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1.  Natural Products and Supplements for Geriatric Depression and Cognitive Disorders: An Evaluation of the Research 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(8):456.
Numerous geriatric patients are using Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for late-life mood and cognitive disorders. Natural products and supplements are a common CAM intervention which have risks and benefits of which patients should be appropriately advised. The data for omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba, SAMe, St John’s wort, B Vitamins and Vitamin D, huperzine, caprylidene and coconut oil will be evaluated. Since the evidence basis for natural products and supplements is limited, especially for the geriatric population. Studies involving the general adult population are included to infer effects in the aging population. Despite the data available, more rigorous studies with larger sample sizes over longer periods of time are still needed. Regardless of a physician’s preference to recommend various natural supplements and products, a physician could protect their patients by having an understanding of the side effects and indications for various natural products.
PMCID: PMC4110105  PMID: 24912606
natural products; supplements; geriatric; mood disorders; cognition; cognitive disorder; dementia; complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; ginkgo biloba; SAMe; omega-3 fatty acids; St. John’s Wort; Huperzine; Vitamin D; Vitamin B; Caprylidene; coconut oil; folic acid; pyridoxine; cyanocobalamin
2.  Preventing Eating Disorder Pathology: Common and Unique Features of Successful Eating Disorders Prevention Programs 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(7):453.
Over the past two decades, the field of eating disorders has made remarkable strides in identifying, evaluating, and disseminating successful prevention programs. The current review identifies and discusses nine distinct eating disorders prevention programs that reduce existing eating disorder pathology or prevent the onset of future pathology. Each program was evaluated in one or more controlled trial with a follow-up period of at least six months. We review the evidence base for these nine successful programs and discuss their common and unique features. Based on authors’ descriptions of their programs in published trials, we found that all programs were theory-driven, targeted one or more eating disorder risk factor (e.g., body dissatisfaction), were delivered across multiple group sessions, and included at least some interactive content. Most programs included content related to healthy eating/nutrition, media literacy/sociocultural pressures, and body acceptance/body satisfaction. Notably, there was wide variation in some participant features (e.g., participant age, sex, risk status) and intervention features (e.g., setting and format, length and dose, providers), suggesting that a variety of programs are beneficial in impacting eating disorder pathology. Implications and directions for future research are discussed, including an increased focus on universal and indicated prevention programs, expanding programs to a wider age range and a broader spectrum of weight-related problems, and rigorous evaluation of programs through efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation research.
PMCID: PMC4104660  PMID: 24821099
Eating disorders; eating disorder pathology; prevention; review
3.  Schizotypal Personality Disorder: A Current Review 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(7):452.
The study of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) is important clinically, as it is understudied, challenging to treat, often under-recognized or misdiagnosed, and associated with significant functional impairment. SPD also represents an intermediate schizophrenia-spectrum phenotype, and therefore, can provide a better understanding of the genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment of related psychotic illnesses. In this review we discuss recent findings of SPD related to epidemiology and functional impairment; heritability and genetics; working memory and cognitive impairments; social-affective disturbances; and neurobiology. Additionally, we examine the challenges associated with treating patients with SPD, as well as clinical recommendations. Finally, we address future directions and areas in need of further exploration.
PMCID: PMC4182925  PMID: 24828284
Schizotypal; schizophrenia; personality disorder; frontal lobe; temporal lobe; dopamine; working memory; cognition; social cognition; affect processing; magical thinking; perceptual aberration; suspiciousness; paranoia; social anhedonia
4.  Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents 
Current psychiatry reports  2015;17(7):591.
Recent advances in the developmental epidemiology, neurobiology and treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders have increased our understanding of these conditions and herald improved outcomes for affected children and adolescents. This article reviews the current epidemiology, longitudinal trajectory, and neurobiology of anxiety disorders in youth. Additionally, we summarize the current evidence for both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatments of fear-based anxiety disorders (e.g., generalized, social and separation anxiety disorders) in children and adolescents. Current data suggest that these disorders begin in childhood and adolescence, exhibit homotypic continuity and increase the risk of secondary anxiety and mood disorders. Psychopharmacologic trials involving selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs) are effective in pediatric patients with anxiety disorders and have generally demonstrated moderate effect sizes. Additionally, current data support cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are efficacious in the treatment of these conditions in youth and that combination of CBT + an SSRI may be associated with greater improvement than would be expected with either treatment as monotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4480225  PMID: 25980507
antidepressant; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI); anxiety disorders; separation anxiety disorder (SAD); social phobia (SoP); generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
5.  Prenatal Programming of Mental Illness: Current Understanding of Relationship and Mechanisms 
The British epidemiologist Dr. David J. Barker documented the relationship between infant birth weight and later onset of hypertension, coronary heart disease, insulin resistance, and type II diabetes. A stressful in utero environment can cause long-term consequences for offspring through prenatal programming. Prenatal programming most commonly occurs through epigenetic mechanisms and can be dependent on the type and timing of exposure as well as the sex of the fetus. In this review, we highlight the most recent evidence that prenatal programming is implicated in the development of psychiatric disorders in offspring exposed to maternal stress during pregnancy. Methodological differences between studies contribute to unavoidable heterogeneity in study findings. Current data suggest that fetal exposure to maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation, excessive glucocorticoids, and inflammation with resulting epigenetic changes at both the placental and fetal levels are important areas of continued investigation.
PMCID: PMC4458064  PMID: 25617041
Depression; Schizophrenia; Prenatal programming; ADHD; Anxiety; Autism
6.  Cross-Cultural Aspects of Anxiety Disorders 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(6):450.
A person’s cultural background influences the experience and expression of emotions. In reviewing the recent literature on cross-cultural aspects of anxiety disorders, we identified some culturally related ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors (the culture’s conceptualizations of how the mind and body function) and contextual factors that influence anxiety disorders. Ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology factors include the person’s ideas about the mental and bodily processes (and their interaction), whereas contextual factors are associated with the social norms and rules that may contribute to anxiety, including individualism vs. collectivism and self-construals. From the perspective of ethnopsychology/ethnophysiology and contextual factors, we will discuss “khyâl cap” (“wind attacks”), taijin kyofusho, and ataques de nervios, three prominent examples of culture-specific expressions of anxiety disorders that have all been included in the DSM-5 list of cultural concepts of distress,
PMCID: PMC4037698  PMID: 24744049
Culture; anxiety disorders; DSM-5; cross-culture; taijin kyofusho; ataques de nervios
7.  A Public Health Approach to Address the Mental Health Burden of Youth in Situations of Political Violence and Humanitarian Emergencies 
Current Psychiatry Reports  2015;17(7):60.
This paper describes how socio-ecological theory and a syndemic health systems and public health approach may help address the plight of youth in situations of political violence and humanitarian emergencies. We describe the treatment gap caused by discrepancies in epidemiological prevalence rates, individual and family needs, and available human and material resources. We propose four strategies to develop a participatory public health approach for these youth, based on principles of equity, feasibility, and a balance between prevention and treatment. The first strategy uses ecological and transgenerational resilience as a theoretical framework to facilitate a systems approach to the plight of youth and families. This theoretical base helps to engage health care professionals in a multisectoral analysis and a collaborative public health strategy. The second strategy is to translate pre-program assessment into mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) priorities. Defining priorities helps to develop programs and policies that align with preventive and curative interventions in multiple tiers of the public health system. The third is a realistic budgetary framework as a condition for the development of sustainable institutional capacity including a monitoring system. The fourth strategy is to direct research to address the knowledge gap about effective practices for youth mental health in humanitarian settings.
PMCID: PMC4452256  PMID: 26021862
Public health; Youth; Humanitarian emergencies; Resilience; Mental health; Syndemics
8.  Neuroimaging and Biomarkers in Addiction Treatment 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(12):513.
Neuroimaging studies have made a significant contribution to the efforts to identify measurable indices, or biomarkers, of addictions and their treatments. Biomarkers in addiction treatment are needed to provide targets for treatment, detect treatment subgroups, predict treatment response, and broadly improve outcomes. Neuroimaging is important to biomarkers research as it relates neural circuits to both molecular mechanisms and behavior. A focus of recent efforts in neuroimaging in addiction has been to elucidate the neural correlates associated with dimensions of functioning in substance-use and related disorders, such as cue-reactivity, impulsivity, and cognitive control, among others. These dimensions of functioning have been related to addiction treatment outcomes and relapse, and therefore, a better understanding of these dimensions and their neural correlates may help to identify brain-behavior biomarkers of treatment response. This paper reviews recent neuroimaging studies that report potential biomarkers in addiction treatment related to cuereactivity, impulsivity, and cognitive control, as well as recent advances in neuroimaging that may facilitate efforts to determine reliable biomarkers. This important initial work has begun to identify possible mediators and moderators of treatment response, and multiple promising indices are being tested.
PMCID: PMC4427893  PMID: 25308385
Biomarker; Neuroimaging; Addiction; Cue-reactivity; Impulsivity; Cognitive control
9.  Novel Targets for Antidepressant Therapies 
Current psychiatry reports  2008;10(6):465-473.
Most depressed patients fail to achieve remission despite adequate antidepressant monotherapy, and a substantial minority show minimal improvement despite optimal and aggressive therapy. However, major advances have taken place in elucidating the neurobiology of depression, and several novel targets for antidepressant therapy have emerged. Three primary approaches are currently being taken: 1) optimizing the pharmacologic modulation of monoaminergic neurotransmission, 2) developing medications that target neurotransmitter systems other than the monoamines, and 3) directly modulating neuronal activity via focal brain stimulation. We review novel therapeutic targets for developing improved antidepressant therapies, including triple monoamine reuptake inhibitors, atypical antipsychotic augmentation, dopamine receptor agonists, corticotropin-releasing factor-1 receptor antagonists, glucocorticoid receptor antagonists, substance P receptor antagonists, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, nemifitide, omega-3 fatty acids, and melatonin receptor agonists. Developments in therapeutic focal brain stimulation include vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy, transcranial direct current stimulation, and deep brain stimulation.
PMCID: PMC4413474  PMID: 18980729
10.  The Complicated Relationship Between Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Use Disorders 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(3):436.
Adolescents and young adults with substance use disorders (SUD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are increasingly presenting in clinical practice. The overlap and role of treatment for these co-occurring disorders remains unclear. A review of the literature was conducted to highlight and update recent evidence on the overlap of ADHD and SUD, the role of ADHD medication on later SUD, and the treatment of ADHD and SUD in adolescents and young adults. Recent work continues to highlight the high risk for comorbid ADHD in patients with SUD; and conversely, the high risk for SUD developing in ADHD across the lifespan, particularly in the context of comorbid conduct disorder. Although the data remains discordant, it appears that ADHD pharmacotherapy does not increase the risk for SUD. Medication treatment alone does not appear to be particularly effective in treating SUD in currently active substance abusing individuals with ADHD. Structured therapies may be effective in treating adolescents and young adults with ADHD and SUD. Further controlled trials evaluating the sequence and effect of structured psychotherapies and/or ADHD pharmacotherapy on SUD relapse in these groups are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4414493  PMID: 24526271
Adolescence; Substance use disorders; Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; Stimulants comorbidity; Cognitive-behavioral therapy
11.  Barriers to Use of Pharmacotherapy for Addiction Disorders and How to Overcome Them 
Current psychiatry reports  2011;13(5):374-381.
Substance use disorders are highly prevalent, debilitating conditions for which effective pharmacotherapies exist with a broad evidence base, yet pharmacotherapy for the treatment of addiction disorders is underutilized. The goals of this review are to describe the barriers that may contribute to poor adoption and utilization of pharmacotherapy for alcohol and opioid dependence at the system, provider, and patient level and to discuss ways to overcome those barriers. Multifaceted efforts directed at all three levels may be needed to speed pharmacotherapy adoption. More research is needed to help us better understand barriers from patients’ perspectives. Strategies to promote adoption of pharmacotherapy for addiction disorders should be modified to fit the needs of the practice, system, and individual patients. Pharmacotherapy is a valuable tool in the clinical armamentarium of addiction treatment; thus, overcoming barriers to implementation may improve clinical and social outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4403628  PMID: 21773951
Pharmacotherapy; Pharmacologic interventions; Addiction; Substance dependence; Medication-assisted treatment; Substance abuse treatment; Alcohol; Opioids; Barriers; Facilitators
12.  Meta-Analytic Review of Psychological Interventions for Children Survivors of Natural and Man-Made Disasters 
Current psychiatry reports  2014;16(9):462.
Although many post-disaster interventions for children and adolescent survivors of disaster and terrorism have been created, little is known about the effectiveness of such interventions. Therefore, this meta-analysis assessed PTSD outcomes among children and adolescent survivors of natural and man-made disasters receiving psychological interventions. Aggregating results from 24 studies (total N=2630) indicates that children and adolescents receiving psychological intervention fared significantly better than those in control or waitlist groups with respect to PTSD symptoms. Moderator effects were also observed for intervention package, treatment modality (group vs. individual), providers’ level of training, intervention setting, parental involvement, participant age, length of treatment, intervention delivery timing, and methodological rigor. Findings are discussed in detail with suggestions for practice and future research.
PMCID: PMC4400816  PMID: 25085234
Child disaster; Interventions; Meta-analysis; Terrorism; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Acute stress disorder; Natural disaster; Treatment efficacy; Psychosocial treatment
13.  Changes in Comorbid Conditions After Prolonged Exposure for PTSD: a Literature Review 
Current Psychiatry Reports  2015;17(3):17.
Prolonged exposure (PE) is an effective psychological treatment for patients who suffer from PTSD. The majority of PTSD patients have comorbid psychiatric disorders, and some clinicians are hesitant to use PE with comorbid patients because they believe that comorbid conditions may worsen during PE. In this article, we reviewed the evidence for this question: what are the effects of PE on comorbid symptoms and associated symptomatic features? We reviewed findings from 18 randomized controlled trials of PE that assessed the most common comorbid conditions (major depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, and psychotic disorders) and additional symptomatic features (suicidality, dissociation, negative cognitions, negative emotions, and general health and work/social functioning). Although systematic research is not available for all comorbid populations, the existing research indicates that comorbid disorders and additional symptomatic features either decline along with the PTSD symptoms or do not change as a result of PE. Therefore, among the populations that have been studied to date, there is no empirical basis for excluding PTSD patients from PE due to fear of increases in comorbid conditions or additional symptomatic features. Limitations of the existing research and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC4348535  PMID: 25736701
PTSD; Trauma; Exposure therapy; Comorbidity; Secondary outcomes; Worsening
Current psychiatry reports  2012;14(4):376-390.
In recent years, the growing numbers of patients seeking care for a wide range of psychiatric illnesses in the primary care setting has resulted in an increase in the number of psychotropic medications prescribed. Along with the increased utilization of psychotropic medications, considerable variability is noted in the prescribing patterns of primary care providers and psychiatrists. Because psychiatric patients also suffer from a number of additional medical comorbidities, the increased utilization of psychotropic medications presents an elevated risk of clinically significant drug interactions in these patients. While life-threatening drug interactions are rare, clinically significant drug interactions impacting drug response or appearance of serious adverse drug reactions have been documented and can impact long-term outcomes. Additionally, the impact of genetic variability on the psychotropic drug’s pharmacodynamics and/or pharmacokinetics may further complicate drug therapy. Increased awareness of clinically relevant psychotropic drug interactions can aid clinicians to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes in patients in the primary care setting.
PMCID: PMC4335312  PMID: 22707017
psychotropic; drug-drug interaction; primary care; antidepressant; antipsychotic; mood stabilizer; cytochrome P450 (CYP450); pharmacogenetic
15.  Disseminating Evidence-Based Psychological Treatments for Eating Disorders 
Current Psychiatry Reports  2015;17(3):12.
The research-practice gap is of concern in the treatment of eating disorders. Despite the existence of empirically supported treatments, few receive them. The barriers to wider dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatment include clinician attitudes towards such treatments and the lack of sufficient numbers of suitably trained therapists to provide treatment. In this review we discuss these barriers in the context of the wider issue of the dissemination and implementation of psychological treatments and review the research with regard to the treatment of eating disorders. Particular emphasis is placed on examining recent efforts to expand the availability and reach of treatments by making treatment delivery and training more scalable. We highlight promising developments and areas where further research is needed.
PMCID: PMC4320297  PMID: 25663154
Eating disorders; Empirically supported treatment; Dissemination; Implementation; Scalable training
16.  New Developments in Behavioral Treatments for Substance Use Disorders 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(12):10.1007/s11920-013-0420-1.
After decades of defining which behavioral treatments are effective for treating addictions, the focus has shifted to exploring how these treatments work, how best to disseminate and implement them in the community, and what underlying factors can be manipulated in order to increase the rates of treatment success. These pursuits have led to advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of treatment effects, the incorporation of technology into the delivery of current treatments and development of novel applications to support relapse prevention, as well as the inclusion of neurocognitive approaches to target the automatic and higher-order processes underlying addictive behaviors. Although such advances have the promise of leading to better treatments for more individuals, there is still much work required for these promises to be realized. The following review will highlight some of these recent developments and provide a glimpse into the future of behavioral treatments.
PMCID: PMC3878068  PMID: 24173656
Behavioral treatment; Substance use disorders; Mechanisms; Evidenced-based therapy; Contingency management; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Brief interventions; Mindfulness-based relapse prevention; Technology-based interventions; Neuroscience-based interventions; Neurocognitive function; Cognitive enhancement
17.  Toward Clinically Applicable Biomarkers in Bipolar Disorder: Focus on BDNF, Inflammatory Markers, and Endothelial Function 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(12):425.
The importance of biomarkers to many branches of medicine is illustrated by their utility in diagnosis and monitoring treatment response and outcome. There is much enthusiasm in the field of mood disorders on the emergence of clinically relevant biomarkers with several potential targets. While there are generally accepted criteria to establish a biomarker, such approaches are premature for our field as we acquire evidence on the most relevant candidates. A number of components of the inflammatory pathway are supported by published data together with an increasing focus on brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). These factors may have measurable impacts on endothelial function which may be particularly amenable to study in clinical samples. The adolescent population is a key focus since identifying biomarkers before the onset of comorbid medical conditions and which may help direct early intervention seem especially promising. A systematic approach to biomarker development in mood disorders is clearly warranted.
PMCID: PMC3926699  PMID: 24243532
Bipolar disorder; biomarkers; inflammation; inflammatory; neurotrophic; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; cardiovascular; endothelium; endothelial function
18.  Predicting Suicidal Behavior: Are We Really that Far Along? 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(12):424.
A recent publication focused on biomarkers of future suicidal behaviors identifies several genes expressed in high-risk states among four samples. We discuss the implications of this study as well as the current state of research regarding biomarkers of suicidal behavior.
PMCID: PMC3967238  PMID: 24254200
suicidal behavior; prediction; biomarkers
19.  Insomnia and Its Impact on Physical and Mental Health 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(12):418.
In contrast to the association of insomnia with mental health, its association with physical health has remained largely unexplored until recently. Based on findings that insomnia with objective short sleep duration is associated with activation of both limbs of the stress system and other indices of physiological hyperarousal, which should affect adversely physical and mental health, we have recently demonstrated that this insomnia phenotype is associated with a significant risk of cardiometabolic and neurocognitive morbidity and mortality. In contrast, insomnia with normal sleep duration is associated with sleep misperception and cognitive-emotional arousal but not with signs of physiological hyperarousal or cardiometabolic or neurocognitive morbidity. Interestingly, both insomnia phenotypes are associated with mental health, although most likely through different pathophysiological mechanisms. We propose that objective measures of sleep duration may become part of the routine evaluation and diagnosis of insomnia and that these two insomnia phenotypes may respond differentially to biological vs. psychological treatments.
PMCID: PMC3972485  PMID: 24189774
Cardiometabolic morbidity; Insomnia; Mortality; Neurocognitive impairment; Physiological hyperarousal; Polysomnography; Poor sleep; Psychiatric morbidity; Short sleep duration; Sleep disorders; Psychiatry
20.  Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Pediatric Populations: What Do the Data Say? 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(12):426.
Recent reports of antipsychotic medication use in pediatric populations describe large increases in rates of use. Much interest in the increasing use has focused on potentially inappropriate prescribing for non FDA-approved uses and use amongst youth with no mental health diagnosis. Different studies of antipsychotic use have used different time periods, geographic and insurance populations of youth, and aggregations of diagnoses. We review recent estimates of use and comment on the similarities and dissimilarities in rates of use. We also report new data obtained on 11 Health Maintenance Organizations that are members of the Mental Health Research Network in order to update and extend the knowledge base on use by diagnostic indication. Results indicate that most use in pediatric populations is for disruptive behaviors and not psychotic disorders. Differences in estimates are likely a function of differences in methodology; however, there is remarkable consistency in estimates of use by diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC4167011  PMID: 24258527
Antipsychotics; Children; Adolescents; Medicaid; Mental Health Research Network; Off-label; MarketScan; IMS Health; NAMCS; NDTI; NCS-A
21.  Bereavement and Complicated Grief 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(11):10.1007/s11920-013-0406-z.
Bereavement is a common experience in adults age 60 and older. Loss of a loved one usually leads to acute grief characterized by yearning and longing, decreased interest in ongoing activities, and frequent thoughts of the deceased. For most, acute grief naturally evolves into a state of integrated grief, where the bereaved is able to reengage with everyday activities and find interest or pleasure. About 7% of bereaved older adults, however, will develop the mental health condition of Complicated Grief (CG). In CG, the movement from acute to integrated grief is derailed, and grief symptoms remain severe and impairing. This article reviews recent publications on the diagnosis of CG, risk factors for the condition, and evidenced-based treatments for CG. Greater attention to complicated grief detection and treatment in older adults is needed.
PMCID: PMC3855369  PMID: 24068457
Complicated grief; Bereavement; Older adults; Grief; Loss; Attachment theory; Symptoms; Treatment; Psychiatry
22.  Depression and Insomnia in Cancer: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Effects on Cancer Outcomes 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(11):10.1007/s11920-013-0404-1.
Over two-thirds of the 11.4 million cancer survivors in the United States can expect long-term survival, with many others living with cancer as a chronic disease controlled by ongoing therapy. Behavioral co-morbidities often arise during treatment and persist long-term to complicate survival and reduce quality of life. This review focuses on depression and insomnia with an emphasis on understanding the role of cancer-specific factors and their contribution to the prevalence of these behavioral co-morbidities in cancer patients following cancer diagnosis and treatment. The clinical significance of depression and insomnia for cancer patients is further stressed by epidemiological observations that link depression and insomnia to cancer morbidity and mortality risk.
PMCID: PMC3836364  PMID: 24078066
Depression; Insomnia; Cancer; Sleep disturbance; Inflammation; Fatigue; Anxiety; Depressive symptoms; Major depression; Psychiatry
23.  Pharmacotherapy for Stimulant-Related Disorders 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(11):10.1007/s11920-013-0415-y.
Stimulant–related disorders (SRD) continue to be an important public health problem for which there are presently no approved pharmacotherapies. Although behavioral interventions provide some benefit response varies. The development of novel and effective pharmacotherapies continues to be a research priority. Understanding neural mechanisms critical to the action of stimulants has helped reveal several potential pharmacotherapies that have already shown promise in controlled clinical trials. Common to some of these medications is the ability to reverse neural deficits in individuals with SRD. Results from thoroughly conducted clinical trials continue to broaden our knowledge increasing the possibility of soon developing effective pharmacotherapies for SRD.
PMCID: PMC3858902  PMID: 24142188
Pharmacotherapy; Cocaine; Methamphetamine; Amphetamine; Stimulants; Substance use disorders; Stimulant use disorder; Substance related disorders; Amphetamine type substance use disorder; Dependence; Addiction; Dopamine; Norepinephrine; Clinical trial
24.  Treating Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(11):10.1007/s11920-013-0414-z.
The large number of individuals with substance use disorders involved in the nation’s criminal justice system (CJS) represents a unique opportunity, as well as challenges, in addressing the dual concerns of public safety and public health. Unfortunately, a low proportion of those who could benefit from treatment actually receive it while involved in the CJS. This article presents a review of recent research on the effectiveness of major substance abuse treatment interventions used at different possible linkage points during criminal justice case processing, including diversion, jail, prison, and community supervision. This is followed by a discussion of key research and practice issues, including low rates of treatment access and under-utilization of medication-assisted treatment. Concluding comments discuss principles of effective treatment for offenders and identify key gaps in research and practice that need to be addressed to improve and expand provision of effective treatment for offenders.
PMCID: PMC3859122  PMID: 24132733
Criminal justice; Drug treatment; Substance abuse; Offenders; Implementation; Psychiatry
25.  Genetic Influences on the Development of Alcoholism 
Current psychiatry reports  2013;15(11):412.
Alcoholism has a substantial heritability yet the detection of specific genetic influences has largely proved elusive. The strongest findings are with genes encoding alcohol metabolizing enzymes. A few candidate genes such as GABRA2 have shown robust associations with alcoholism. Moreover, it has become apparent that variants in stress-related genes such as CRHR1, may only confer risk in individuals exposed to trauma, particularly in early life. Over the past decade there have been tremendous advances in large scale SNP genotyping technologies allowing for genome-wide associations studies (GWAS). As a result, it is now recognized that genetic risk for alcoholism is likely to be due to common variants in very many genes, each of small effect, although rare variants with large effects might also play a role. This has resulted in a paradigm shift away from gene centric studies towards analyses of gene interactions and gene networks within biologically relevant pathways.
PMCID: PMC4159132  PMID: 24091936
Alcohol use disorders; ALDH2; ADH1B; GABRA2; GABRG1; AUTS2; SGIP1; 5-HTTLPR; HTR2B; HTR3B; HTR3A; CRHR1; MAOA; CHD13; Childhood trauma; Gene–environment interactions; Flushing response; Addictions array; GWAS; Exome sequencing; RNA-Seq; GSA; COGA; NESARC; Pharmacogenetics

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