A small number of older studies have demonstrated efficacy for a few antidepressants in cancer care – namely mianserin, fluoxetine and paroxetine – but we lack an evidence base for most of the currently used antidepressants. In their systematic review and meta-analysis in this issue of the role of antidepressants in the treatment of cancer-related depression, Riblet, Larson, Watts and Holtzheimer call for high quality randomized clinical trials that properly examine the efficacy, tolerability and safety of modern day antidepressants .
Neurobiological research in psychiatry has increasingly placed emphasis on understanding how neural systems go awry in psychiatric disorders. Toward this end, advanced imaging methods go beyond the study of isolated brain areas, probing the connections within neural networks. Diffusion imaging (DI) assesses white matter (WM) microstructure, informing us about the physical state of these connections (the wiring within a system)
In this issue of General Hospital Psychiatry, we continue with a new dimension that we have added to the journal ? point and counterpoint editorials on two topics: (1) prescription of marijuana for chronic benign pain, and (2) should a psychiatric consultation be required for all patients requesting physician assisted suicide? There are many controversial areas of clinical practice, and having experts with opposing views on the subject describe their perspectives in a scholarly way can enhance understanding of differing viewpoints.
Clinical trials with positive findings are more likely to be submitted and published than those with negative findings, but negative findings can provide invaluable information, particularly when based on sound methodology. The study by Somoza and colleagues in this issue provides a powerful illustration of the potential value of a negative finding.