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November 2015

Brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
The manufacturer of aripiprazole (Abilify and others), which is now off patent, has released a similar drug called brexpiprazole (Rexulti), which the FDA has approved to treat schizophrenia and as an adjunct to antidepressants for major depressive disorder (MDD).

Medical Marijuana
Several recent reviews question the evidence for the efficacy of medical marijuana and caution about its potential long-term side effects.

In Brief
Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Increased Cognitive Decline in Older Adults; High-Glycemic Diets Associated with Increased Risk of Depression in Postmenopausal Women

Nitrous Oxide for Depression?
A pilot study of nitrous oxide inhalation for patients with treatment-resistant depression has yielded positive results.

About Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D.

Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D. is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona and has chaired Departments of Psychiatry at Arizona and Penn State. He has also been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, MIT, and the University of Wisconsin. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the field's most widely read peer-reviewed journal, and founding author of Biological Therapies in Psychiatry Newsletter.

Dr. Gelenberg has been lead author of manuscripts in the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, and Journal of the AMA and has published over 280 scientific articles, editorials, and book chapters. He chaired the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) workgroup on Treatment Guidelines for Major Depressive Disorder, 3rd edition, was on a joint APA/AMA taskforce on similar guidelines for primary care and a committee to advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control about depression. He helped create the ASEX scale to monitor sexual side effects of antidepressants and electronic versions of suicide-assessment instruments.

Often a guest lecturer and visiting professor throughout the world, Dr. Gelenberg has sat on National Institute of Mental Health committees, is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the APA, former chair of its Committee on Research on Psychiatric Treatments, past President of the West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry, fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and member of the American College of Psychiatrists. He is on the Council of the Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, Boards of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Professional Advisory Council of the Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Information Service, Scientific Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and NCDEU Steering Committee. He chairs the Data and Safety Monitoring Board of the NIMH study Treating Depression and Insomnia (TRIAD). Consistently listed in The Best Doctors in America and America's Top Doctors, he received an Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and two teaching awards at the University of Arizona. He has mentored numerous researchers, many of whom are now highly productive scientists.

A native of Philadelphia, Alan Gelenberg received an A.B. from Columbia University and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After a year's internship in internal medicine at Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, he was a resident in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. For six years he was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. Dr. Gelenberg's wife was the first woman TV news anchor in Arizona, on the air for 34 years, and a candidate for the U.S. Congress. Between them, the Gelenbergs have five children.

If you have a question for Dr. Gelenberg, you can send him an email at