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American Psychiatric Association Urges Elimination Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy In The Military

The American Psychiatric Association is calling for the U.S. military to abandon the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which allows sexual orientation to be used as a reason to dismiss individuals from the armed services. "The U.S. should repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and allow capable men and women to serve without regard to sexual orientation, " said APA President Alan F. Schatzberg, M.D. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was adopted in the Clinton administration as a compromise to a complete ban on gays and lesbians in the military. The Service Members Legal Defense Network says 14, 000 military service members have been forced out of service under the policy.

Brain Dopamine Receptor Density Correlates With Social Status

People have typically viewed the benefits that accrue with social status primarily from the perspective of external rewards. A new paper in the February 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier suggests that there are internal rewards as well. Dr. Martinez and colleagues found that increased social status and increased social support correlated with the density of dopamine D2/D3 receptors in the striatum, a region of the brain that plays a central role in reward and motivation, where dopamine plays a critical role in both of these behavioral processes. The researchers looked at social status and social support in normal healthy volunteers who were scanned using positron emission tomography (PET), a technology that allowed them to image dopamine type 2 receptors in the brain.

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UT Center Of Excellence On Mood Disorders Combines Discovery, Patient Care

Innovative neuroscience research and expanded clinical care have been launched at the new Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "New research here is trying to pinpoint the neurobiological mechanisms involved in mood disorders, " said Jair Soares, M.D., co-director of the center and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. "We need to link those discoveries to a better way to treat the disease. In the new center, we'll be able to combine high-level care with research." According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 9.

Mental Health America Welcomes Increases For Mental Health Programs In President's Budget

Mental Health America commended the Obama Administration for proposing a Fiscal Year 2011 Budget that contains increases for most of the nation's public health agencies, which highlights the need to invest in critical mental health supports and services beyond important steps that would be taken through health care reform. The budget, which was released on Monday, prioritizes public health programs, including increases in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), despite a difficult fiscal landscape. Mental Health America looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to build upon the proposed budget, which includes a $110 million increase (3.

Senior Cancer Survivors Become Bold Advocates

Sociologists at Case Western Reserve University found that when passive cancer patients become survivors, they have plenty of bold advice to offer other cancer patients, according to a study in JAGS, the Journal of American Geriatric Society. Eva Kahana, Robson Professor of Sociology and director of the Elderly Care Research Center at Case Western Reserve, reported the findings from interviews with 100 cancer survivors. These survivors are part of a longitudinal study of 1, 107 elderly adults living in a retirement community. This study calls attention to generally accepting, timid behaviors that elderly patients report about their interactions with the healthcare system while battling cancer.

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Many Physicians Are Not Using Established Criteria To Diagnose Major Depressive Disorder

A new study led by Mark Zimmerman, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital indicates that a majority of non-psychiatrist physicians and a substantial minority of psychiatrists reported that they often do not use the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) when diagnosing major depressive disorder (MDD) in patients. The study appears online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The criteria for MDD in DSM-IV have remained relatively unchanged for nearly 30 years. In a previous study, Zimmerman and colleagues questioned the clinical utility of the criteria. This study looks at the habits of physicians in using the criteria.

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