Objective: Mental health treatment today incorporates neurobiology, genetics, neuro-imaging, and pharmacologic mechanisms, offering more options to patients. For some, these modern approaches are not viable choices due to reasons such as limited access to care, cost, intolerable side effects, and, in the pediatric population, fears of potential long-term effects. With the growing prevalence of chronic health conditions, concerns for age of onset, (McGorry, Purcell, Goldstone, & Amminger, 2011) and a growing population of mental health patients, cost-effective and evidence-based treatment options should be evaluated. Read More
Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in psychiatry or integrative psychiatry covers a wide range of biological, psychological and mind-body treatments that enhance standard medical practices and patient outcomes. While CAM approaches are popular amongst patients in their practice as well as in self-report because of their ease of use, health professionals have received limited education in these interventions and often are unaware of their patients' use of CAM treatments.
Method: This overview highlights evidence-based CAM treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) including dietary interventions, phytomedicines, mind-body practices and neurofeedback. Read More
Background: Mind-Body practices constitute a large and diverse group of practices that can substantially affect neurophysiology in both healthy individuals and those with various psychiatric disorders. In spite of the growing literature on the clinical and physiological effects of mind-body practices, very little is known about their impact on central nervous system (CNS) structure and function in adolescents with psychiatric disorders.
Method: This overview highlights findings in a select group of mind-body practices including yoga postures, yoga breathing techniques and meditation practices. Read More
Background: Adolescent refugees face many challenges but also have the potential to become resilient. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize the protective agents, resources, and mechanisms that promote their psychosocial well-being.
Methods: Participants included a purposively sampled group of 73 Burundian and Liberian refugee adolescents and their families who had recently resettled in Boston and Chicago. Read More
Background: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States and worldwide. Marijuana use is a problem of increasing magnitude among adolescents. Use typically begins in adolescence and is associated with a variety of adverse outcomes. Read More
Background/objectives: Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States with the vast majority of adult smokers starting prior to the age of 18. Despite the public health relevance and implications of studying smoking in adolescents, little is known about the initiation of quit attempts, the process of relapse, and the most efficacious treatment interventions in this high-risk and underserved population. Issues such as retention in research studies and accuracy of self-reports have prompted investigators to explore innovative technology-based systems to integrate into treatment studies and services delivery. Read More
Objectives: To survey a diverse high school population on current prescription and over-the-counter medication misuse behaviors and attitudes.
Methods: We administered the MUSC Inventory of Medication Experiences (MIME), a newly developed self-report instrument, in demographically diverse high schools in Charleston, SC, to assess the feasibility of its administration and determine characteristics associated with medication misuse among high school students.
Results: A total of 3182 students completed the MIME (93% completion rate). Read More
Background: Retention and compliance are hurdles in many clinical trials designed for adolescents. Factors that may improve these issues in a challenging population may lead to increased data and power in much needed adolescent substance abuse research.
Methods: Within a large-scale smoking cessation study for adolescents, physician continuity (PC) was examined to determine its effect on retention, compliance, and cessation. Read More
Background & Objectives: Over the past decade, non-medical use of novel drugs has proliferated worldwide. In most cases these are synthetic drugs first synthesized in academic or pharmaceutical laboratories for research or drug development purposes, but also include naturally occurring substances that do not fit the typical pharmacological or behavioral profile of traditional illicit substances. Perhaps most unique to this generation of new drugs is that they are being sold over the counter and on the Internet as "legal highs" or substitutes for traditional illicit drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA, and LSD. Read More
Background: Substance using juvenile offenders have some of the highest rates for engaging in risky sexual behaviors compared to other adolescent subgroups.
Methods: An overview of the literature on sexual risk behaviors among these youth is provided, including the empirical support for including caregivers/parents as critical partners in sexual risk reduction efforts with this population. In particular, there is (a) evidence that family factors contribute to adolescent sexual risk, (b) emerging support for caregiver focused interventions that target adolescent sexual risk, and (c) established support for caregiver focused interventions that target other complex adolescent behavior problems. Read More
Environmental risk and protective factors in schizophrenia play a significant role in the development and course of the disorder. The following article reviews the current state of evidence linking a variety of environmental factors and their impact on the emergence of psychotic disorders. The environmental factors include pre- and perinatal insults, stress and trauma, family environment, and cannabis use. Read More
Current concepts of addiction focus on neuronal neurocircuitry and neurotransmitters and are largely based on animal model data, but the human brain is unique in its high myelin content and extended developmental (myelination) phase that continues until middle age. The biology of our exceptional myelination process and factors that influence it have been synthesized into a recently published myelin model of human brain evolution and normal development that cuts across the current symptom-based classification of neuropsychiatric disorders.The developmental perspective of the model suggests that dysregulations in the myelination process contribute to prevalent early-life neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as to addictions. Read More
To prevent an endless debate between those supporting an intrinsic deficit versus an environmental deficit, the adolescent's problem has been seen here as both an individual problem and the metaphorical expression of a family problem. The intricacy of this two-faceted problem appears vividly with borderline and immature adolescents. Both the adolescent and family have, among other problems, difficulty separating. Read More
Many review articles address the diverse and rapidly developing field of eating disorders, but there are far fewer articles addressing the specific population of adolescents. The social contributors (desire for thinness amplified by the media) to these illnesses are considerable and affect all adolescent and latency-age girls to some degree. Understanding the full range of behavior and those at high risk to develop pathology is important. Read More
Not all young people who present with a borderline syndrome are equally vulnerable. Clinical manifestations appear along a spectrum that varies from an apparently less severely disturbed psychoneurotic to those who appear with almost total ego fragmentation (Giovacchini, 1964). When the syndrome appears as a result of social system trauma in early adolescence, adequate diagnosis and appropriate intervention can make for speedy recovery. Read More