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For 80 years the Department of Psychiatry has provided the highest quality care to adults, children and adolescents. Browse our news and publications or find information on upcoming events to learn more about the work of our department.
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A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators identifies two subanesthetic dosage levels of the anesthetic drug ketamine that appear to provide significant symptom relief to patients with treatment-resistant depression.
– Health plans – entities that cover the costs of medical care – accounted for the greatest number of patient records breached over the past seven years, according to an analysis of U.S. health care data conducted by two Massachusetts General Hospital physicians.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that fortifying grain-based foods with folic acid – instituted to prevent neural tube defects in infants – may also reduce the incidence of severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia that initially appear in young adulthood
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified specific effects that relaxation response training and mindfulness meditation have within the brain.
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified a critical role for a protein called Kruppel-like factor 9 in the brain’s response to stress, which has implications for protecting against the effects of stress in conditions like major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that screening first-year resident physicians to identify those with pre-existing sleep problems does not appear to provide useful data regarding risks of developing sleep impairment during subsequent months.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that risk factors for heart disease and stroke appear to hasten the risk of cognitive decline in normal older individuals with evidence of very early Alzheimer’s-disease-associated changes in the brain.
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified factors that may increase the risk of drug overdose in adolescents and young adults.
A study by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine identified genes associated with the body’s response to relaxation techniques and sheds light on the molecular mechanisms by which these interventions may work to lower blood pressure.
Individuals who report having resolved a problem with cannabis use appear to have done so at younger ages and with less assistance than those who resolved problems with alcohol or other drugs, report investigators from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital
A new study in adolescent and young adult males with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) showed significant differences in the functional architecture and interactivity of the default mode network compared to measurements in young adult males without ASD.
A study from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital has estimated, for the first time, the number of Americans who have overcome serious problems with the use of alcohol or other drugs.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology today announced the joint appointment of Jill Goldstein, PhD, as executive director of the newly developed Women, Heart and Brain Global Initiative.
A systematic review of published studies on the use of medical cannabis in children and adolescents finds a notable lack of studies and a minimal number of the randomized, controlled trials needed to confirm the effectiveness of a treatment.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Ammon-Pinizzotto Center for Women’s Mental Health have developed the MGH Perinatal Depression Scale (MGHPDS), a free iPhone application designed to refine how women around the world are screened for postpartum depression
An imaging study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified differences in key brain structures of individuals whose physical or mental health has been most seriously impaired by a common but poorly understood condition called functional neurological disorder.
A treatment program for adolescents with substance-use disorder that incorporates the practices and philosophy of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous produced even better results than the current state-of-the art treatment approach in a nine-month, randomized trial.
An international research team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California at Los Angeles has identified rare mutations in two genes that markedly increase the risk for Tourette syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by chronic involuntary motor and vocal tics.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study found that a 12-week program of instruction and practice of the Chinese martial art tai chi led to significantly reduced symptoms of depression in Chinese Americans not receiving any other treatments.
A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program appears to have reduced depression among eligible undocumented immigrants, often referred to as the “Dreamers.”
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators finds that, contrary to what is often believed, around two thirds of women with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa will eventually recover from their eating disorders.
A team of researchers led by a Massachusetts General Hospital physician reports that economic opportunity is strongly associated with measures of physical and mental health in young adults.
Two recent studies led by Massachusetts General Hospital psychiatrists have investigated ways of improving the treatment of depression in Chinese American immigrants, a group that tends to avoid mental health treatment because of traditional cultural beliefs.
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators examines a group of older adults whose memory performance is equivalent to that of younger individuals and finds that key areas of their brains resemble those of young people.
A follow up to a previous study finding an association between adolescent bipolar disorder and the incidence of cigarette smoking and substance use disorder finds that risk was even greater five years later, particularly among those with persistent bipolar symptoms.
A formal bias analysis of previous studies finding that cognitive activities can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias concluded that any confounding factors in the earlier studies probably do not totally account for any associations between cognitive activity and dementia risk.
A new study by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators finds that college students who misuse stimulant drugs are more likely to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder or substance-use disorder than are students not misusing stimulants.
A genomic study using a novel method of enrolling participants - using data gathered by a consumer genomics company - has identified for the first time 15 regions of the genome that appear to be associated with depression in individuals of European ancestry.
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that dopamine signaling within the cerebral cortex can predict changes in the extent of communication between key brain networks during working memory.
A team of surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital announced today that they have performed the nation's first genitourinary reconstructive (penile) transplant.
Repeat intravenous treatment with low doses of the anesthetic drug ketamine quickly reduced suicidal thoughts in a small group of patients with treatment-resistant depression.
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital researchers finds that the brains of young adult marijuana users react differently to social exclusion than do those of non-users.
The weight gain that can result from quitting smoking does not eliminate the reduction in cardiovascular risks associated with smoking cessation among patients with serious mental illness, at least not during the first year.
A clinical trial of an experimental drug for treatment-resistant major depression finds that modulation of the endogenous opioid system may improve the effectiveness of drugs that target the action of serotonin and related neurotransmitters.
An analysis of medical records data from three Massachusetts health care systems finds no evidence that prenatal exposure to antidepressants increases the risk for autism and related disorders or for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
A small clinical trial of a novel antidepressant that stimulates neurogenesis—the production of new brain cells—shows that the compound appears to be safe and may be effective against depression
A study co-led by an MGH investigator finds that opinions about facial attractiveness are shaped more by personal experience than by genetics.
A national school-based mental health program that is now reaching almost one quarter of all elementary school students in Chile appears to have produced significant improvements in both behavioral and academic outcomes, such as attention problems and school attendance, among participating students.
Amid reports that rank today’s teens as the most stressed generation in the country, a study from the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital offers hope for helping high school students effectively manage stress and build long-term resiliency.
A new study of Tourette syndrome (TS) led by researchers from the University of California at San Francisco and MGH has found that nearly 86 percent of patients who seek treatment for TS will be diagnosed with a second psychiatric disorder during their lifetimes, and that nearly 58 percent will receive two or more such diagnoses.
Investigators working to unravel the impact of genetics versus environment on traits such as obesity may need to consider a new factor: when individuals were born. A multi-institutional research team has found that a previously reported correlation between a specific gene variant and the risk of obesity primarily affects those born after 1942.
An MGH study has found that a month-long, 12-step-based residential program linked to community-based follow-up care, enabled almost 30 percent of opioid-dependent participants to remain abstinent a year later. Previous research revealed that 83 percent of those who entered an office-based opioid treatment program had dropped out a year later.
MGH investigators have identified changes in the metabolic activity of a key brain region in patients successfully treated for depression with psychodynamic psychotherapy and found evidence that metabolism in a different structure might predict which patients are likely to respond to that form of therapy.
The One Fund Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary today announced the creation of the One Fund Center, a collaboration that will offer ongoing care to those affected by the often invisible, yet persistent, injuries sustained in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Although cannabis – commonly known as marijuana – is broadly believed to be nonaddictive, a study by MGH investigators found that 40 percent of cannabis-using adolescents receiving outpatient treatment for substance use disorder experienced symptoms of withdrawal, which are considered a hallmark of drug dependence.
Previous studies that have suggested an increased risk of autism among children of women who took antidepressants during pregnancy may actually reflect the known increased risk associated with severe maternal depression.
Even casual use of marijuana appears to cause significant structural changes in key brain structures of young adults, a new study finds. Researchers from MGH and Northwestern University have found differences between casual users of marijuana and non-users in the size, shape, and structure of brain regions involved with motivation, emotion and reward.
A meta-analysis of studies that investigated measures designed to improve health professionals’ interactions with patients confirms that such efforts can produce health effects just as beneficial as taking a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack.
A program of cognitive behavioral therapy that addresses both mood and diabetes self-care led to improved blood sugar control and produced faster relief of depression in patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes.
A year-long study has found that pregabalin – FDA-approved to treat nerve pain and seizures – was effective in reducing symptoms of restless leg syndrome and, with long-term treatment, was less likely than pramipexole – which activates the dopamine neurotransmission system and is FDA approved for RLS treatment – to cause worsening of symptoms.
Extended treatment with the smoking cessation drug varenicline significantly improved the ability of individuals with serious mental illness to maintain abstinence from tobacco after a standard 12-week course of treatment.
An international research consortium led by investigators at MGH and the University of Chicago has answered several questions about the genetic background of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, providing the first direct confirmation that both are highly heritable and also revealing major differences between the underlying genetic makeup of the disorders.
A new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds that Google searches for information across all major mental illnesses and problems followed seasonal patterns, suggesting mental illness may be more strongly linked with seasonal patterns than previously thought.
Adding the dietary supplements folate and vitamin B12 to treatment with antipsychotic medication improved a core symptom component of schizophrenia in a study of more than 100 patients.
In a novel investigation in which physicians underwent brain scans while they believed they were actually treating patients, researchers have provided the first scientific evidence indicating that doctors truly can feel their patients’ pain – and can also experience their relief following treatment.
An analysis of the medical records of more than 38,000 patients by MGH investigators clarifies the contribution of citalopram and other antidepressants to lengthening of the QT interval, an aspect of the heart's electrical activity that – when prolonged – may increase the risk of dangerous arrhythmias.
A new study finds differences in how participation in Alcoholics Anonymous helps men and women maintain sobriety. For men, avoiding companions and situations that encourage drinking had more powerful effects, while increased confidence in the ability to avoid drinking in response to feelings of sadness or depression was more important for women.
Researchers using a new approach to identifying genes associated with depression have found that variants in a group of genes involved in transmission of signals by the neurotransmitter glutamate appear to increase the risk of depression.
With the discovery that the unconscious mind plays a key role in the placebo effect, researchers have identified a novel mechanism that helps explain the power of placebos and nocebos.
Two papers that will appear in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, both receiving advance online release, may help identify gene variants that contribute to the risks of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder or Tourette syndrome.
Specially designed comprehensive behavioral therapy is more effective than sessions offering patient support and education in helping adults with Tourette syndrome manage their tics – sudden, repetitive motions or vocalizations – according to a new study.
Massachusetts General Hospital has moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list.
Resident physicians' participation in a brief training program designed to increase empathy with their patients produced significant improvement in how patients perceived their interactions with the residents.
The initial assessment of a blood test to help diagnose major depressive disorder indicates it may become a useful clinical tool. A team including MGH researchers reports that analyzing levels of nine biomarkers accurately distinguished patients diagnosed with depression from control participants without significant false-positive results.
Among the many ways that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous helps its members stay sober, two appear to be most important – spending more time with individuals who support efforts towards sobriety and increased confidence in the ability to maintain abstinence in social situations.
New tool is designed to help pediatricians and other clinicians identify and address the signs of deployment-related stress among children and families.
Many of the nation’s top experts in mental health care for veterans gather in Boston to assist community-based healthcare professionals to effectively identify and treat returning veterans who suffer from psychological and physical wounds of deployment.
Clergy members and spiritual leaders of all denominations are invited to attend an innovative symposium that focuses on understanding and guiding the recovery of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as their families.
An analysis of more than 10 years of data confirms that ADHD alone significantly increases the risk of future cigarette smoking and substance abuse in both boys and girls.
A subgroup of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also exhibit excessive emotional reactions to everyday occurrences, and this combination of ADHD and emotional reactivity appears to run in families, an MGH study finds.
The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm, which is thought to "turn down the volume" on distracting information.
An MGHfC study published in the March 2011 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that Massachusetts' new court-ordered mental health screening and intervention program led to more children being identified as behaviorally and emotionally at risk.
Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress.
A new study shows that, as attendance at AA meetings increases, so do the participants' spiritual beliefs, especially in those individuals who had low spirituality at the beginning of the study.
Among patients with depression, the presence of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder does not appear to be associated with treatment resistance, according to a study from MGH investigators. However, many patients with depression also report psychotic-like symptoms, such as hearing voices or believing they are being spied on or plotted against, and those patients are less likely to respond to treatment.
A new study will measure the ability of probiotic bacteria GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GB1-30, 6086) to help people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
A treatment model designed to accommodate the beliefs and concerns of Chinese immigrants increased the percentage of depressed patients entering treatment nearly sevenfold.
The Massachusetts General Hospital School Psychiatry Program announces the creation of an educational curriculum to help teachers train their students' brains. Doctors say such efforts could curb bullying by helping students develop core social and emotional skills.
Adding cognitive behavioral therapy – an approach that teaches skills for handling life challenges and revising negative thought patterns – to pharmaceutical treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder significantly improved symptom control in adult patients.
In a study appearing in the journal PLoS ONE, MGH scientists describe finding mathematical patterns underlying the way individuals unconsciously distribute their preferences regarding approaching or avoiding objects in their environment.
Local company teams up with Mass General and Red Sox Foundation to support veterans.
This May, some 3,500 Red Sox fans will be able to know the thrill of running across home plate at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark, while at the same time raising funds to support services for local veterans with deployment-related stress disorders and traumatic brain injuries.
One of many reasons that attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings helps people with alcohol use disorders stay sober appears to be alleviation of depression. A team of researchers has found that study participants who attended AA meetings more frequently had fewer symptoms of depression – along with less drinking – than did those with less AA participation.
Changing the words used to describe someone struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction may significantly alter the attitudes of health care professionals, even those who specialize in addiction treatment.
Women participating in the Women's Health Initiative study who reported taking an antidepressant drug had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of stroke and of death compared with participants not taking antidepressants.
More than half the internists responding to a survey indicated they rarely or never discussed sexual problems with their patients who had survived cancer.
The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital today will announce a multifaceted initiative aimed at helping veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq who are affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
An international research consortium has discovered that many common genetic variants contribute to a person’s risk of schizophrenia and are also involved in bipolar disorder.
Improving the environment in which rats are reared can significantly strengthen the physiological process of wound healing, according to a report in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. MGH researchers found that giving rats living in isolation the opportunity to build nests led to faster and more complete healing of burn injuries.
Although many people affected by the economic downturn could benefit from mental health treatment and services, two factors typically discourage them from seeking help: the stigma often associated with mental health conditions, and the feeling of not knowing how to find the right mental health care providers, information, and services. A web site (www.moodandanxiety.org) recently re-launched by Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry addresses both of these issues.
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John Kelly discusses why adolescents act impulsively.
Jeff Bostic, MD, EdD, talks about how schools can engage parents in helping students with addiction issues
Three steps for starting a successful conversation with someone you suspect is using, according to Martha Kane, PhD
Concerned your child is using? Martha Kane, PhD, talks about how to bring it up
Addiction in young people
Symposium celebrating the 75th anniversary of the MGH Dept. of Psychiatry
Dr. Christine Dording discusses Depression Management
Dr. Jonathan Alpert looks at ways depression is diagnosed
Dr. Jonathan Alpert looks at ways depression is diagnosed
John Kelly, PhD
The first step: Connect emotionally, says Martha Kane, PhD
John W. Denninger, MD, PhD, director of research at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Mass General, discusses the importance of managing stress and presents mindfulness techniques that can be used to reduce stress. Dr. Denninger discusses how those techniques can also help reduce side effects of menopause. This presentation is a part of the Midlife Women's Health Center's annual community conference.
This presentation by Robert J. Waldinger, MD, was part of the patient education program “How Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Can Help: The Role of Insight-Oriented Treatments.” The Department of Psychiatry provides free educational programs featuring Mass General clinicians for patients and families facing a variety of mental health challenges.
This presentation by Kathy Ulman, PhD, was part of the patient education program “How Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Can Help: The Role of Insight-Oriented Treatments.” The Department of Psychiatry provides free educational programs featuring Mass General clinicians for patients and families facing a variety of mental health challenges.
This presentation by Brian J. Schulman, MD, was part of the patient education program “How Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Can Help: The Role of Insight-Oriented Treatments.” The Department of Psychiatry provides free educational programs featuring Mass General clinicians for patients and families facing a variety of mental health challenges.
This presentation by Richard Schwartz, PhD, and Jacqueline Olds, MD, was part of the patient education program “How Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Can Help: The Role of Insight-Oriented Treatments.” The Department of Psychiatry provides free educational programs featuring Mass General clinicians for patients and families facing a variety of mental health challenges.
This presentation by Yoshio Kaneko, MD, was part of the patient education program “Outside the Box in Psychosis Treatment: Towards Stage-based and Symptom-targeted Interventions” featuring specialists from Mass General’s Schizophrenia Program. The Department of Psychiatry provides free educational programs for patients and families facing a variety of mental health challenges.
This presentation by Drew C. Coman, PhD, was part of the patient education program “Outside the Box in Psychosis Treatment: Towards Stage-based and Symptom-targeted Interventions” featuring specialists from Mass General’s Schizophrenia Program.
This presentation by Tracy Barbour, MD, was part of the patient education program “Outside the Box in Psychosis Treatment: Towards Stage-based and Symptom-targeted Interventions” featuring specialists from Mass General’s Schizophrenia Program.
This presentation by Daphne J. Holt, MD, PhD, was part of the patient education program “Outside the Box in Psychosis Treatment: Towards Stage-based and Symptom-targeted Interventions” featuring specialists from Mass General’s Schizophrenia Program.
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