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IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE:
February 2017

Mood Stabilizers during Pregnancy: Clinical Updates
Based on current data of in utero exposure to mood stabilizers, valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote, and others) and carbamazepine (Tegretol and others) present the greatest risk for adverse long-term neurobehavioral outcomes, whereas lithium and lamotrigine (Lamictal and others) so far appear to be safe. Antipsychotics have not been adequately studied.

Ongoing Treatment for BDD
Of patients with body dysmorphic disorder who respond to initial treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), those who are continued on SSRI treatment for 6 months show greater improvement and longer time to relapse than those switched to placebo.

In Brief
FDA Removes Black Box Warning for Smoking Cessation Drugs Varenicline and Bupropion; Low Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Decrease Depressed Patients Response to Chemotherapy

Antihypertensives and the Risk of Mood Disorders
In a Scottish retrospective study, patients who took angiotensin antagonist antihypertensive medications had a lower risk of being admitted to the hospital for a mood disorder than those who did not.

A Message from Alan J. Gelenberg, M.D.

When I first started writing BTP in the 1970s, it was to bridge the gap between new knowledge in our field and its application to patient care. Over the decades since, the need for this bridge has become even greater. Neuroscience rockets forward. Psychiatrists and other clinicians have a broader array of treatments for patients with mental disorders than we even dreamed of back then. But we have less time to spend with patients and less time to keep up with developments that affect treatment decisions. Our medications, and those prescribed by colleagues in other specialties, are more varied, complex, and prone to interactions. What were formerly crisp boundaries between major psychopharmacologic categories are now murky.

This makes the modern practice of psychiatry challenging—but also fun and promising. With the expanding armamentarium of treatment options comes enhanced ability to alleviate suffering. The mission of BTP remains constant, even while the field grows. We are still here to bridge the gap, to make science applicable and relevant, and to help you in your day-to-day work relieve distress and improve function in patients' lives.