In the News

Warren paper examines dysfunction in dopamine system, influence on depression in older adults

Warren D. Taylor, M.D., MHSc, James G Blakemore Professor of Psychiatry, served as lead author of a new publication proposing how dysfunction in the dopamine system may influence depression in older adults. This may influence risk for depression but also serve as a new target for treatment.  The manuscripts provides the rationale for a current multi-site study being conducted at Vanderbilt examining the effect of levodopa (Sinemet) on late-life depression. The paper appears in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. 

Study to explore treatment for older adults with depression

Older adults with depression face a unique obstacle — dealing with both a mental illness and the challenges that come along with aging. Currently, there are no treatments on the market targeting depression in this specific group. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has received a grant to study Sinemet, which may change that. Sinemet, a brand name for the drug levodopa, has historically treated Parkinson’s disease, a brain disorder characterized by injury to dopamine-producing neurons.

Study links ADHD pharmacotherapy and retention rates for substance use disorder treatment

Kristopher Kast, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and clinical director of Vanderbilt’s Addiction Consult Service, has discovered a strong association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) pharmacotherapy and retention rates for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. The findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.  

Establishing a hospital-based early intervention program for young children with cancer: A quality improvement initiative.

Abstract Objective: Through the use of quality improvement methodology, we aimed to increase the percent of eligible patients seen for developmental testing at our institution from 2.6% to 25% within a 36-month timeframe. Method: The Model for Improvement (Langley et al., 2009) was utilized as a framework to develop and implement an interdisciplinary, hospital-based early intervention program that included comprehensive developmental assessments intended to inform intervention services.