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Tag Archives: psychiatry

Attempted Replication: Does Beef Jerky Cause Manic Episodes?

Last year, a study came out showing that beef jerky and other cured meats, could trigger mania in bipolar disorder (paper, popular article). It was a pretty big deal, getting coverage in the national press and affecting the advice psychiatrists … Continue reading

Know Your Gabapentinoids

The gabapentinoids are a class of drugs vaguely resembling the neurotransmitter GABA. Although they were developed to imitate GABA’s action, later research discovered they acted on a different target, the A2D subunit of calcium channels. Two gabapentinoids are approved by … Continue reading

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Do People Like Their Mental Health Care?

Along with more specific questions, I asked people who took the SSC survey to rate their experience with the mental health system on a 1 – 10 scale. About 5,000 people answered. On average, they rated their experience with psychotherapy … Continue reading

The APA Meeting: A Photo-Essay

The first thing you notice at the American Psychiatric Association meeting is its size. By conservative estimates, a quarter of the psychiatrists in the United States are packed into a single giant San Francisco convention center, more than 15,000 people. … Continue reading

Is There A Case For Skepticism Of Psychedelic Therapy?

There’s been an explosion of interest in the use of psychedelics in psychiatry. Like everyone else, I hope this works out. But recent discussion has been so overwhelmingly positive that it’s worth reviewing whether there’s a case for skepticism. I … Continue reading

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5-HTTLPR: A Pointed Review

In 1996, some researchers discovered that depressed people often had an unusual version of the serotonin transporter gene 5-HTTLPR. The study became a psychiatric sensation, getting thousands of citations and sparking dozens of replication attempts (page 3 here lists 46). … Continue reading

Short Book Reviews April 2019

I. Method of Levels Timothy Carey’s Method Of Levels teaches a form of psychotherapy based on perceptual control theory. The Crackpot List is specific to physics. But if someone were to create one for psychiatry, Method of Levels would score … Continue reading

Translating Predictive Coding Into Perceptual Control

Wired wrote a good article about Karl Friston, the neuroscientist whose works I’ve puzzled over here before. Raviv writes: Friston’s free energy principle says that all life…is driven by the same universal imperative…to act in ways that reduce the gulf … Continue reading

Ketamine: Now By Prescription

Last week the FDA approved esketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Let’s review how the pharmaceutical industry works: a company discovers and patents a potentially exciting new drug. They spend tens of millions of dollars proving safety and efficacy to the FDA. … Continue reading

Survey Results On SSRIs

SSRIs are the most widely used class of psychiatric medications, helpful for depression, anxiety, OCD, panic, PTSD, anger, and certain personality disorders (Why should the same drug treat all these things? Great question!) They’ve been pretty thoroughly studied, but there’s … Continue reading

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