Psychiatry Month in Review: January 2024

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Our January 2024 psychiatry month in review includes studies finding associations with depression, anxiety, and anorexia nervosa, as well as a phase 3 study looking into long-term safety of olanzapine, samidorphan.

With the first month of 2024 over, it is time to acknowledge new research in the field of psychiatry. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia, January had plenty of research on mental health studies. In this psychiatry month in review, we highlighted the 5 most popular pieces of content from the month of January.

Anxiety/Depression in the Spotlight

Anxiety, Depression Symptoms Increase Post-Dobbs Abortion Decision

Following the Dobbs abortion decision overturning Roe vs. Wade, anxiety and depression symptoms increased in the trigger states, according to a new study. The trigger states—Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming—had laws where abortion would be banned as soon as the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. A survey from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health leveraged data from a nationally representative cross-sectional Household Pulse Survey from December 2022 and evaluated changes in anxiety and depressive symptoms from before and after the Dobbs decision.

Bariatric Surgery is Linked to Lowering Anxiety, Depression Symptoms

New data suggests bariatric surgery is association with a significant reduction in anxiety and study. The prospective, observational cohort study included participants who previously partook in the By-Band-Sleeve study, a randomized trial to assess the surgical management of severe obesity. Participants were recruited between January 2013 – September 2019 from 19 National Health Service surgical centers in England and had either undergone gastric bypass, gastric band, or sleeve gastrectomy surgery. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale reduced from 7 at baseline for both anxiety and depression to 5 for anxiety and 3 for depression after the surgery.

New Data in Schizophrenia

Olanzapine, Samidorphan Effective for Long-Term Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Announced by Alkermes plc on January 3, 2034, data from a phase 3, open-label extension study found olanzapine, samidorphan (LYBALVI) was effective for treating schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, and bipolar I disorder up to 4 years. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved olanzapine, samidorphan for adults with schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder, but investigators aimed to provide insight into the long-term safety, tolerability, and durability of the drug.

“This extension study lasted for 4 years, and nearly half of the patients remained in the study for that entire time,” said investigator Jacob Ballon, MD, MPH, from Stanford University, in an interview with HCPLive. “That is an astounding number of completers for a trial of this duration, particularly in this population. Many of these patients came from the earlier trial in the first episode, a population that is notoriously fickle when it comes to clinical trials.”

Check out this interview with Dr. Ballon: https://www.hcplive.com/view/jacob-ballon-md-mph-discusses-takeaways-from-studying-long-term-olanzapine-and-samidorphan

Antipsychotic Injections for Schizophrenia Linked to Decline in Hospital Readmissions

A new Rutgers Health study found antipsychotic injections are linked to a 75% reduction in 30-day rehospitalizations compared with other oral antipsychotics for patients with schizophrenia. The single-center retrospective review supported the use of injections over daily pills for medical and financial reasons. Lead investigator Daniel Greer stated in a press release that people may choose pills over injections due to insurance coverage and fear of needles. Participants in the study were either discharged with injections or oral medication, but most opted for pills than long-acting injections. Yet, injections have a significantly greater reduction in 30-day rehospitalizations.

Sleep Habits and Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa Associated with Being an Early Riser

A new study found anorexia nervosa is linked to being an early riser and thus the morning chronotype. This goes against other disorders, such as depression, binge eating disorder, and schizophrenia, which tend to be evening-based. The investigators said results could direct future research into circadian therapies for anorexia nervosa prevention and treatment.

“We need to do more work to better understand what precise sleep and circadian rhythm strategies might be effective in the treatment and prevention of anorexia nervosa,” said investigator Hassan Dashti, PhD, RD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in an interview with HCPLive.

Check out this interview with Dr. Dashti: https://www.hcplive.com/view/hassan-dashti-phd-how-findings-anorexia-nervosa-linked-morning-chronotype-affects-treatment

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