Antidepressant Trials and a Psychiatry Summer School for Medical Students. News Round-Up: April 2012 4th Edition

Kok and colleagues have conducted a meta-analysis of 51 randomised controlled trials of antidepressant treatment of depression in older adults and concluded that the evidence supports a beneficial effect of antidepressants in response and remission rates. The researchers were unable to distinguish between Tricyclic Antidepressants, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and other antidepressants in remission or response rates. However to conclude that the antidepressants were more effective than placebo in remission rates they pooled the data from all three groups of antidepressants.

In a moderately sized 12-week double-blind placebo controlled trial, Richard and colleagues investigated the treatment of Depression in Parkinson’s Disease. Using the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scale they found a mean reduction of 6.2 points in the Paroxetine group (p=0.0007) and 4.2 points in the Venlafaxine XR group (p=0.02)

Rihmer and colleagues have published a paper in the European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology arguing that the placebo response has been overestimated in some trials and propose an alternative method for calculating antidepressant and placebo response rates.

Although case studies are not as useful as larger trials investigating questions they can often form the basis for hypothesis which can be subsequently investigated with appropriate methodology. In this case report, the researchers identify the progression of cortical changes in a man with Posterior Cortical Atrophy. They identified progression from the Inferior Temporal and Posterior Parietal Cortices to the Occipital Cortex followed by other regions.

In this study, the researchers found that subjective memory impairment was a common complaint in older adults but few people sought medical attention for this.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has produced this video about the Institute of Psychiatry summer school for medical students to learn more about Psychiatry.

There is an interesting write-up of a new report by the Royal Society on how the world can flourish with 7 billion people and the necessary sociocultural changes that will facilitate this.


2008-2011 News Round-Up

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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