Seeking Safety Therapy for Pathological Gambling and PTSD: A Pilot Outcome Study.

Seeking safety therapy for pathological gambling and PTSD: a pilot outcome study.

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Jan-Mar; 45(1): 10-6
Najavits LM, Smylie D, Johnson K, Lung J, Gallop RJ, Classen CC

This pilot study evaluated Seeking Safety (SS) therapy for seven outpatients with current comorbid pathological gambling (PG) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This represents the first treatment outcome study of this population, and included both genders and 29% minorities. We found significant improvements in: PTSD/trauma (the PTSD Checklist criterion B symptoms; the Trauma Symptom Inventory overall mean and subscales anxiety, dissociation, sexual abuse trauma index, sex problems; and the World Assumptions Scale benevolence subscale); gambling (the Gamblers Beliefs Questionnaire overall mean and subscales illusion of control); functioning (the Basis-32 overall mean and depression/anxiety subscale); psychopathology (the Brief Symptom Inventory overall mean and subscales anxiety and depression; and the Addiction Severity Index, ASI, psychiatric composite score); self-compassion (the Self-Compassion Scale overall mean and subscales isolation, overidentified, and self-judgment); and helping alliance (the Helping Alliance Questionnaire overall mean). One variable indicated worsening (employment composite subscale on the ASI), possibly reflecting measurement issues. SS attendance was excellent. PTSD onset occurred prior to PG onset for most of the sample, and most believed the two disorders were related. Overall, we found that SS can be effectively conducted for comorbid PTSD and PG, with improvements in numerous domains and high acceptability. Limitations are discussed. HubMed – depression


Children and adolescents with complex regional pain syndrome: More psychologically distressed than other children in pain?

Pain Res Manag. 2013 Mar-Apr; 18(2): 87-93
Logan DE, Williams SE, Carullo VP, Claar RL, Bruehl S, Berde CB

Historically, in both adult and pediatric populations, a lack of knowledge regarding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and absence of clear diagnostic criteria have contributed to the view that this is a primarily psychiatric condition. To test the hypothesis that children with CRPS are more functionally disabled, have more pain and are more psychologically distressed than children with other pain conditions. A total of 101 children evaluated in a tertiary care pediatric pain clinic who met the International Association for the Study of Pain consensus diagnostic criteria for CRPS participated in the present retrospective study. Comparison groups included 103 children with abdominal pain, 291 with headache and 119 with back pain. Children and parents completed self-report questionnaires assessing disability, somatization, pain coping, depression, anxiety and school attendance. Children with CRPS reported higher pain intensity and more recent onset of pain at the initial tertiary pain clinic evaluation compared with children with other chronic pain conditions. They reported greater functional disability and more somatic symptoms than children with headaches or back pain. Scores on measures of depression and anxiety were within normal limits and similar to those of children in other pain diagnostic groups. As a group, clinic-referred children with CRPS may be more functionally impaired and experience more somatic symptoms compared with children with other pain conditions. However, overall psychological functioning as assessed by self-report appears to be similar to that of children with other chronic pain diagnoses. Comprehensive assessment using a biopsychosocial framework is essential to understanding and appropriately treating children with symptoms of CRPS. HubMed – depression


Pomegranate supplementation improves affective and motor behavior in mice after radiation exposure.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 940830
Dulcich MS, Hartman RE

Currently, NASA has plans for extended space travel, and previous research indicates that space radiation can have negative effects on cognitive skills as well as physical and mental health. With long-term space travel, astronauts will be exposed to greater radiation levels. Research shows that an antioxidant-enriched diet may offer some protection against the cellular effects of radiation and may provide significant neuroprotection from the effects of radiation-induced cognitive and behavioral skill deficits. Ninety-six C57BL/6 mice (48 pomegranate fed and 48 control) were irradiated with proton radiation (2?Gy), and two-month postradiation behaviors were assessed using a battery of behavioral tests to measure cognitive and motor functions. Proton irradiation was associated with depression-like behaviors in the tail suspension test, but this effect was ameliorated by the pomegranate diet. Males, in general, displayed worse coordination and balance than females on the rotarod task, and the pomegranate diet ameliorated this effect. Overall, it appears that proton irradiation, which may be encountered in space, may induce a different pattern of behavioral deficits in males than females and that a pomegranate diet may confer protection against some of those effects. HubMed – depression


Control group design: enhancing rigor in research of mind-body therapies for depression.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 140467
Kinser PA, Robins JL

Although a growing body of research suggests that mind-body therapies may be appropriate to integrate into the treatment of depression, studies consistently lack methodological sophistication particularly in the area of control groups. In order to better understand the relationship between control group selection and methodological rigor, we provide a brief review of the literature on control group design in yoga and tai chi studies for depression, and we discuss challenges we have faced in the design of control groups for our recent clinical trials of these mind-body complementary therapies for women with depression. To address the multiple challenges of research about mind-body therapies, we suggest that researchers should consider 4 key questions: whether the study design matches the research question; whether the control group addresses performance, expectation, and detection bias; whether the control group is ethical, feasible, and attractive; and whether the control group is designed to adequately control for nonspecific intervention effects. Based on these questions, we provide specific recommendations about control group design with the goal of minimizing bias and maximizing validity in future research. HubMed – depression