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Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders

Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders

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Published by: argatu on Jan 17, 2009
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Chapter 16. Psychopathology: Biological Basis of
Behavior Disorders
Links 1 - 20 of 725
Mothering Malnutrition: Moms' depression weighs on infants in Pakistan

Bruce Bower In southern Asia, where an estimated 75 million children
qualify as malnourished, lack of food may only be part of the problem. A
prospective study in rural Pakistan finds that mothers who became
depressed shortly before or after giving birth had babies far more likely
to experience stunted growth and bouts of diarrhea than were babies
with psychologically healthy mothers. Maternal depression critically
contributes to high rates of malnutrition and failure to thrive among
infants in this part of the world, conclude psychologist Atif Rahman of
the University of Manchester in England and his colleagues. Most people
living in southern Asia now have access to adequate food supplies, the
researchers note. In the new study, maternal depression exhibited a
stronger link to poor infant health during the first year after birth than
did other factors associated with slowed physical growth, including low
birth weight and having poor, uneducated parents. This finding raises
particular concern, according to the scientists, because several other
reports indicate that the depression rate of 10 to 15 percent among
expectant and new mothers in Western nations nearly doubles in
southern Asia. Copyright \u00a92004 Science Service.

Keyword:Depression; Development of the Brain
Posted:09.18.200 4
Panic Disorder

With cars blurring past to her left and right, Judy Niosi pried her fingers
around the steering wheel as she drove along a major highway,
struggling to come to grips with what she thought was a heart attack. "I
was feeling was that my heart started pounding\u2014forcefully\u2014to the point
where I thought my chest was going to explode," recalls the 37-year-old
graphic artist. "My hands became sweaty and I had the constant
thoughts that I was going to die." Niosi gulped down air, talked to herself
in a soothing tone and somehow rumbled up her driveway a short while
later. By then, her symptoms had disappeared. "I immediately got on
the Internet looking for things, you know, heart attack symptoms to
make sure that I wasn't having a heart attack," she says. "And I came
across panic attacks and then I realized it must've been a panic attack."
Her physician confirmed her suspicions. Doctors have long suspected
that panic attacks like Niosi's\u2014characterized by repeated bouts of
intense fear that seem to come out of nowhere\u2014could be hereditary and
may result from the way our brains are wired. Piling up is new evidence
that this may be the case. Psychiatrist Alexander Neumeister, an
assistant professor at Yale University, reported in the Journal of
Neuroscience that key brain receptors that receive chemical signals from
other cells are deficient in those who suffer from panic attacks. The
receptors help move the brain chemical serotonin\u2014it regulates emotion
\u2014around the brain. \u00a9 ScienCentral, 2000- 2004.

Posted:09.17.200 4
Panel Urges Child Antidepressants Warning
By LAURAN NEERGAARD WASHINGTON -- All drugs used to treat

depressed children should carry a "black box" warning of the
antidepressants' link to increased suicidal thoughts and actions, says a
panel of federal advisers. The warning, among the strongest in the Food
and Drug Administration's arsenal, should reach doctors no matter how
they get drug information and would extend to drug advertising directed
at patients. That's the majority opinion of federal advisers, who heard
testimony Monday about antidepressants' powers and perils from
doctors, researchers and relatives of patients who killed themselves after
taking such medication. The panel spent the bulk of Tuesday deliberating
before issuing its recommendation. The black box option is more strident
than the bold-letter warnings the same federal advisers suggested be
added to antidepressant labels this March. Antidepressant prescription
rates to children were unchanged by the earlier warning. Unlike the
earlier red flag, advisers said this new warning should make clear that
antidepressants have been linked to two to three more children per 100
having heightened suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Copyright \u00a9 2004,
The Associated Press

Keyword:Depression; Development of the Brain
Posted:09.16.200 4
FDA considers antidepressant risks for kids

Erika Check Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
have told the agency to issue a sweeping new warning about the risks of
all antidepressants in children. The warning would state that such
medicines cause some children to try to commit suicide. This is a step up
from warning labels adopted by the FDA in March, which say that
antidepressant drugs are associated with a risk of suicide in children, but
do not necessarily cause it. The warning would appear on all
antidepressants on the market, as well as those approved in the future.
The committee said antidepressants should also be sold with a guide
that tells parents to monitor children on the drugs for suicidal
tendencies. The advisers came to their conclusions last night after a two-
day hearing, in which they examined data from 24 clinical trials, as well
as hearing passionate testimony from patients, parents and doctors who
work with depressed children. The FDA convened the hearing on 13
September to ask its advisory committee how to interpret the clinical
trials, which examined the effect in children and teenagers of nine
antidepressant medications on five types of mental illness. The FDA
usually adopts its advisory committee's recommendations, but will
discuss them internally before announcing a decision, says Robert
Temple director of the Office of Drug Safety in the agency's drug
evaluation centre. \u00a92004 Nature Publishing Group

Keyword:Depression; Development of the Brain
Posted:09.16.200 4
Prozac raises child suicide risk

Children who take the anti-depressant Prozac are at greater risk of
attempting suicide, say US experts. The drug is currently the only anti-
depressant which doctors can prescribe to under-18s in the UK. Other
similar drugs are considered too dangerous because previous studies
have linked them to an increase in suicidal tendencies. However, an
analysis by the US Food and Drug Administration has found that Prozac
too may pose a risk. The analysis was overseen by Dr Robert Temple,
director of the FDA office of drug evaluation, who gave evidence on
Tuesday at a hearing to determine whether tougher warning labels were


needed for anti-depressants. He said: "I think we now all believe there is
an increase in suicidal thinking and action that is consistent across all
the drugs." The FDA decided that all antidepressant drugs should carry
the strongest possible warnings that they could cause children to harm
themselves. In future, the drugs will have to black boxes spelling out the
potential risks. On average, the analysis, carried out by experts at
Columbia University, New York, found anti-depressants taken by children
will cause an extra 2% to 3% to have increased suicidal thoughts.

Keyword:Depression; Development of the Brain
Posted:09.15.200 4
New Warnings Sought on Antidepressants

By GARDINER HARRIS When the Food and Drug Administration opens an
advisory committee hearing tomorrow into the safety of antidepressants,
several committee members will push for tougher warnings saying that a
child or teenager given the drugs can become suicidal in the first weeks
of therapy, they said in interviews. "I want the warning strengthened,"
said Dr. Richard Gorman, a member of the committee and a pediatrician
from Ellicott City, Md. "I would also like the pharmaceutical companies to
send out letters to doctors saying that, in kids, this stuff doesn't work."
Dr. James McGough, another committee member and a professor of
clinical psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, also said
he wanted stronger warnings. For more than a year, agency officials
have struggled to find the appropriate balance between warning patients
about the possible suicide risk of antidepressants and reassuring those
patients that drug therapy can be an effective and safe remedy.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Keyword:Depression; Development of the Brain
Posted:09.13.200 4
Gene May Link Alcoholism and Depression

By CHERYL WITTENAUER, Associated Press Writer ST. LOUIS -- Scientists
say they've identified a gene that appears to be linked to both
alcoholism and depression, a finding that may one day help identify
those at higher risk for the diseases and guide new treatments. Previous
studies of twins and adopted siblings have suggested there likely are
genes in common underlying alcoholism and depression, and that the
two disorders seem to run in families. But the lead researcher of the new
study says this is the first report of a specific gene that seems to
increase risk for both disorders. "Clinicians have observed a connection
between these two disorders for years, so we are excited to have found
what could be a molecular underpinning for that association," said Alison
Goate, the Washington University School of Medicine researcher who led
the study. Follow-up research might help reveal the underlying biology
that makes some people susceptible to alcoholism, others to depression,
some to both diseases, and others to neither. Goate says a variation or
alteration of the CHRM2 gene influences those four separate conditions.
The study is published in the September issue of the journal Human
Molecular Genetics. Copyright \u00a9 2004, The Associated Press

Keyword:Drug Abuse; Depression
Posted:09.09.200 4
Prescribing Antidepressants for Depression in Bipolar Disorder--Point/Counterpoint
Psychiatric Times August 2004 Vol. XXI Issue 9 It Is Reasonable To Try

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