Prozac for crowd control, no placebo needed to get the effect, NAC in schizophrenia, two updates on Rebecca Riley: news and blogs

More interesting links from over the weekend and Monday:

  • Prozac for Crowd Control — Storied Mind — I’ve heard of a number of off-label uses for antidepressants, but turning them into non-lethal weapons for crowd control is a new one for me. The Soft-Kill Solution in the March Harper’s describes research on the use of “calmatives” or central nervous system depressants for just this purpose. — The article describes the history of the use of non-lethal methods by both the military and civilian law enforcement. The following quote refers to a research report that was published online in 2002 by the Sunshine Project.
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  • You Do Not Need To Give A Placebo To Create A Placebo Effect — Medical News Today — Placebo effect is our healing mind in action. If we can harness it consciously there is so much we could do for ourselves. I’d like to see studies applied to harnessing the phenomena as it’s part of our intrinsic nature to heal.
  • Getting the NAC of a novel schizophrenia therapy | Internal Medicine News | BNET — N-acetylcysteine, an inexpensive supplement widely available over the counter in health food stores, proved safe and effective as adjunctive therapy for chronic schizophrenia in a 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, Dr. Michael Berk said at the annual congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. “We saw a clinical effect on mood that was really quite exciting,” said Dr. Berk, who is vice president of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and professor of psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. — Alternative med circles have successfully been using NAC for quite some time for all sorts of issues.
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  • Steps toward a cure – The Boston Globe — Tufts Medical Center, where Dr. Kayoko Kifuji works, has had almost nothing to say about the case, other than to blandly defend the doctor’s care for Rebecca as professional and appropriate. — The silence is understandable, I suppose – Kifuji faces a malpractice suit brought on behalf of Rebecca’s estate, one Tufts is right to worry will cost the hospital dearly – but it is ultimately indefensible. And so I put some questions to Tufts last week. Why is Kifuji still employed there? Is the hospital dealing with other children the way Kifuji dealt with Carolyn Riley’s? Has anything changed since that poor kid’s awful death? They wouldn’t address the first question, of course. But I was invited to sit down with Dr. John Sargent, chief of child psychiatry, to talk about the others. He came to Tufts just over a year ago, championing an approach to treating children that seems worlds away from Kifuji’s. —  She continued to prescribe drugs for the Riley children despite numerous red flags – some raised by health professionals alarmed that the children were so heavily medicated. Where Kifuji shut others out, Sargent said he believes therapists should seek out the opinions of other counselors, health care workers, educators, social workers.
  • Mother Guilty of Murder–Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Innocent | Psychology Today — More significantly the doctor who prescribed the drugs was granted immunity for her testimony. (the following is from the article)– A psychiatrist cynically once remarked, “ADHD drugs are for irritable and irritating kids. Bipolar drugs are for very irritable and very irritating kids.” The point is even with controversy over the bipolar diagnosis, the use of anti-psychotic drugs like Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa in the five and under population has doubled in the last five years, particularly among Medicaid and foster children. There are several hundred thousand toddlers in America currently being managed (sedated) by their parents and doctors with these drugs.

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