“The World Health Organization has made “internet gaming” a diagnosable disorder. But many experts aren’t even sure it exists”.


Association of Antidepressant Use With Drug-Related Extrapyramidal Symptoms: A Pharmacoepidemiological Study – Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentaries: Incidence of Extrapyramidal Symptoms Higher With Certain Antidepressants – MPR (free) AND Antidepressants tied to Parkinson’s-like symptoms – Univadis (free registration required)

“Observational study: Incidence of EPSs with antidepressants. RRs: duloxetine, 5.68; mirtazapine, 3.78; citalopram, 3.47; escitalopram, 3.23; paroxetine, 3.07; sertraline, 2.57; venlafaxine, 2.37; bupropion, 2.31; and fluoxetine, 2.03 (all significant)” (via @psychopharmacol see Tweet)


CDC: Suicide Rates Increasing in U.S.

15 Jun, 2018 | 01:36h | UTC

Association of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy With Risk of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Offspring: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis – JAMA Psychiatry (free for a limited period)

Commentary: Hypertension in Pregnancy Tied to Autism, ADHD – MedPage Today (free registration required)

“Researchers call for greater pediatric surveillance of infants in hypertensive moms” (from MedPage Today)


WHO Mental Health ATLAS

7 Jun, 2018 | 02:57h | UTC

Mental Health ATLAS 2017 – World Health Organization (free PDF)

News Release: Mental health: massive scale-up of resources needed if global targets are to be met (free)

See also: WHO Campaign on Mental Health (free resources)

“Every US$ 1 invested in scaling up treatment for common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety leads to a return of US$ 4 in better health and ability to work” (via @WHO see Tweet)


Stimulants for ADHD in children: Revisited – Therapeutics Initiative (via @AllenFrancesMD)

“There is convincing evidence that a proportion of boys and girls treated with stimulants in BC and around the world are simply the youngest in their class”


Review: Autism Spectrum Disorder

23 May, 2018 | 12:46h | UTC

Dose Increase Versus Unchanged Continuation of Antidepressants After Initial Antidepressant Treatment Failure in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Double-Blind Trials – The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Commentary: Depression: boosting SSRIs doesn’t work – Univadis (free registration required)

“Meta-analysis: there is evidence from RCTs against increasing the dose of SSRIs (with the possible exception of citalopram) in adult patients with major depression and antidepressant treatment failure” (via @psychopharmacol see Tweet)


Guideline: Deprescribing Benzodiazepines

16 May, 2018 | 01:01h | UTC

Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents – assessment of adverse events in non-randomised studies – Cochrane Library (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

Summary: Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents – assessment of harmful effects – Cochrane Library (free)

“Our findings suggest that methylphenidate may be associated with a number of serious adverse events as well as a large number of non-serious adverse events in children and adolescents, which often lead to withdrawal of methylphenidate”.


Support for midlife anxiety diagnosis as an independent risk factor for dementia: a systematic review – BMJ Open (free)

Commentaries: Moderate to severe mid-life anxiety may be linked to later life dementia – BMJ Open Blog (free) AND Anxiety in middle age linked to dementia later – Reuters (free) AND Expert reaction to a review of the association between mid-life anxiety and later life dementia – Science Media Centre (free)

“The current study isn’t designed to explain how anxiety and dementia might be connected, Iadecola added.

“We cannot say with confidence that anxiety is a cause (risk factor), an early manifestation of the dementia, or only coincidentally associated with it,”” (from Reuters)


Anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia: case-control study – The BMJ (free)

Editorial: Anticholinergic drugs and dementia in older adults (free)

Commentaries: Expert reaction to study investigating the association between different types of anticholinergic drugs and risk of dementia – Science Media Centre (free) AND Anticholinergic drugs may be linked to increased risk of dementia – OnMedica (free)

“The effect of anticholinergic therapy is relatively small (odds ratio 1.1 – 1.2) and establishing an association does not prove a causal link. Nevertheless, the paper may act as a useful guide for future research and clinical practice”. (by Prof Les Iversen, in Science Media Centre)