In The News

Benzodiazepines: our other prescription drug epidemic

This piece written by Anna Lembke examines the increase in benzodiazepine abuse in the United States. Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, also provides comment in a Q&A with WebMD.com.

Republicans try to link sanctuary cities to the opioid epidemic. They fail.

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece about immigration and the opioid epidemic.

 

Intense magnetic stimulation could reduce severe depression, new study shows

A new method of brain stimulation to treat depression improved symptoms in a small group of treatment-resistant patients who suffered for decades with no relief, according to a new Stanford study. Lead author Nolan Williams, instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this blog post.

Zirpoli: Wrong response to opioid crisis

Keith Humphreys provides comment in this piece about the opioid epidemic.

How a police chief, a governor and a sociologist would spend $100 billion to solve the opioid crisis

This piece examines potential solutions to the opioid epidemic. Anna Lembke and Keith Humphreys are included.

Commentary: Purdue Pharma is done promoting opioids. Here’s why it’s a big deal

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has announced that it will no longer market opioids to doctors. In this piece, Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, discusses the influences of small gifts on prescribing practices.

Aziz Ansari, 100 French Women, "Witch Hunts" and Backlash

Dr. Shaili Jain, Medical Director of the Primary Care- Behavioral Health Team at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, discusses what the #MeToo must learn from the science of sexual harassment. 

Opioid makers funneled millions to patient advocacy groups

According to a new report, opioid manufacturers paid nearly $9 million to organizations that shape policy and public opinion around opioids. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.

April 20 pot holiday linked to spike in fatal car crashes

New research suggests 4/20 cannabis celebrations may be to blame for an increase in fatal car crashes. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.

I’m in love with myself: The age of digital narcissism

Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece looking at narcissism and self-obsession in the age of social media.

Can cannabis save us from the opioid crisis?

A new study adds to a body of research suggesting medical marijuana may help reduce opioid deaths, but experts say ending the epidemic will take much more than cannabis. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed during this segment.

Stanford Refugee Research Project explores ways University can aid refugee crisis

The Stanford Refugee Research Project aims to create a campuswide collaborative of organizations and individuals committed to relief efforts for the refugees. Michele Barry, director of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, is principal investigator, and Laila Soudi, a clinical research coordinator in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will be leading the project, which is being funded by Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Dean Lloyd Minor.

Smartphone detox: How to power down in a wired world

This segment discussed smartphone addiction and signs of problematic use. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, was interviewed.

All Things Considered (NPR)

Keith Humphreys was interviewed during a segment discussing the federal government's plans to curtail the opioid crisis.

Congress’s budget deal doesn’t do enough to fight the opioid crisis

Congress’s budget plan includes $6 billion to combat opioids over two years, but some experts believe more is needed. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted here.

How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule

The article details what factors throw our sleep off and how to reset our body clocks. Dr. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences comments on how to send our bodies signals to adjust our sleep schedules.

Sleep 101: The Ultimate Guide on How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

The article takes a look at the importance of sleep, from the why to the how. Dr. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is interviewed for the story.

Instead Of Expanding Treatment For Opioids, Trump Says He Will Focus On Enforcing Laws

The Trump administration is focusing on tougher enforcement of drug laws, instead of increasing treatment as recommended by the White House Commission on Opioids. Dr. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, comments on the lack of a comprehensive policy to curb the opioid epidemic in this NPR report.

Positive attitude towards math predicts math achievement in kids

A new Stanford study has found that kids with positive attitude towards math performed better in the subject. Senior author Vinon Menon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this Stanford Medicine press release.  For more coverage:

CNBC, HealthDay News; Health.com; U.S. News & World Report, and iNews (U.K.)

Why states should limit the potency of marijuana

In this post, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the public health concerns of the increasing potency of legalized marijuana.  

Studies at Palo Alto VA investigate the exercise-brain connection

With earlier studies suggesting a link between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline, researchers are investigating whether different forms of exercise can stave off Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia in the fast-growing population of older Americans.  Jennifer Kaci Fairchild, a Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University, is quoted in this article.

Sergiu Pasca awarded the 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 to encourage and support young immigrants who have already demonstrated exceptional achievements.  Sergiu Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences is featured in this piece for his 2018 award. 

For the accompanying video, please visit: Sergiu P. Pasca: 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

For more coverage:

Innovative imaging technique helps scientists see circuits responsible for alertness

Using a brain imaging technique, a team of Stanford researchers led by Karl Deisseroth has been able to track brain activity in real time in specific neurons, uncovering the brain circuits that regulate alertness. Deisseroth is the D.H. Chen Professor and a professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.  

Taube gift to launch youth addiction initiative

A gift of $9.5 million will launch the Tad and Dianne Taube Youth Addiction Initiative, led by the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  The program aims to comprehensively address the treatment and prevention of addiction during adolescence and conduct research into its causes. Stanford researchers believe the initiative will be the first in the nation to fully address addiction during earliest exposure in adolescence. It is part of a major endeavor at the School of Medicine and Packard Children’s to address mental health among young people. 

For more information:

Tad and Dianne Taube Gift $14.5 Million to Launch Youth Addiction and Children’s Concussion Initiatives

For additional coverage:

Smoke and mirrors: Writing that commemorates Frankenstein

This blog post highlights the recent Pegasus Physician Writers’ forum, “Becoming Frankenstein: Our Risky Aspirations.” The event was part of Medicine and the Muse’s year-long series of events, films, classes and arts and technology festivals marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinJohn Van Natta, emeritus clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Hans Steiner, emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences; and James Lock, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are featured here.

New campuswide initiative to address Syrian refugee crisis

The Stanford Refugee Research Project aims to create a campuswide collaborative of organizations and individuals committed to relief efforts for the refugees. Michele Barry, director of the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, is principal investigator, and Laila Soudi, a clinical research coordinator in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will be leading the project.

The DEA is trying to help rural Americans get better access to addiction treatment. Will its plan work?

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently announced that more types of health care providers—not only doctors—will be able to apply to prescribe buprenorphine, an effective but potentially addictive medicine for treating opioid addiction. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted here.  

Drugs kill more Americans than guns, cars and AIDS. How we got here.

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment in this article about the opioid epidemic.  

No, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion did not cause the opioid crisis

In this post, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the expansion of Medicaid and the opioid crisis.

Modeling the Human Brain in 3D

Dr. Sergiu Pasca is a professor at Stanford University who is using 3D cultures to understand human brain development. Pasca and his lab have previously published methods to make different types of brain organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that recapitulate human brain developmental events in a dish.

Eye On Tech Social Media and Sucide Prevention

This segment focused on social media safety in schools, with an emphasis on suicide prevention. Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was interviewed.

Why sexual harassment victims often can’t just ‘get over it’

This piece examines the negative psychological and physical consequences of workplace sexual harassment. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel, and Lulu Willson Professor in medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was featured.

Psychiatry Innovation Lab nurtures young businesses

Applications are open now for submissions for Psychiatry Innovation Lab.  The American Psychiatry Association’s Workgroup on Psychiatry Innovation will review submissions and select the strongest based on several criteria, including value, viability, background, and impact. Finalists will receive expert mentorship from industry leaders in business, technology, medicine, investing, and government on how to improve the feasibility and effectiveness of the idea during the American Psychiatric Association meeting.  Dr. Nina Vasan, chair of the Psychiatry Innovation Lab and director of Brainstorm, the Stanford Laboratory for Brain Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is featured.

The technology of sleep: Can gadgets help?

In a recent episode of Science Friday, Jamie Zeitzer discussed sleep science and new sleep devices and apps. Zeitzer is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.  

Imaginary creatures devour the peace of mind of the troubled few afflicted with delusions of parasitosis

This piece examines an uncommon psychological condition that causes delusions of parasitosis, the belief that parasites have invaded the body. David Relman, the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor and professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology, and Chris Hayward, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are quoted here.

The aging brain: A conversation with a cognitive psychologist

This blog post highlights a recent 1:2:1 podcast with Ruth O’Hara, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, on the cognitive effects of worrying and anxiety in seniors. Paul Costello, the medical school’s chief communications officer, is host. For more, please visit:

Worrying and the effects on memory in seniors

His patients said floating in a sensory deprivation float was healing. So he tried it.

In this post, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses floating, a form of sensory deprivation therapy, to manage mental illness.

The boy who stayed awake for 11 days

In 1963, two boys had an idea for a school science project – to stay awake for as long as possible. This piece looks back on that experiment and how it shed light on the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain. William Dement, the Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, emeritus, is quoted.  

Department of Psychiatry investigators join UC Davis team to win NIH-funded, Autism Center oF Excellence (ACE) grant

Department of Psychiatry Investigators, Joachim Hallmayer, MD, Sundari Chetty, PhD, and Ruth O’Hara, PhD, joined Autism expert David Amaral, MD, and his team at the UC Davis MIND Institute and were awarded a 5-year, Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) grant. One of only five in the nation, their ACE aims to create a “Center for the Development of Phenotype-based Treatments of Autism Spectrum Disorder,” that takes a personalized medicine approach to addressing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treatment based on a child’s behavioral and biological characteristics with the goal of identifying and tailoring treatments that improve quality of life.

Just how bad is kids’ smartphone addiction?

Researchers are now recognizing the link between digital addiction and mental health risk factors. Anna Lembke, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, is quoted in this piece.  

KQED: Investors Urge Apple to Take Action to Curb Digital Device Overuse Among Children

In this segment, Anna Lembke, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic, discussed digital addiction and overuse in children. 

How To Stay Updated On The News Without Losing Your Mind

Research shows constant exposure to negative news may affect your mental health over time. Data published in 2016 by the American Psychological Association found that two out of three Americans feel anxiety over the future of the country. Dr. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides tips for following the news while protecting your mental health.

At DePaul, creating video games for social good

To a DePaul University professor and her students, video games are more than just a fun way to pass the time.  The work at DePaul is part of a growing movement to use video games for social good. Although clinical trials and studies have not yet shown video games to be an effective treatment on their own, they are emerging as a new way to reach patients with mental health afflictions.  Dr. Nina Vasan is quoted in this article.

Why some people swear by Alcoholics Anonymous — and others despise it

This story examines the Alcoholics Anonymous program and quotes Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Christine Timko, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Have a drinking problem? Here’s a tool for finding effective treatment

In this piece, Keith Humphreys discusses the Alcohol Treatment Navigator, a tool developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that walks treatment-seekers through important questions to ask and quality indicators to look for when choosing a treatment program.

Notable papers in autism research in 2017

Each year, SPECTRUM asks autism researchers to weigh in on the year’s most ‘notable papers’ — studies that changed the way we think about autism; they then count the votes and pick 10 winners.  Drs. Karen Parker and Antonio Hardan were featured at #3 with "Oxytocin spray boosts social skills in children with autism"

Virtual calming: Easing anxiety in young patients using immersive technology

This article highlights the ways virtual reality is being used to calm anxieties in fearful children and teens undergoing potentially frightening medical procedures, as well as to help them understand their illnesses and how their physicians plan to treat them. Anne Dubin, MD; Lauren Schneider, PsyD; Stephanie Chao, MD; Gerald Grant, MD; David Axelrod, MD; Tom Caruso, MD; and Sam Rodriguez, MD, are quoted.

Digital Psychiatry in 2017: Year in Review

Researchers like Adam Miner of Stanford also reminded us that using chatbots in mental health, or conversational artificial intelligence as he labels this group of technologies, is still complex but holds tremendous potential that will likely only expand in 2018.  The American Psychiatric Association hosted an Innovation Zone at its annual meeting where startups and psychiatrists met, mingled, and even co-created ideas for new ventures in the Innovation Lab, organized by Dr. Nina Vasan of Stanford. The Innovation Zone is back on for the 2018 annual meeting and likely to be even larger.

Technological Ventures Offer New Hope for the Future of Psychiatry

It is more important than ever that we join forces with stakeholders and share our ideas and expertise to create new ideas that work for our patients and for the systems in which we function. Brainstorm, the Stanford Laboratory for Brain Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is the first of its kind -- they apply the biopsychosocial model of disease to tackle problems on the systems level.

NIH's 2017 Research Highlights features Stanford lab

3-D model of human brain development and disease:  To study prenatal brain development and how such genetic mutations disrupt the process, a team led by Sergiu Pasca at Stanford University created a miniaturized brain model by directing human stem cells in a dish to become neurons and form 3-D brain organoids or brain-region “spheroids.” The studies were partially funded by NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Results were published in the May 4, 2017, issue of Nature.

Caffeine: good or bad?

Keith Humphreys was featured in this piece exploring caffeine addiction.  

Average U.S. life expectancy drops as opioid deaths climb

American life expectancy at birth declined for the second consecutive year due to a 21 percent rise in the death rate from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discussed data during this segment.  

How my iPhone helped save my mental health

This piece is a reflection on the importance of a smartphone for one woman who struggle to remain mentally healthy. Keith Humphreys is quoted here.

18 realistic ways to become a happier, more chill person in 2018

This article provides tips to reduce stress and improve life in the coming year. Amy Poon, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.

Fueled by drug crisis, U.S. life expectancy declines for a second straight year

American life expectancy at birth declined for the second consecutive year due to a 21 percent rise in the death rate from drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.  

Light-triggered genes reveal the hidden workings of memory

This piece profiles Susumu Tonegawa, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is working to understand memory. Karl Deisseroth, the D. H. Chen Professor and a professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is mentioned here.

To deter criminals, expand DNA databases instead of prisons

In this piece, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses how adding criminals to a DNA database may help deter offenders.

An electrical brain switch shuts off food cravings

A characteristic electrical-activity pattern in a key brain region predicts impulsive actions just before they occur. A brief electrical pulse at just the right time can prevent them, Stanford scientists have found. Senior author Casey Halpern, assistant professor of neurosurgery, and study co-author Robert Malenka, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences are quoted here and in articles from Shots (NPR.org), The Week, Tech Times, and in a Stanford Medicine press release.  For more coverage, please visit:

Doctors urged to reduce opioids after surgery

Reducing the amount of prescription opioids and talking to patients about using and disposing of mediciations may be a simple solution to combating the opioid epidemic, according to a new study from Michigan Medicine. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment in this article.

How to cut down on holiday clutter and chaos

Nothing throws off our home organization game quite like the influx of stuff the holidays bring. From Christmas trees and ornaments to wrapping paper to the piles of presents (both outgoing and incoming), the clutter can start to get overwhelming.  Carolyn Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,  provides comment in this article on how to cut back.

For teens, a good mood depends on good sleep

As kids reach adolescence, they often face increasing workloads and responsibilities. But they are not yet adults. Their bodies and brains are still changing. As a result, "Their sleep needs are like that of a developing child," says Rafael Pelayo provides comment in this article.  Dr. Pelayo is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine.

What voters really mean when they say they support marijuana legalization

In this piece, Keith Humphreys examines what Americans mean when they say they support marijuana legalization. Humphreys is also quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article about the effects of marijuana legalization on small growers in California. Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. For more coverage:

Smaller growers say regulators reneged on pot plot ownership

How we can discover new treatments for mental health

Carolyn Rodriguez, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses ways researchers, patients and their families can advance mental health research and support new treatments.

We were told violent crime rose in 2016. That may not be true.

In this blog post, Keith Humphreys discusses violent crime rates in the United States.  

The Republican tax plan is a disaster for addiction treatment

Some experts are concerned that the Senate tax bill will have a negative impact on addiction and treatment. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment here.  

Many different types of anxiety and depression exist, new study finds

Five new categories of mental illness that cut across the current broad diagnoses of anxiety and depression have been identified by researchers in a Stanford-led study. Senior author Leanne Williams, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this piece. For more coverage:

Transdiagnostic Symptom Clusters and Associations With Brain, Behavior, and Daily Function in Mood, Anxiety, and Trauma Disorders

One idea for preventing leftover opioids from fueling opioid abuse

One of the side effects of a decade of opioid overprescribing is the reservoir of billions of pills in American homes, writes Keith Humphreys in this piece. Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Cancer survival disparities show that MediCal is a “disaster” in need of reform, researcher writes

New research shows that Californian cancer patients with public insurance, like Medicaid, or no insurance, have lower survival rates than those with private insurance. In an associated commentary, Douglas Blayney, professor of medicine, who was not involved with the research, discusses the growing disparities in cancer care. Authors of the study include David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel, and Lulu Willson Professor in medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Uri Ladabaum, professor of medicine and director of Stanford’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Prevention Program. Recent research led by Arnold Milstein, professor of medicine and director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center, about high-value care is also referenced here.  

‘The Woebot will see you now’ – the rise of chatbot therapy

Chatbots that can listen and learn may be an effective tool to increase accessibility to mental health services. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who helped lead a clinical trial for one chatbot service, provides comment in this piece.  

Should people with anorexia be force-fed?

Kristine Luce, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece that examines the ethics of forcing involuntary treatment on individuals with eating disorders.

Worry, unlike anxiety, improves memory skills in elderly, Stanford study finds

According to a new study, worrying helps alleviate the negative effects on memory and cognitive processing caused by depression and anxiety in older adults. Senior author Ruth O’Hara, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and lead author Sherry Beaudreau, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are quoted here.  

From pills to psychotherapy, treating depression often lies in a gray zone

In this piece, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the different treatment options for depression.

SF report weighs health risks raised by legal pot

Legal recreational sales of marijuana will begin in California in January 2018. San Francisco public health officials have published a report on possible issues that may arise from widespread marijuana use. Keith Humphreys provides comment here.  

Where is the prevention in the President’s opioid report?

This opinion piece calls for an increased focus on evidence-based strategies to prevent the use of opioids. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.  

Cancer patients and PTSD on KCBS-AM

During this segment, David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel, and Lulu Willson Professor in medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discussed why so many cancer patients experience post-traumatic stress disorder (interview begins at the 11:34 mark).

Hazards of smoking and realities of quitting 

This segment of The Chip Franklin Show explored the hazards of smoking and realities of quitting. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was featured.  

Woof. Dog owners live longer, study shows.

A new study suggests that people who own a dog may live longer and healthier lives by reducing their risk for cardiovascular death. Sue Kim, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who was not involved with the study, is quoted here.

California prisons failing inmates freed from solitary, advocates charge

This article references research by Daryn Reicherter, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, that suggests solitary confinement contributes to mental and emotional problems in incarcerated individuals.  

Substituting methadone for opioids could save billions

New research suggests that methadone and similar drug-maintenance treatments save lives and money. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment here. She was not involved with the study.  

Khalil Center's new headquarters open in Union City

The Khalil Center, a social and spiritual community wellness center designed to address the widespread prevalence of social, psychological, familial, relational and spiritual issues of communities, opened its offices in Union City in November 2017. Dr. Rania Awaad, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Clinical Director of the Bay Area Khalil Centers, gave the welcoming address.

A new study found a big problem with a popular opioid addiction medication

This article discusses a study comparing two opioid addiction treatments. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, were not involved with the study but provide comment here. Humphreys also discusses opioid addiction treatment in a separate piece on Inlander (Spokane, Wash.).  For more coverage:

Can you really be addicted to sex?

Keith Humphreys and Anna Lembke are quoted in this piece on sex addiction.

Kim Bullock, MD Among Those Who Have Earned First-Ever Board Certification in the Field of Lifestyle Medicine

The American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) has announced that Kim Bullock, MD is among the 204 physicians and 43 PhD/Masters-level health clinicians who have become the first medical professionals globally to be certified as Diplomates of the ABLM/American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Lifestyle Medicine, defined by the ACLM, is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease.  Congratulations, Dr. Bullock!

Stanford Psychiatry Resident and Student Recognized for Best Business Book Proposal of the Year by The Financial Times

"The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company announced that Psychiatry Resident Dr. Nina Vasan MBA ‘18 and student Anika Nagpal ‘18 were named to the shortlist for the 2017 Bracken Bower Prize for the best business book proposal of the year. This international award is given to the most promising proposal on future trends in business by an author under 35.  Vasan, Nagpal, and their co-authors Josh Kornberg MBA '19, Zach Harned LAW '20, and Dr. Neha Chaudhary from Harvard Medical School are writing 2 Billion Reasons Why, which addresses the hope and hype of technological ventures in transforming brain health and optimizing well being. Visit www.stanfordbrainstorm.com to learn more.

At Stanford, physician burnout costs at least $7.75 million a year

Physician burnout is a major predictor of physician turnover, which has a high cost. So addressing the organizational factors that contribute to burnout becomes more than just a question of helping physicians. It’s a matter of the bottom line.  “If we don’t do anything about burnout, what would happen?” asked Maryam Hamidi, PhD, during a presentation at the American Conference on Physician Health. Hamidi and Mickey Trockel, MD, PhD, of the Stanford Medicine WellMD Center and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences led this study.

Stanford researchers get NIH grant to study autism

The grant will help Stanford investigators find out if variants in many different autism-linked genes trigger the condition by affecting molecular pathways and cellular processes. Sergiu Pasca, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences is featured in this article.

Complex technology can bog down research into sleep issues in people on the spectrum

The evidence to date points to profound differences between the sleep of individuals with autism and that of typical people or those with developmental delay. But our ability to identify and treat sleep problems is hampered by expensive and complex technology.  Ruth O'Hara, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences writes in the piece.

How to get children with autism to sleep

Insomnia troubles many children with autism. Luckily, research is awakening parents to some simple bedtime solutions.  Ruth O’Hara, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is featured in this article for techniques to make polysomnography more bearable for children on the spectrum.

Is strep linked to scary kids’ behavior disorder?

This piece highlights the first peer-reviewed treatment guidelines for PANS, pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, co-authored by Margo Thienemann, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Popping the red pill: Inside a digital alternate reality

Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece about online extremism.

E-cigarettes: The dangers and health risks of vaping

According to new research, e-cigarettes also trigger damaging immune responses in the lung, contrary to popular belief. Robert Jackler, the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in Otorhinolaryngology and professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, and Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who were not involved with the study, are quoted in this piece.  

A new study compared opioids and over-the-counter painkillers in ERs. Opioids didn’t do so well

A new study of patients who go to the emergency department with acute pain suggests that over-the-counter, non-addictive drugs relieve pain just as well as opioid medications prescribed under the same circumstances. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who was not involved with the study, is quoted here.  

In clinical trials, medications show promise for treating heroin addiction

Alternative medications that substitute for heroin in the brain can be highly effective in blocking the drug’s effect on opioid receptors and promoting abstinence, Keith Humphreys, writes in this post. Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences,  

New treatment guidelines released for a challenging brain disease

This blog post highlights the first peer-reviewed treatment guidelines for PANS, pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, co-authored by Margo Thienemann, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.  

Panel of Stanford Medicine leaders discusses compassion in health care

As part of the Contemplation by Design program, Stanford Medicine leaders gathered last week to discuss cultivating compassion in medicine and reducing physician burnout. The speakers included Dean Lloyd Minor; Charles Prober, professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology, and senior associate vice provost for health education and founding executive director of the Stanford Center for Health Education; and Mickey Trockel, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Stanford Neurosciences Institute Faculty awarded BRAIN Initiative grants

Stanford researchers will be digging further into the inner workings of our brains and the tools to do so, thanks to the latest round of grants from the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, announced in late October.  

Stanford expert weighs in on daylight saving time and that extra hour of sleep

In this blog post, Clete Kushida offers insight and tips on daylight savings time. Kushida is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, division chief and medical director of Stanford Sleep Medicine, and director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research.

5 Questions: Margo Thienemann on an alarming children’s psychiatric disease

Stanford clinicians helped develop the first clinical guidelines for treating pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, a psychiatric problem linked to brain inflammation. Margo Thienemann, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, is lead author of the portion of the guidelines that address psychiatric and behavioral interventions. In this 5 Questions feature, Thienemann, co-director of Packard Children’s PANS clinic, discusses why guidelines were needed and what else can be done to raise awareness of the condition.

A new survey found that 20 percent of parents use pot

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, discussed the dangers of daily cannabis use during this segment.

Novel technology pioneered by Stanford researchers ties brain circuits to alertness

Karl Deisseroth and his colleagues developed a method that enables them to monitor the activity of vast numbers of nerve cells in the brain and then characterize the cells of interest in molecular detail. Deisseroth is the D. H. Chen Professor and professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. For more coverage:

Brain’s alertness circuitry conserved through evolution

All Things Considered

During this segment, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses anti-drug campaigns.

Initiative aims to help develop innovative companies for brain health

Brainstorm, an initiative that aims to foster creative and entrepreneurial companies to improve brain health, launched recently with an event featuring a Shark Tank-style competition between virtual reality researchers.  Nina Vasan, MD, a psychiatry resident and MBA student at Stanford, is interviewed in the piece.

Just say no to opioids? Ads could actually make things worse

The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency and there is talk of an advertising campaign discouraging the use of drugs. Some experts are concerned that anti-drug campaigns have little positive effect, Keith Humphreys, the Ester Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, writes in this piece.  

Deaths from opioid overdoses are especially prevalent in 4 US states

New research shows that the rates of death from opioid overdoses in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania are all above the national average. Keith Humphreys, who was not involved with the study, provides comment here.  

Critics Say Trump's Opioid Announcement Doesn't Go Far Enough

The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency, but some critics say it does not provide the money needed to get the job done. Anna Lembke was interviewed during this segment at 1m 37s.

NIH announces awards for BRAIN Initiative neuroethics research

As scientists develop powerful neurotechnologies to monitor and regulate brain activity, ethical questions arise about how these new tools should be incorporated into medical research and clinical practice. To inform this discussion, the National Institutes of Health has awarded grants to five teams of experts, including our team led by Dr. Laura Roberts, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, who will study the neuroethical issues surrounding innovative research.  

Trump administration declares opioid crisis a public health emergency

The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment here and in pieces from GQ and Vox:

There are medications that can treat alcoholism, but doctors rarely use them

Several FDA-approved drug treatments for alcohol abuse exist, yet most people with alcoholism are not receiving treatment, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, writes here.  

Past anti-drug campaigns show little success

The opioid epidemic has been declared a public health emergency and there is talk of an advertising campaign discouraging the use of drugs. Some experts are concerned that anti-drug campaigns have little positive effect. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted here.  For more coverage:

Becoming whole again

People with severe depression are experiencing hopeful results with Stanford brain-stimulation treatment.  Nolan Williams, Instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Keith Sudheimer, Instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are interviewed in this piece about a unique study on transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy.

The science of sleep: Finding a cure for narcolepsy

This first-person account discusses living with narcolepsy and highlights the work of Stanford researchers and their efforts to find a cure for the disorder. William Dement, the Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emeritus, and Emmanuel Mignot, the Craig Reynolds Professor and director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, are referenced. The piece also appears in The Guardian (U.K.) and on Mosaic Science.  Also featured:

The Narcoleptic Dogs That Changed the Science of Sleep

Announcing The 2017 Class of NYSCF – Robertson Investigators

NYSCF welcomed six of the most talented stem cell researchers and neuroscientists from around the world into the NYSCF Investigator Program, which fosters and encourages promising early career scientists whose cutting-edge research holds the potential to accelerate treatments and cures.  Featuring Sergiu Pasca, MD, on new approaches for studying human brain development and uncovering the mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Mountain View Teen Wellness Conference hopes to end mental health stigma

The Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing was proud to co-sponsor the Teen Wellness Conference held at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus on September 30th. The event was organized for teens, by teens, and brought together 220 youth to connect around their mental health experiences and explore resources for wellness--all while harnessing the power of positive peer support and empowering youth voices.

Thousands of people are convinced they’re in ‘The Truman Show’

Elias Aboujaoude, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece about paranoia associated with gang stalking.

Lessons from Abroad: Investing in Youth Mental Health - Views from the Field

Now, more than ever, America stands to gain important insights from other countries that have developed comprehensive and effective approaches to youth mental health.  This article focuses onthe topic of youth mental health and features Steven Adelsheim, Clinical Professor and Director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing and Jennifer Ng’andu, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Scientists want to help you have lucid dreams

This piece discusses new research on lucid dreaming and quotes Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

This is your brain on prayer and meditation

This article discusses how prayer and meditation affect the brain and behavior. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.

Anxious about a big speech? This startup wants to calm you down – with a cardiac drug you pop like a mint

A San Francisco startup plans to bring the heart drug propranolol to a mass market as an anxiety reducer and confidence booster. However, some mental health professionals have concerns. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment in this piece.  

Long-acting medications for opioid addiction help patients control their future, unreliable selves

In this perspective piece, Keith Humphreys writes about new medications that may offer people addicted to opioids a chance to “bind their future selves to a commitment to stop using drugs.”  Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Physicians urged to talk to their patients about guns

To keep patients and communities healthy, clinicians need to be able to ask all patients about access to firearms. This blog post references a piece in the Washington Post written by Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, that addresses the importance of talking about gun violence in mental health.  

#MeToo: Stanford scholars weigh in on social media campaign exposing sexual assault

The #MeToo hashtag social media campaign is spreading awareness of sexual assault. Emma Seppälä, associate director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, and David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provide comment in this post.  

New Stanford study takes steps toward integrating brain imaging into psychiatric care

Stanford researchers have developed a standard metric for healthy brain network functioning that can be compared against individual patients’ scan results. Authors of the study include Leanne Williams, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Tali Ball, postdoctoral research fellow in psychiatry; and Andrea Goldstein-Piekarski, Instructor in psychiatry.

The secretive family making billions from the opioid crisis

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article on OxyContin. For more on this topic:

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain

What the VA doesn’t get about mental health and drug treatment

This piece examines how federal agencies may have contributed to the opioid epidemic by poorly handling the intersection between drug treatment and mental health services. Mark McGovern, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is referenced here.  

What drove Las Vegas shooter to kill? We don’t know, and it drives us crazy

David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article that examines the motives of mass shooters.

Will better technology solve our sleep sorrows?

Jamie Zeitzer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article on using technology to improve sleep.   

Stanley Symposium 2017: Genes, Primates, and Brains in Vats

The two-day biennial symposium hosted by the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute began on September 25 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As in previous years, the Stanley Center invited a range of pioneering researchers from the border zones of mental illness, genetics, and neuroscience, and there were many presentations, including Sergiu Pasca of Stanford University described three-dimensional models of specific brain areas, termed "spheroids," created in his lab (Paşca et al., 2015) based on hiPSCs.

Prizes bigger than the Nobel

This piece highlights prominent biomedical awards and mentions a number of Stanford Medicine faculty who have been honored, including Karl Deisseroth, the D. H. Chen Professor and professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who won the Fresenius Research Prize.

2017 NIH Director's Pioneer Awards announced - congratulations Dr. Amit Etkin!

The Pioneer Award provides up to $3.5 million, dispensed over five years, to investigators at all career levels to pursue new research directions and develop groundbreaking, high-impact approaches to a broad area of biomedical or behavioral science. Recipient Amit Etkin, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, researches the neural basis of mental disorders and their treatment. His overarching goal is to transform the diagnosis and treatment of various psychiatric ailments through neurobiology.

Sex and age implicated in autism-related diagnoses

In this Q&A, Kaustubh Supekar, research scientist in the Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory, discusses a new study that found sex and age are tied to diagnoses of conditions associated with autism spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia and bowel disorders.

Media, Teens & Mental Health: Quick Tips for Parents

The Peninsula Health Care District, San Mateo Union High School District and Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing are collaborating on a comprehensive school-based mental health program serving 8,500 students at seven schools.  This blog post, Connected Without Connecting!  Social Media, Teens & Mental Health:  Quick Tips for Parents, is the first in a series of guest blogs by Stanford - featuring Vicki Harrison, Manager for the Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing.

Good news: Fewer and fewer young people are getting incarcerated

In this piece, Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses how new policies have helped keep young people out of the criminal justice system.

The deadliness of the opioid epidemic has roots in America’s failed response to crack

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece on the U.S. opioid epidemic.

Stanford scholars discuss the benefits and risks of using talking software to address mental health

Stanford scholars Adam Miner, Arnold Milstein and Jeff Hancock examined the benefits and risks associated with this trend in a Sept. 21 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They discuss how technological advances now offer the capability for patients to have personal health discussions with devices like smartphones and digital assistants.

Case study: Stanford Medicine seeks to understand burnout through measurement

This piece chronicles Stanford Medicine's efforts to understand and combat physician burnout. Bryan Bohman, clinical professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, and Mickey Trockel, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are mentioned here.  

Here’s why you need TV shows to fall asleep

Jamie Zeitzer, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article on using TV shows as a sleep aid.

Brain scans may predict future abilities of kids with Fragile X syndrome

In new research, a Stanford-led team has shown that early brain scans may help answer future-oriented questions about children with fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic cause of developmental disabilities and autism. Allan Reiss, the Howard C. Robbins Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a professor of radiology, and Jennifer Bruno, an instructor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, are quoted in this blog post.

Boosting physician wellness: Lessons from Stanford at Medicine X

A group of medical students, doctors and others met to discuss physician burnout during a small, informal workshop at Stanford Medicine X this past weekend. Marisa Albert, a program director at Stanford Children’s Health; Daniel Murphy, professor of pediatrics; Mickey Trockel, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; and Tait Shanafelt are mentioned in this post.

It’s a nationwide opioid epidemic: Do you know what’s in your pill cabinet?

Prescription painkillers that go unused or are not disposed of properly may contribute to the opioid epidemic by leaving them available for abuse by those who were not prescribed them. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment here.

Complicated: Big Marijuana

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is featured in this podcast that examines the effects of legalizing marijuana.  

How legalization caused the price of marijuana to collapse

In this piece, Keith Humphreys, discusses how legalization is dramatically lowering the cost of marijuana, allowing researchers to observe the correlation between price, legal status and consumption. Humphreys is  the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences

Fentanyl: The silent killer creeping into Australia

Deaths from fentanyl, a synthetic opiate drug which is a powerful painkiller and tranquilizer, are increasing in Australia. Keith Humphreys provides comment in this piece.

truth initiative: Business or Exploitation? | Mental Health

The truth Initiative interviewed Dr. Matthew Kendra, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and Dr. Jodi Prochaska, associate professor of medicine, here at Stanford for an ad campaign focused on the tobacco industry and people with mental disorders.  Watch the video for their interviews.

Trump and Tom Price are making it harder to combat opioid epidemic

This opinion piece co-authored by Keith Humphreys discusses how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would significantly reduce funding to combat opioid abuse. Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Ketamine is showing early success with treating OCD

In Tonic (VICE.com), Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Translational Therapeutics/Rodriguez Lab at Stanford University, discusses the devastating effects of OCD in patient’s lives and her research understanding how ketamine brings about rapid improvement in OCD symptoms. For more coverage:

Depressed but can’t see a therapist? This chatbot could help

Chatbots that can listen, learn and teach cognitive behavioral therapy to humans may be an effective tool to improve mental health and increase accessibility to mental health services. Kathleen Kara Fitzpatrick, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who supervised a randomized control trial for one chatbot service, provides comment in this piece.

WV official: Emergency opioid declaration ‘step in the right direction’

This article explores what might happen if the federal government declares the opioid epidemic a national emergency. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.  

New study focuses on astrocytes in brain development

Researchers successfully cultivated a type of slow-maturing brain cell called an astrocyte in a dish. The work was led by Ben Barres, professor and chair of neurobiology, professor of developmental biology and of neurology and neurological sciences, and Sergiu Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.  For more coverage:

The federal government is systematically undercounting heroin users

In this piece, Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, examines why the federal government underestimates the number of heroin users.  

Dispatch form Lebanon: Refugee children need education, as well as health care

This blog post written by Laila Soudi addresses the urgent, growing humanitarian crisis to support children and adolescent Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. Soudi is a clinical research coordinator in psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

Rise in High-Risk Drinking a Public Health Crisis, New Study Finds

New research published in JAMA Psychiatry shows that rates of high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorder in the U.S. have increased substantially since 2001 and constitute a public health crisis. This segment explored what may be driving Americans to drink more, what treatments are most effective and who’s most at risk. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, was featured.

Suicide is much too common among U.S. physicians

In this piece, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the need for additional information about the prevalence of suicide among U.S. physicians.

‘I tried hypnotherapy to deal with my driving phobia – here’s what happened’

This piece references a 2016 Stanford study that showed distinct sections of the brain have altered activity and connectivity while someone is being hypnotized. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor in Medicine and professor and associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was the senior author of the research.

Combating California's Opioid Crisis

The current administration has declared the opioid crisis as a national emergency. This segment explored what that means for efforts to combat the epidemic in California where hospitals treat an opioid overdose once every 45 minutes. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was featured.

Allow California students the sleep they need

This editorial supports a proposal that requires California middle and high schools to adopt later start times, arguing that student performance and health should be the No. 1 priority. William Dement, the Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emeritus, is quoted here.

Here’s what happens if Trump declares opioid abuse a national emergency

This piece considers the implications of declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency. Keith Humpreys provides comment here.

Study: Doctors from lower-ranked med schools prescribe more opioids

A new paper suggests that physician education could play a role in the opioid epidemic. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was not involved with the research but provides comment in this article.

Why it’s so much easier to get an opioid prescription in the US than in Europe or Japan

This article compares the growing opioid epidemic in the United States to opioid use in other countries. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provide comment here.  

Confronting a deadly opioid plague that demands more attention

As opioid fatalities are rising, solutions are needed to curtail the epidemic and treat addiction. Keith Humphreys is referenced here.

Prescription opioid epidemic coming to Australia

Opioid abuse in Australia is less widespread in the U.S. Here, Keith Humphreys urges Australians to implement policies to ward off an epidemic.  

Most drunken-driving programs focus on driving. This one worked because it focused on booze.

In this piece, Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discusses the efficacy of “24/7 Sobriety” program in South Dakota.

Amid opioid crisis, some patients turn to tech alternatives

Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, provides comment in this piece that examines the use of technology as an alternative to opioids for pain management.  

Carolyn Rodriguez Awarded Gerald R. Klerman Prize Honorable Mention from BBRF/NARSAD

Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Translational Therapeutics/Rodriguez Lab at Stanford University, has received the Gerald R. Klerman Prize Honorable Mention for outstanding clinical research achievement from Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF). Dr. Rodriguez was honored for her research showing an experiment drug called rapastinel may have the potential to relive OCD symptoms quickly and with few side effects. To hear more about Dr. Rodriguez’s discovery, listen to BBRF’s Webinar “Toward Rapid Acting Treatments for OCD.”

The epidemic of sleep deprivation: A modern curse

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that more than one-third of the adult population in the U.S. sleeps less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours each night. Emmanuel During, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of neurology and neurological sciences, discusses sleep deprivation in this post.

Doctors increasingly face charges for patient overdoses

Doctors are increasingly being held accountable when their patients overdose on opioid painkillers they prescribed. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.

‘Psych wards’ aren’t what you think. I’ve seen lives saved there.

In this piece, Nathaniel Morris, a resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, addresses the stigmatization and negative stereotypes of inpatient psychiatric units.  

City Visions: Male brain, female brain

Guest host Grace Won explores the difference between the male and female brain, and why this difference matters. Data is emerging about the role of hormones in brain structure and behavior, with surprising implications for our understanding of gender and disease.  Nirao Shah, M.D., Ph.D. - Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences provides commentary.

New Technique Lets Researchers Watch Human Brain Circuits Begin to Wire-Up

Scientists have devised a new system that lets them watch human neurons grown in the lab find and form connections with their signaling partners, an essential process in developing human brains. The processing of “wiring up” is thought to go awry in a number of serious disorders, including autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia – but it’s hard to study.  The new technique, published May 4 in Nature, focused on the connections formed by cells called interneurons.  

NIMH Holds 9th Annual Julius Axelrod Symposium

This year’s Julius Axelrod Symposium was held to honor the recipient of the 2016 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Julius Axelrod Prize, Dr. Robert Malenka. Over the last three decades, Malenka has made major discoveries that have laid the foundation for our understanding of the physiological properties, molecular mechanisms and functions of synaptic plasticity.  

Southern food festivals grapple with industry tilt toward sobriety

This article discusses how substance abuse is rampant in the food-and-beverage industry and how some popular food festivals are shifting toward sobriety-friendly activities for chefs. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.

Imaging reveals how well PTSD patients will respond to psychotherapy

Amit Etkin and his colleagues have measured brain activity in PTSD patients before and after psychotherapy and found that they could predict how well patients would respond to treatment. For more coverage:

Imaging Pinpoints Brain Circuits Changed by PTSD Therapy: Findings Can Help Target Treatment, Predict Outcomes

Why is it so hard to quit smoking?

This segment explored nicotine addiction and the reasons quitting is so challenging. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is featured.

Oxytocin nasal spray may boost social skills in children with autism

Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social skills in some children with autism, suggest results from a small clinical trial. The results appeared today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesDr. Karen Parker discusses the findings in the article.

Lynn Koegel, who developed prominent autism therapy, to join Stanford

Lynn Koegel, who developed an early intervention for autism that taps children’s own motivations, will begin work at the School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford on July 1. Antonio Hardan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry and director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic at Packard, is quoted in this announcement.

Sleep issues tied to more suicidal symptoms in high-risk young adults

Sleep disturbances in young adults at risk for suicide can be a warning sign of worsening suicidal thoughts and behavior, according to new Stanford research. Senior author Rebecca Bernert, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted here and in an article from Medical News Today.  For more coverage:

Disturbed sleep might worsen suicidal thoughts

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