Lithium in Pregnancy
Because of the high rate of preterm deliveries and a possible increased risk of cardiovascular anomalies in babies born to women who take lithium during pregnancy, increased monitoring and the use of the lowest possible dose are recommended.
Varenicline for Smoking Cessation in Bipolar Disorder
Varenicline (Chantix) appears to be efficacious for smoking cessation in patients with euthymic bipolar disorder without increasing psychiatric symptoms.
Several Variables Predict Risk of Dementia in Patients with Parkinson Disease; Depression Is Common but Undertreated in Patients with Cancer
Please be sure to review the Continuing Medical Education (CME) posttest and evaluation for 2014, inserted in this month's issue.
Challenges and Hopes
Although problems remain in the field of psychiatry today, there are also many reasons for optimism.
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.