The management of depression during pregnancy: a report from the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist

This is a joint report by the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology discussing treatment guidelines for depressed pregnant women and the known risks of SSRI (and SNRI) antidepressant drugs in particular. A “must” read for all practicing psychiatrists. https—…

Antidepressants May Have Role in Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, Study Suggests

This is a remarkable report. Obviously, a natural prospective study would be to track the population of millions of people currently taking SSRI antidepressants (or even just citalopram on which the study is based) and see the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease going forward. Here is the citation for the original article:  Sheline et al.Science Translational Medicine Home, 14 May […]

Risk for Psychiatric Disorders Increases After Head Injury, Study Finds

This is a striking Danish study showing the strong association between head trauma and subsequent psychiatric illness. The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014 Risk for Psychiatric Disorders Increases After Head Injury, Study Finds Studies on the relationship of head injury to later development of psychiatric disorders have produced […]

Malcolm Gladwell On American Health Care: An Interview

Malcolm Gladwell, the social commentator who added to our lexicon “tipping point,” “outlier” and “blink” made some insightful observations about American healthcare, the Affordable Care Act and American Physicians in a recent interview with Forbes Medical Contributor Robert Pearl, MD…. Malcolm Gladwell speaking at a 2008 conference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)   Robert Pearl, M.D., ContributorI cover […]

Researchers May Have Identified Biomarker for Concussion

This article posted today in JAMA Neurology, offers the promise of an objective biomarker for mTBI. Such a biomarker, if its reliability is established, would enable forensic psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and neurologic experts to offer to the trier of fact objective evidence for the presence of a mTBI.   from Psychiatric News Alert, the voice of the American […]

Study Finds Gene Methylation a Marker of PTSD Vulnerability

from Psychiatric News Alert: The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community This journal article may provide an important new piece to the puzzle of trying to understand PTSD vulnerability and resiliency factors. It could bring us closer to biological testing for PTSD vulnerability which could eventually be used to screen applicants for […]

Effective Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury, Toxic Torts, and Multi-Party Litigation

Michael Fox, a partner at the Sedgwick law firm, San Francisco office, together with Ronald Roberts PhD and Mark Levy MD from fpamed, spoke on panel at the International Association of Defense Counsel midyear meeting at Carlsbad, California on February 11, 2014  The powerpoint slides can be downloaded in pdf format here: Effective Use of […]

Premature Mortality After a Traumatic Brain Injury

An interesting article published in the January 15, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry (JAMA Psychiatry) concerns the fate of a small minority of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients who die prematurely. A study in Sweden between 1969 and 2009 followed 218,300 patient who survived more than six months […]

David Kan MD discusses Alcoholism on Pat Thurston Show KGO 810 Radio

On January 12, 2014, David Kan,MD, an fpamed addiction and forensic psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF, discussed alcoholism with talk radio host Pat Thurston on KGO 810 Radio in San Francisco. Dr. Kan’s interview can be heard here:

The Use of Forensic Psychiatry in Catastrophic Injury and Multi-Party Litigation

Forensic psychiatry seeks to determine what is objectively true about a plaintiff’s diagnosis and possible injury, using neurocognitive and psychological testing, interviewing, and a review of documentary data, Michael L. Fox and Mark I. Levy say in this BNA Insight. The authors—one an attorney, the other a forensic psychiatrist—offer a primer on the use of forensic psychiatric evidence in catastrophic injury and mass tort claims, including advice on the practical, legal and ethical issues that arise in these cases.

Mice may inherit traumatic experiences, study shows

This is a “paradigm shifter!” Research from Emory University has shown the ability to inherit fears of specific traumatic experiences across multiple generations of mice. If this occurs in higher mammals, such as humans, it “inverts” Darwin’s idea. Natural Selection may be a much more rapid process than something determined by simply “random” genetic events. […]

Legal Applications of Forensic Child Psychology

Legal Applications of Forensic Child Psychology In addition to the role of the forensic psychiatrist in criminal cases, the specially trained professionals also play an important role in evaluating the children and adults involved in a court case. In cases involving child custody, evaluations are performed to determine the parenting capacity of each parent, in […]

An Overview of the Forensic Neuropsychologist

Although more courts are turning to an expert witness in psychology and forensics to evaluate defendants and plaintiffs in court cases, many people do not understand the role of the forensic neuropsychologist in legal matters. In cases where a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs as the result of a fall, traffic accident or being struck, […]

Forensic Psychiatrists’ Role with Mentally Disordered Offenders

Forensic Psychiatrists’ Role with Mentally Disordered Offenders Too often, people do not even realize what their civil rights are, much less when they have been violated. Although your civil rights include those against being discriminated against for your race, color, national origin, sex, religion or a disability, they also include your right to vote, to […]

Warning: Antidepressants May Cause Bank Robbery

This article, written by forensic psychiatrist James L. Knoll, IV MD, and published in Psychiatric Times volume 30 November 2013, makes a significant contribution, through tongue in check, to laying to rest the false conclusion that antidepressant medication in general and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in particular cause aggressive behavior or even suicide. He […]

Is This “Parity” for Mental Health Coverage? Shortage of Psychiatric Beds Preceded State Senator’s Stabbing

Is discharging an acutely disturbed young man to the street, because there were insufficient beds in Western Virginia, “parity” for psychiatric illness treatment under the law? Would a hospital emergency room release to the street someone who came in with a life-threatening medical condition, say a heart attack? Yet this is done routinely with emergency […]

Key Cases Occupy Intersection Between Psychiatry & Law

This article form July 2010 discusses two US Supreme Court Cases that once again looked ambivalently at the issue capital punishment, narrowing the circumstances under which it can be invoked, upholding the role on forensic psychiatric expert opinion in such deliberations while failing to do away entirely with this ultimate and controversial form of punishment. […]

Why Psychiatric Experts Matter in Cases of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is diagnosed in nearly two million people each year as a result of falls, traffic accidents, being struck by various objects, and assaults. This type of injury is categorized as neurologic and is treated by medical specialists called neurologists. While these specially trained physicians are experts at treating the physical component […]

When Can Fitness for Duty Exams be Used by Employers?

Mark I. Levy, M.D. The reasons that companies request fitness for duty exams for employees are to ensure that they have adequately recovered from a disability or to evaluate the reasons that the employee isn’t meeting the level of performance required in their position. Determining when to evaluate an employee’s job fitness can be a […]

The New Science of the Mind – Nobel Laureate Professor Eric R. Kandel Responds to Recent Article

Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate Eric R. Kandel has written a compelling op-ed article in the New York Times responding to a recent article that suggested “psychiatry is a ‘semi-science’ whose practitioners cannot base their treatment of mental disorders on the same empirical evidence as physicians who treat disorders of the body can.” Dr. Kandel’s thoughts […]

When Can Fitness for Duty Exams be Used by Employers?

When Can Fitness for Duty Exams be Used by Employers? The reasons that companies request fitness for duty exams for employees are to ensure that they have adequately recovered from a disability or to evaluate the reasons that the employee isn’t meeting the level of performance required in their position. Determining when to evaluate an […]

Forensic Psychiatric Assessments for Multi-Plaintiff Mass Tort Claims

A tort is a civil wrong that a person commits, resulting in injury to another person. Mass torts are lawsuits where the defendant, plaintiff, or both are a group of people, instead of a single individual. The role of forensic psychiatrists in these cases is to evaluate the members of groups who are involved in […]

Even the Playing Field in Child Custody with a Forensic Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

The end of a marriage is a difficult time for most people. When there is also the issue of child custody, emotions and tensions run high. The person that you have been married to and shared your life with can suddenly seem like a total stranger. It may seem that your spouse has all of […]

Infantile Amnesia – a mystery begins to be understood

Thomas Insel, MD, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has written in his a blog a very interesting article about new research into the nature of Infantile Amnesia – the fact that adults cannot accurately retrieve memories of events and experiences (i.e., autobiographical memory) that occurred before age 4 years. As this […]