The Wall Street Journal published “Most Antidepressants Aren’t Effective for Children, New Study Finds” on 6-27-16. This thorough article discusses a metal analysis of 34 medication trials for children with depression, published by Lancet, and which found, “among 14 regularly prescribed antidepressants only fluoxetine—brand name Prozac—was more effective than a placebo and had benefits that outweighed harms.” And, Prozac was found to be “only moderately helpful.”
The New York Times published an article, “Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy,” on 11-4-15. It is written by Nicholas Kristof, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting. The article discusses a recent book, “Overmedicated and Undertreated,” by Steven Francesco, who is described as a longtime pharmacy industry executive. Mr. Francesco’s book is a memoir of raising his troubled son, Andrew.
The NYT Sunday edition for 10-26-15 published a commentary by Richard Friedman, MD, which provides an excellent update on research outcomes for “brain hygiene.” In the article, “Can You Get Smarter?”, Dr. Friedman disputes the idea that we can increase our intelligence with various brain training exercises, but he also reports on research that supports the actual (limited) benefits of brain training programs, and also reviews the (more substantial) brain benefits of exercise and an active social life in our later years. He also reviews the (limited) benefits of antidepressant and stimulant medication for general brain health.
3 recent reports question the claims made by drug companies about the benefits of mental health medications, and also supporting concerns about side effects.
The New York Times edition for Sunday, March 1, 2015 includes an interesting commentary by a psychiatrist, Julie Holland, M.D., which is critical of how mental health medications are prescribed for many women. She is described as a “psychopharmacologist, psychiatrist, and author.” She is the author of “Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER,” which received positive reviews. She is also the editor of “The Pot Book,” quote which supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Her CV indicates that she has a history of researching the use of hallucinogenic drugs in experimental