|News & Information for December 29, 2018
Opioids are killing more children and teens, too, study says
A growing number of children and adolescents in the United States are dying from opioid poisonings, a new study shows. Nearly 9,000 pediatric deaths were attributed to opioids from 1999 through 2016, according to a report published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open. During that 18-year span, the mortality rate for youth due to opioid poisonings nearly tripled. “What began more than 2 decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of US society, including the pediatric population,” researchers wrote. “Millions of children and adolescents are now routinely exposed in their homes, schools and communities to these potent and addictive drugs.” Research released earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics showed that the number of children admitted to hospitals for opioid overdoses nearly doubled from 2004 to 2015.
Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Suicide Attempt Linked to Prescribed Access
The results of a case-control study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry indicate that individuals using psychotropic medication in a suicide attempt were significantly more likely to have prescribed access to the drug. […] These data highlight a significant need for safety interventions among individuals at high risk for suicide with prescribed access to psychotropic drugs. Further research is necessary to identify groups at the highest risk for using drugs prescribed to them in a suicide attempt and to parse out effective means of intervention.
Study finds antidepressants a risk factor for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Taking antidepressants for depression, having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety diagnosed by a doctor are risk factors for rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. This is according to a study published in the Dec 26, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found men are more likely to have the disorder. […] “While much is still unknown about REM sleep behavior disorder, it can be caused by medications or it may be an early sign of another neurologic condition like Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies or multiple system atrophy,” says study author Ronald Postuma, MD […] Researchers found those with the disorder were over two-and-a-half times as likely to report taking antidepressants to treat depression, with 13% of those with the disorder taking them compared to 6% of those without the disorder.
Antipsychotics Tied to Higher Risk of Death in Children
David Healy in Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder, there was a fivefold increase in the use of antipsychotics in preschoolers and preteens. The second-generation atypicals (Zyprexa, Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, and others) were often prescribed off-label for a variety of indications, including depression, ADHD, mood stabilization, and behavioral control. From the outset, they were known to contribute to cardiovascular and metabolic problems, chiefly weight gain, tardive dyskinesia, and diabetes. But whether the drugs themselves were associated with an increased risk of death was, at least officially, unknown. That is no longer the case. The first sizable (250,000-person) study on the subject was recently published online in JAMA Psychiatry, largely concerning children and teens diagnosed with ADHD. Led by Wayne A. Ray at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the study controlled for multiple factors, including schizophrenia, suicide, and overdose. Of the three groups studied, it determined that the one receiving a higher dose of antipsychotic medication had a “significantly increased risk of unexpected death compared with the group that received control medication.”
Video: Mood foods: the link between depression and diet
In a new paper, researchers analyzed the results of 41 studies on depression and food. They found eating a Mediterranean diet was linked to a 33 percent lower risk of depression. The Mediterranean diet includes foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, legumes, fish and healthy oils that contain monosaturated and omega-3 fats. “Especially the Omega-3 fatty acids, those are known to have pretty clear effects with depression,” Dr. Charles Conway said. On the flip side, the researchers found a diet high in processed foods, sugar and saturated fats upped the risk of depression. Steer clear of products with ingredients like flour, hydrogenated oil, sugar, artificial sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup. Some foods that have been shown to boost your mood include avocados, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens like kale and spinach, walnuts, seeds and beans. And don’t forget to throw in some physical activity for good measure.