Health and Fitness

Seaside Therapeutics Announces Issuance Of Key Patent For Treatment Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Seaside Therapeutics LLC announced the issuance of U.S. patent 7, 648, 993 B2 ('993 patent), which covers methods of treating autism with group 1 antagonists of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) pathway. An earlier related patent, U.S. patent 6, 890, 931 B2 ('931 patent), was issued in 2005 and covers methods of treating Fragile X Syndrome, the most common known cause of autism, with group 1 antagonists of the mGluR pathway. Related patents have also issued in Europe (EP 1 392 363 B1) and have been allowed in Canada. Together, these patents form the foundation of Seaside's intellectual property estate. The method of use claims in these patents reflect critical observations of the mGluR pathway and its implications in the causation of Fragile X Syndrome, autism and other disorders of brain development. Groundbreaking research conducted by Seaside Therapeutics' scientific founder, Mark F. Bear, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Picower Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, demonstrated that the mGluR5 signaling pathway is disrupted in patients with Fragile X Syndrome.

New Proposed Changes Posted For Leading Manual Of Mental Disorders

The American Psychiatric Association today released the proposed draft diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The draft criteria represent content changes under consideration for DSM, which is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health and other health professionals, and is used for diagnostic and research purposes. "These draft criteria represent a decade of work by the APA in reviewing and revising DSM, " said APA President Alan Schatzberg, M.D. "But it is important to note that DSM-5 is still very much a work in progress - and these proposed revisions are by no means final." The proposed diagnostic criteria will be available for public comment until April 20, and will be reviewed and refined over the next two years. During this time, the APA will conduct three phases of field trials to test some of the proposed diagnostic criteria in real-world clinical settings. Proposed revisions Members of 13 work groups, representing different categories of psychiatric diagnoses, have reviewed a wide body of scientific research in the field and consulted with a number of expert advisors to arrive at their proposed revisions to DSM.

Many Veterans Not Getting Enough Treatment For PTSD

Although the Department of Veteran Affairs is rolling out treatments nationwide as fast as possible to adequately provide for newly diagnosed PTSD patients, there are still significant barriers to veterans getting a full course of PTSD treatment. The study is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress. More than 230, 000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans sought treatment for the first time at VA healthcare facilities nationwide between 2002 and 2008. More than 20 percent of these veterans, almost 50, 000, received a new PTSD diagnosis. Treatments that have been shown to be effective for PTSD typically require 10-12 weekly sessions. VA follows these recommendations, however, fewer than ten percent of those Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with newly diagnosed PTSD complete this recommended "dose" of PTSD treatment. When the timeframe was expanded to a year rather than four months, fewer than thirty percent of the veterans completed the recommended course of treatment.

Higher Suicide Risk In Youth Who Self-Identify As Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual

Mental health professionals have long-known that gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) teens face significantly elevated risks of mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts. However, a group of McGill University researchers in Montreal has now come to the conclusion that self-identity is the crucial risk-factor, rather than actual sexual behaviours. Their results were published in February in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The researchers administered a detailed, anonymous questionnaire to nearly 1, 900 students in 14 Montreal-area high schools, and found that those teens who self-identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual, or who were unsure of their sexual identity, were indeed at higher risk for suicidal ideation and attempts. However, teens who had same-sex attractions or sexual experiences - but thought of themselves as heterosexual - were at no greater risk than the population at large. Perhaps surprisingly, but consistent with previous studies, the majority of teens with same-sex sexual attraction or experience considered themselves to be heterosexual.

Cultures Of Suicide Studied By University Of Queensland Researcher, Australia

A UQ researcher has surveyed and interviewed students across three continents to understand the social representations, values, beliefs, attitudes and meanings associated with youth suicide. PhD graduate Dr Erminia Colucci surveyed almost 700 students aged 18-24 in Italy, India and Australia, revealing several differences and similarities across cultures in regards to meanings and social representations of suicide. "First, there were differences in prevalence with more Italian and Australian youths indicating they think about suicide, compared to Indians, " she said. "In contrast, Indians reported more suicide attempts, followed by Australians and then Italians. For Indians, financial problems were among the most important reasons for attempting suicide while mental illness, depression or anxiety were more important for Australians and loneliness or interpersonal problems were so for Italians. "Australia generally sees suicide as a result of depression or some other mental health issues, but I don't believe that mental illness is all there is to it - what at the end leads to suicide may be depression, but the depression might come out of another issue, " she said.

Government Of Canada Invests In Research To Help Prevent Violence

Three new regional research centres that will study violence and ways to prevent it will receive almost $6 million over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, made the announcement at a national roundtable that brought together leading Canadian researchers on violence, gender and health research. "Violence is a major public health and human rights problem in Canada and around the world, " said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "By funding these innovative research centres, we hope to make strides in eliminating violence in our society and help Canadians overcome the devastating effects of violence on physical and mental health ." The centres were selected through a funding competition run by CIHR's Institute of Gender and Health (IGH). The successful projects were approved through a rigorous, independent peer review process. "We are proud to invest in health research directed at developing solutions to violence, particularly gender-based violence, " said Dr.

What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD ?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder. It causes obsessive thoughts and fears that lead to engage in compulsive behavior. It is a chronic mental health condition. A person suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder may realize that their obsessions are not reasonable, and may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases distress and anxiety. Ultimately, the person feels driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease their distress. The intrusive thoughts produce anxiety. The repetitive behaviors are aimed at reducing anxiety. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is: a type of anxiety disorder the essential features of which include recurrent obsessions, persistent intrusive ideas, thoughts, impulses or images, or compulsions (repetitive, purposeful, and intentional behaviors performed to decrease anxiety in response to an obsession) sufficiently severe to cause marked distress, be time-consuming, or significantly interfere with the person's normal routine, occupational functioning, or usual social activities or relationships with others.

Prisoners Benefit From NJDOC Programs But Readjustment Remains Difficult

While re-entry and skill-building programs offered by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) at its 11 prisons are heavily used and generally viewed favorably by inmates, many anticipate a difficult return to society due to their underlying health conditions and concerns about finances and support systems. To improve their chances for success in the community, a Rutgers researcher recommends that NJDOC adopt a policy of universal re-entry preparedness during each inmate's mandatory minimum term and a reallocation of funding to increase skill-building capacity on-site rather than in ultimately more costly halfway house programs. Rutgers Professor Nancy Wolff, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research, reaches those conclusions in a new study, Re-entry Readiness of Men and Women Leaving New Jersey Prisons. "Approximately 10, 000 men and women leave New Jersey prisons each year. Many of them return to jail and prison for parole violations or new convictions within days, months or years post-release, " Wolff observed.

Merz Pharma Announces Launch Of Denzapine As First Available Generic For Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

Today Merz Pharma entered the Irish Healthcare market with Denzapine, the first generic form of clozapine available in Ireland. Denzapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent used in treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) which has been available to prescribe in the UK since February 2004. Denzapine is available in four tablet strengths (25mg, 50mg, 100mg, and 200mg) and as an oral suspension (50mg/ml). As Denzapine must be dispensed under strict medical supervision the web-based Denzapine Monitoring System (DMS) is provided. This allows Healthcare Professionals and treatment teams to securely access patients' blood monitoring and dispensing history and is supported by a team of fully trained staff including an on-call Consultant Haematologist. In addition to the patient monitoring, Merz will offer full medical and customer support services alongside a patient support website and printed materials. One of the first centres to switch to Denzapine in the UK in 2004 was the Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health Trust.

According To New Study, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Brings Lasting Benefits

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is effective for a wide range of mental health symptoms, including depression, anxiety, panic and stress-related physical ailments, and the benefits of the therapy grow after treatment has ended, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering. Its hallmarks are self-reflection and self-examination, and the use of the relationship between therapist and patient as a window into problematic relationship patterns in the patient's life. Its goal is not only to alleviate the most obvious symptoms but to help people lead healthier lives. "The American public has been told that only newer, symptom-focused treatments like cognitive behavior therapy or medication have scientific support, " said study author Jonathan Shedler, PhD, of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "The actual scientific evidence shows that psychodynamic therapy is highly effective.

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