Ketamine: Leading the Way Toward Fast-Acting Antidepressants

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I realize it is too early but I will ask the question anyway: could this drug possibly be used to safely treat bipolar depression without inducing mania?

Johns Hopkins Team Identifies Genetic Link to Attempted Suicide

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A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide.

Johns Hopkins scientists, reporting in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is associated with increased risk for attempted suicide. This small region contains four genes, including the ACP1 gene, and the researchers found more-than-normal levels of the ACP1 protein in the brains of people who had committed suicide. This protein is thought to influence the same biological pathway as lithium, a medication known to reduce the rate of suicidal behavior.

The researchers say that the findings could lead to better suicide prevention efforts by providing new directions for research and drug development.

The Good News and the Bad News About Mental Health Care in America

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The good news is that improvement rates for serious mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness) rival or surpass those for chronic physical diseases like diabetes and heart disease, provided that the patient receives the right treatment — consistently. The bad news is that an astonishing 80 percent of people in this country with treatable mental disorders do not have their conditions detected in medical or other settings — and even when identified and properly diagnosed, they do not receive effective treatment.