With Digital Phenotyping, Smartphones May Play a Role in Assessing Severe Mental Illness

Digital phenotyping approaches that collect and analyze Smartphone-user data on locations, activities, and even feelings – combined with machine learning to recognize patterns and make predictions from the data – have emerged as promising tools for monitoring patients with psychosis spectrum illnesses, according to a report in the September/October issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Read more

Mental Health Units in Correctional Facilities: Scarce Data but Promising Outcomes

Specialized mental health units (MHUs) may be critical to managing the high rates of serious mental illness in incarcerated populations. But research data on unit characteristics, services provided, and outcomes achieved by MHUs in correctional facilities are scarce, according to a report in the July/August issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Read more

Unexpected Mental Illnesses Found in a Spectrum of a Rare Genetic Disorder

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers found an unexpected spectrum of mental illnesses in patients with a rare gene mutation. These patients had a “double hit” condition that combined features and symptoms of fragile X syndrome and premutation disorder, in addition to a range of psychiatric symptoms. The findings revealed the need for clinicians to consider the complexities of the co-existing conditions of patients with both psychological and fragile X associated disorders.

Read more

Vets Walking Pets: Strolls with Shelter Dogs May Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

About 6 to 8 million dogs end up in shelters in the U.S. each year. Researchers worked with two no-kill shelters on a study examining the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. Results confirm the importance of the human-animal bond and provide evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans – with particular potential benefits for those with an increase in PTSD symptom severity.

Read more

Research News Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins Medicine

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine Media Relations is focused on disseminating current, accurate and useful information to the public via the media. As part of that effort, we are distributing our “COVID-19 Tip Sheet: Story Ideas from Johns Hopkins” every Tuesday throughout the duration of the outbreak.

Read more

Roth Leads $26.9 Million Project to Create Better Psychiatric Medications

Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a team of internationally acclaimed researchers led by UNC School of Medicine’s Bryan L. Roth, MD, PhD, aims to create new medications to effectively and rapidly treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse without major side effects.

Read more