From the Editor
He’s been depressed for years and you are considering augmentation. Should you choose an antipsychotic? Which one?
These are good questions, especially when treating patients with treatment-resistant depression. In the first selection, Drs. Manish K. Jha (of the University of Texas) and Sanjay J. Mathew (of Baylor College of Medicine) look at four antipsychotics in an American Journal of Psychiatry paper. They review the literature for augmentation, including the use of cariprazine, which has just received FDA approval for this purpose. They find evidence, but “their long-term safety in patients with MDD is not well established, and they are potentially concerning regarding weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, extrapyramidal symptoms, and tardive dyskinesia.” We consider the paper and its clinical implications.
In the second selection, S. E. Stoeckl (of Harvard University) and her co-authors consider the evolution of mental health apps in a new paper for the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. Looking at hundreds of apps, they analyze data on updates, including new features. They find: “This study highlights the dynamic nature of the app store environments, revealing rapid and substantial changes that could present challenges for app selection, consumer safety, and assessing the economic value of apps.”
And in the third selection, Dr. Dhruv Khullar (of Cornell University) writes for The New Yorker about AI and mental health. In a long essay that touches on chatbots for therapy and screening tools for suicide prevention, he wonders if AI can help clinicians (and non-clinicians) overcome issues around access. “Can artificial minds heal real ones? And what do we stand to gain, or lose, in letting them try?”
Note: there will be no Readings for the next two weeks.