5/11/2007 *American Journal of Psychiatry* (vol. 164, #5)
includes a study: “An Intensive Treatment Program of Interpersonal
Psychotherapy Plus Pharmacotherapy for Depressed Inpatients: Acute and
Long-Term Results.”

The article is by Elisabeth Schramm, Ph.D., Dietrich van Calker, M.D.,
Ph.D., Petra Dykierek, Ph.D., Klaus Lieb, M.D., Sabine Kech,
D.Clin.Psych., Ingo Zobel, D.Clin.Psych., Rainer Leonhart,
D.Clin.Psych., & Mathias Berger, M.D.

Here’s how the article begins:

[start excerpt]

There are numerous pharmacological and psychological alternatives for
the treatment of unipolar major depressive disorder. However, a
substantial number of depressed patients (50%-70%) either do not fully
respond to acute treatment or relapse within a year (1-4).

In recognition of the often poor response of depressed patients to
monotherapy, the use of combined pharmacological and psychotherapeutic
treatment, particularly in more severely depressed patients, is common.
Nevertheless, relatively few studies have investigated the benefits of
adding psychotherapy to medication in depression, and study results are
conflicting (5).

(more…)

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*Scientific American* has placed the following article on their web site:

Expect the Best? Placebos Are for You! New study links expectations of rewards to placebo effect

Individual expectations of rewards may explain why some people feel
better after receiving fake drug treatments–a phenomenon known as “the
placebo effect.”

A new study using different brain imaging techniques linked the
intensity of an individual’s placebo effect to the amount of dopamine (a
neurotransmitter involved in the pleasure and reward pathway) released
in a midbrain region called the nucleus accumbens. Researchers at the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor specifically demonstrated that those
who were more responsive to phony pills were also more likely to expect
to win big in a gambling game.

(more…)

The Feb 2008 issue of *British Journal of Psychiatry* (vol. 192, #2) includes a study: “Antidepressant medications v. cognitive therapy in people with depression with or without personality disorder.”

The study is by Jay C. Fournier, Robert J. DeRubeis, Richard C. Shelton,
Robert Gallop, Jay D. Amsterdam, & Steven D. Hollon

Here’s the abstract:

Background

There is conflicting evidence about comorbid personality pathology in
depression treatments.

Aims

To test the effects of antidepressant drugs and cognitive therapy in
people with depression distinguished by the presence or absence of
personality disorder.

(more…)