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Psilocybin for Depression: Is it Worth the Trip?

Although there are numerous medications available to treat major depressive disorder, not all patients respond, and some experience intolerable side effects. Thus, we need to find and develop new treatment options. There has been considerable interest in psychedelic compounds that may have antidepressant activity. Recent research using psychedelics for mental health conditions has made news headlines, but most health professionals have only a vague awareness about psilocybin and its potential role.

Guest Authors:  Brittany L. Parmentier, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, BCPP and Andria F. Church, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP

Music by Good Talk

The Importance of a Healthy Mind in Patients with an Unhealthy Heart

Patients who have had acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are more likely to suffer from major depression than the general population with rates of clinically relevant symptoms of depression as high as 45%. Unfortunately, even if patients are routinely screened for depression with a PHQ-2 and PHQ-9 in primary care settings, appropriate treatments are often not initiated. Depression causes psychological stress which activates the sympathetic nervous system which leads to increased cortisol levels, inflammation, and platelet activation that can contribute to atherosclerosis and accelerate plaque formation. Thus, untreated depression may worsen cardiac outcomes.

Guest Authors: Hansita B. Patel, PharmD and Abigail L. Hulsizer, PharmD

Music by Good Talk

Helpful, Harmful, or Futile — Antidepressant Use in Patients with Heart Failure

About 5 million Americans are currently living with heart failure (HF) and an astounding 24-42% also suffer from depression.  One meta-analysis found a greater than 2-fold risk of death in patients with HF and comorbid depression.  Depressed patients with HF are more likely to be hospitalized, seek care from emergency rooms, and rack up big bills.  Not surprisingly, patients with HF and depression have a much lower quality of life when compared to HF patients without depression.  Clearly, this is BIG problem.  But can we do anything about it?

Theme Music by Good Talk

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