WATCH 2011 Annual Meeting All-Access Right Here

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Better Evaluating, Treating Psychological Effects of War

Military mental health was a top priority for doctors at last week's APA Annual Meeting. Elspeth C. Ritchie, M.D., M.P.H., and Marvin A. Oleshansky, M.D., (back) chaired a symposium on Evaluating and Treating the Effects of War at the American Psychiatric Association 164th Annual Meeting. Also presenting were CPT Michelle Hornbaker, M.D.; John C. Bradley, M.D.; Brett Schneider, M.D., and Scott C. Moran, M.D. Research about PTSD, the impact of deployment on families, and treatment of serious mental illnesses were among many topics addressed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Psychiatric Symptoms Prior to Deployment Predict Risk of New Onset PTSD in a Cohort of National Guard Troops

A poster presented in the final poster session of the APA's 164th Annual Meeting in Honolulu discussed research that looked at whether individual symptoms associated with PTSD could be predictors of whether full PTSD would develop. Predeployment depression and alcohol dependence were not associated with increased risk of PTSD after deployment but risk was significantly elevated in the case of somatization. Subclinical symptoms of PTSD and somatization assessed prior to military deployment appear to be antecedent risk factors for new onset PTSD. Despite the fact that depression and alcohol dependence are frequently comorbid with PTSD neither acted as a risk factor in this study. The presence of multiple, nonspecific ailments, however, consistent with a somatization‑like process, was associated with increased vulnerability.

Protein Decline May Link to Depression in Pregnancy

Research presented at the American Psyciatric Association Annual Meeting shows a potein important to fetal development may play a role in depression in pregnancy. Read the press release.

Gender Differences in Combat Stress

Anna Kline, PhD, presented in the New Research poster session at the APA Annual Meeting. Her study is titled Gender Differences in the Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Combat Stress Disorder.

New Research Poster: Impact of Shift Work

Research examining effects of shift work found that both excessive sleepiness and insomnia associated with shift work seriously impacted the lives of shift workers.

The research was presented Tuesday, May 17, at the American Psychiatric Association’s 164th Annual Meeting which runs Saturday, May 14, to Wednesday, May 18, 2010 in Honolulu.

The studies found shift workers do not always recognize their own symptoms of shift work disorder; and healthcare professionals believe that shift work disorder is missed two-thirds of the time.

One study used a structured online survey of 260 shift workers and 673 healthcare professionals to examine the impact of excessive sleepiness associated with shift work and diagnosis of shift work disorder.

Shift work negatively impacted respondents’ lives by affecting energy level (72 percent of respondents), emotional health (52 percent), and physical health (51 percent). As a result of their excessive sleepiness, 69 percent had made mistakes at work; 43 percent said their ability to care for dependents had been compromised; and 10 percent had had at least one work-related accident. Half of respondents wanted to change their jobs or work hours and did not feel it was possible to do so.

A second study looked at how shift work disorder was diagnosed from the perspective of healthcare professionals and shift workers. When excessive sleepiness was discussed with health professionals, shift workers initiated the conversation 82 percent of the time, while healthcare professionals initiated it 13 percent. Healthcare professionals believed that 67 percent of shift work disorder is never detected by physicians and that half is undiagnosed because it is often masked by other conditions, including depression.

Both studies were sponsored by and conducted in collaboration with Cephalon, Inc., Frazer, Penn.

The new research posters (#NR10-49 and NR10-39) were scheduled Tuesday, May 17, at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Women with History of Childhood Abuse At Greater Risk for Aggression in Relationships

Women with a history of childhood physical abuse may be at greater risk than men for aggression, as a victim or as a perpetrator, in adult intimate relationships, according to a study released at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

The research was scheduled for presentation Sunday, May 15, at the 164th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, which is in Honolulu May 14-18.

Researchers said the findings also suggest that anger suppression could play a role in the link between aggression in relationships and abuse history.

Details of this study, along with five other new research studies, will be presented at a press briefing from the APA Annual Meeting. Members of the media can attend in Room 307 of the Hawaii Convention Center at 8 am Hawaii time, Monday, May 16, or participate online at 11 AM PDT/2 pm EDT by registering at