Progress Made in Developing Methamphetamine Vaccine

By Rick Nauert, PhD

Researchers report promising advances in the lab toward the development of a vaccine to treat methamphetamine addiction.

Although the abuse of “speed” or methamphetamines is under the radar screen for many, the costs associated with the addiction are astronomical exceeding $23 billion annually. Expenditures include medical and law enforcement outlays as well as lost productivity.

In the paper, Kim Janda, Ph.D., and colleagues note that “meth” or “crystal meth” can cause a variety of problems including cardiovascular damage and death. Meth is highly addictive, and users in conventional behavioral treatment programs often relapse.

Full story at PsychCentral

Treatment of Maternal Depression Improves Child Behavior

By Rick Nauert, PhD

When moms are successfully treated for depression, their children progressively show marked improvement in behavior as much as a year after the end of treatment.

That is the finding of a new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry that also found the faster mothers got better, the faster their kids improved – and the greater the degree of improvement.

“If you treat the mother when she is depressed and don’t even go through the process of treating the children of these mothers, they still get better as their mothers get better,” said Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, a co-author of the study. “It is very rare to treat a patient and have an impact on people around the patient that is this significant.”

Full story at PsychCentral

Personality Affects How Likely We Are To Take Our Medication

By Christopher Fisher, PhD

The results of a unique study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show that personality has an impact on how likely people are to take their medication. This is the first major study of its kind to be published in the online open access journal PloS ONE. Check the end of this report for a link to download the original, full-text study.

The study was based on 749 people with chronic diseases who responded to a questionnaire on medication adherence behavior – or in other words, whether they take their medicine. Their personalities were also assessed using another questionnaire, the Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), which comprises 60 statements with five different responses. The questionnaire was based on five personality traits: neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experiences, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

Full story at The Behavioral Medicine Report


By Addition Treatment Magazine

Smoking is responsible for elevating multiple health risks, including heart disease and several types of cancer. For diabetics, however, the stakes are especially high. A new study has revealed that nicotine is responsible for blood sugar levels remaining high over an extended period of time in those who have diabetes and smoke.

The study was presented at the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society. The lead author, Xiao-Chuan Liu, PhD, is a researcher at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona California and presented the study’s results at the meeting. Liu stressed the importance of the findings, indicating that the results are the first to establish a clear link between nicotine and complications for diabetics.

Full story at Addiction Treatment Magazine

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Positive Effects of Depression

By Traci Pedersen

Depression may actually have a positive side effect. It appears that depressed people perform better than healthy people in sequential decision tasks, according to research in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Sequential decision tasks are a part of our problem-solving cognitive functioning abilities.

Although most symptoms of depression interfere with cognitive functioning, researchers including Paul Andrews, Ph.D., of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics and Andy Thomson, M.D., of the University of Virginia have suggested that depression may promote analytical reasoning and persistence. These are qualities that are often helpful in complex tasks

Full story at PsychCentral