fpamed News

Can the Bacteria In Your Gut Explain Your Mood

In an intriguing June 23, 2015 New York Times article with the provocative title, “Can the Bacteria In Your Gut Explain Your Mood,” the science journalist Peter Andrey Smith explores the hypothesis that among the myriad of microbes in our intestines, some manufacture neurochemicals that may well affect the neurochemistry in our brains just as […]

Assessing Emotional Damages Claims of a Population in Multi-Plaintiff Litigation

fpamed Forensic neuropsychologist Ronald Roberts PhD and Forensic Psychiatrist Mark Levy MD, DLFAPA presented on July 2, 2015 to the National CDL Practice Group of the Seyfarth Shaw, LLP law firm, a discussion entitled “Assessing Emotional Damages Claims of a Population in Multi-Plaintiff Litigation.” A pdf of the powerpoint slides for that presentation can be […]

Should the Trial of James Holmes be the beginning of the end for use of psychiatric testimony in court to judge guilt or innocence? “

The following is a post from the Psychiatric Times LinkedIn page byJohn Liebert, MD CM Psychiatrist in Scottsdale, Arizona. Following his post, Mark Levy MD has added a lengthy comment The Trial of James Holmes “Despite that hurdle for prosecutors, legal observers say Mr. Holmes’s lawyers are facing huge obstacles. For weeks, people who lost […]

Vetting System for Pilots May Lessen Chances of Germanwings Repeat

The following article from the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association is a follow up on previous blog posts on this fpamed.com site concerning the GermanWings crash, pilot depression and cockpit screening for potentially dangerous signs of mental illness. From the American Psychiatric Association’s PsychiatricNews: by Aaron Levin, 07 May 2015 No evaluation process is […]

BERKELEY: BART takes steps to prevent suicides on tracks

Forensic psychiatrist Mark Levy MD was recently interviewed by a San Francisco Fox News affiliate KTVU reporter, Rob Ross, to comment on a new plan by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System to begin a suicide prevention program within BART stations where there have been a number of suicides recently. The interview can be […]

Mental Illness in the Cockpit

by Mark Levy MD Medical Director fpamed The New York Times lead article on Sunday April 19, 2015 was headlined “Germanwings Crash Exposes History of Denial of Risk of Pilot Suicide” Germanwings Crash Expose…t Suicide – NYTimes What is most shocking among the revelations contained in this article is that there have been rare but […]

Lufthansa: Germanwings Co-pilot had been treated for “deep depression.” Mental Illness Stigma Keeps Pilots’ Problems Hidden

by Mark I Levy MD Forensic Psychiatrist Medical Director fpamed Assistant Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine Two articles in the March 31, 2015 New York Times revealed that Andreas Lubitz, the presumed suicidal co-pilot who appears to have intentionally crashed a Germanwings aircraft into the French Alps last week, murdering all 149 passengers […]

Relying on Self-reported Emotional Impairment by Pilots is Inadequate Risk Assessment

Charles Saldanha, MD Forensic Psychiatrist Asst. Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, UCSF That the co-pilot at the controls of the Germanwings airliner did not fully disclose his mental health condition is tragic, but not surprising. The current reliance on self-report of mental health diagnoses and treatment is likely to generate many false negatives. People with mental health […]

Co-pilot in Germanwings Crash Alleged to Have Hidden Mental Illness from Employer

Mark I Levy MD Forensic Psychiatrist Medical Director Forensic Psychiatric Associates, LP Asst. Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, UCSF School of Medicine According to a March 28, 2015 article in the New York Times, the co-pilot who locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed a German Wings aircraft flying from Spain to Germany, killing […]

Employment Rights for People with Bipolar Disorder

A recent article in the Bipolar Network News (BNN) bipolarnews.org Vol. 19, Issue 1, 2015, highlights that according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) patients with Bipolar Disorder are covered under the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), charged with enforcing the ADAAA, has made it clear in […]

Exercise Linked to Improved Erectile and Sexual Function in Men

The Journal of Sexual Medicine reported today that moderate regular exercise is linked to improved erectile function in men. Exercise Linked to Improved Erectile and Sexual Function in Men Released: 23-Mar-2015 5:00 AM EDT Source Newsroom: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Citations Journal of Sexual Medicine Newswise — LOS ANGELES (March 23, 2015) – Men who exercise […]

Despite Federal Law, Some Insurance Exchange Plans Offer Unequal Coveragge for Mental Healt

According to an article in Medical Press dated March 3, 2015, One-quarter of the health plans being sold on health insurance exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act offer benefits that appear to violate a federal law requiring equal benefits for general medical and mental health care, according to new research led by the […]

California Report Slams Kaiser Permanente for Long Delays for Mental Health Care

from the American Psychiatric Association headlines February 25, 2015 Leading The News California Report Slams Kaiser Permanente For Long Delays For Mental Health Care Treatment. The Los Angeles Times (2/25, Pfeifer, Terhune) reports that in a report released Feb. 24, the California Department of Managed Health Care “slammed HMO giant Kaiser Permanente for causing mental […]

Institute of Medicine Redefines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The authoritative Institute of Medicine (part of the distinguished National Academies of Science, Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council) convened a high level commission to review Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They have modified the diagnostic criteria as described below. Psychiatry Advisor reported on February 24, 2015: The IOM report lays out new diagnostic criteria […]

The Forensic Psychiatric Report

The following article by Norko and Buchanan from The Journal of Psychiatric Practice describes the purpose and structure of a well written forensic psychiatric report. J Psychiatr Pract. 2015 Jan;21(1):67-71. doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000460623.40923.47. The forensic psychiatric report. Norko MA1, Buchanan MA. Author information Abstract The construction of a written forensic report is a core component of […]

Engaging veterans with substance abuse disorders into a research trial: success with study branding, networking, and presence

The focus of this paper is on the recruitment and retention strategies used for a study addressing multiple risk behaviors among veterans with alcohol or drug problems. Focused on clients in substance abuse treatment, challenges with research recruitment and retention were anticipated due to low motivation to change additional risk behaviors, frequent and abrupt changes […]

CONSUMER GUIDE AND Scorecard Health Insurance Coverage in California for Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health

fpamed Forensic Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine specialist, David Y. Kan, MD, an officer of the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM), has developed a tool to assist consumers to evaluate and compare the addiction and mental health treatment benefit features of the major health insurance plans on sale to the public in California. CSAM is […]

Expert Testimony in Zoloft Lawsuit Ruled Inadmissible

Experts for the plaintiffs were prepared to testify that Zoloft caused birth defects in humans, but US District Judge Cynthia Rufe found the scientific opinion supporting the connection to be unreliable and inadmissible during trial. Read article here: Expert Testimony in Zolo…ible | ExpertPages Blog  

(Suicidal) Depression can be treated but it takes competence: Kay Redfield Jamison PhD

In the wake of Robin William’s tragic death, Professor Kay Jamison PhD wrote a stunning piece on depression and suicide in the NYTimes on 8/15/14 (see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/opinion/depression-can-be-treated-but-it-takes-competence.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A5%22%7D&_r=0)  Her basic premise is that suicidal depression is treatable but it requires a competent psychiatrist. Furthermore, mental health treaters are a heterogeneous lot and there is no consistency of […]

US Supreme Court Lets California Law Stand Banning “Reparative” Therapies With Minors

The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of the California law banning the use of so-called “reparative” psycho-therapies with minors, thus permitting the existing law to stand. So-called “reparative” therapies lack scientific validation but are popular particularly among some politically conservative religious groups who believe that homosexuality is a volitional “choice” that can […]

Study Finds That Common Lab Test Can Help Predict Antidepressant Treatment Response

A widely used lab test for inflammation, C-reactive protein, may help differentiate between serotonin responders and norepinephrine responders, thus reducing the trial and error time for antidepressant medication treatment. See Study Finds That Common Lab Test Can Help Predict Antidepressant Treatment Response

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—vpn.ucsf.edu-pmc…nih.gov+nihms293837.pdf.pdf

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 […]