Department of Psychiatry E-Newsletter

January 2019 edition

Greetings and Happy New Year,

A new year brings fresh perspective and energy. But before we look ahead I'd like to take a few moments to reflect upon some of our wonderful successes this past year.

In 2018, the department welcomed 30 new faculty members. Our new faculty members are experts in addiction, women's & infant mental health, emergency services, sleep, neuropsychology, and more. Visit our faculty listing to learn more about our growing team. Additionally, we recently learned that the department was ranked #13 in funded award dollars received from the NIH in FY18, up four spots from FY17.

Below, I invite you to scroll through some highlighted news items that came out over the last few months of 2018. Additionally, we released our annual printed newsletter in October, you can read it here in case you missed it.

Lastly, I have recently joined Twitter and invite you to follow along with me to learn about various events, news, and research projects going on within the department. My new Twitter handle is @DalackMD.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2019,

Gregory W. Dalack, M.D.

Highlighted News

Fogarty Center Sends U-M Psychiatry Fellows to Ghana for Mental Health Research

A few months into their yearlong research projects in Ghana, U-M Medical School Psychiatry Fellows Heidi Burns, M.D., and Nakita Natala, M.D., are feeling right at home and moving forward with their respective studies. Click the link above to learn about what they have been up to.

1 in 4 older adults prescribed a benzodiazepine goes on to risky long-term use, study finds

A new study published in September in JAMA Internal Medicine led by a team from U-M, the VA and the University of Pennsylvania looked at benzodiazepine use by low-income older adults in a Pennsylvania program that helps with drug costs. The findings point to a strong need for better education of healthcare providers, and the public, about the risks associated with these drugs.

Stuck in a Loop of "Wrongness': Brain Study Shows Roots of OCD

By studying hundreds of brain scans, Department of Psychiatry researchers identify abnormalities common to people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. New research conducted by faculty members Kate Fitzgerald, M.D., Stephan Taylor, M.D. and postdoctoral research fellow Luke Norman, Ph.D., finds that the brains of OCD patients get stuck in a loop of "wrongness" that prevents sufferers from stopping behaviors even if they know they should.

What more could we do to prevent veteran suicides? Survey reveals clues

Most veterans in VA mental health care approve of voluntary programs to reduce gun access during high-risk periods, including screening by clinicians and more intensive measures. The results of the survey of 660 veterans polled at five VA centers around the country were published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry by a team led by Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S., professor emeritus of the department.

Addiction Center Helps Individuals Get on the Road to Recovery

Across the U.S., more than 20 million people are affected by substance use disorder. Issues can range from opioid addiction to alcohol use disorder to illicit drug use. A new feature story published this fall in Michigan Medicine Headlines describes how the department's Addiction Center offers outpatient treatment, research and educational services, all focusing on substance abuse.

Opioids Fueled a Doubling of Suicides and Overdoses in the U.S.

Turning the tide demands improvements to pain care, mental health care and medication-assisted opioid addiction care, say faculty members Drs. Amy Bohnert and Mark Ilgen. Learn more about this new study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More than half of people taking cannabis for chronic pain report driving while high

More than half of people who take medical cannabis for chronic pain say they’ve driven under the influence of cannabis within two hours of using it, at least once in the last six months, according to a new study published in Drug & Alcohol Dependence. The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the U-M Addiction Center calls for the need of formal guidelines on the use of recreational cannabis.

Recent Michigan Medicine Blog Coverage

Study Offers Free Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Young People with Anxiety

Treating children with anxiety at the onset of symptoms can prevent substance use, school dropouts and suicide attempts. A new study being conducted by a team led by Kate Fitzgerald, M.D., the academic director of child and adolescent psychiatry at U-M seeks young participants.

Does Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" Influence Teen Suicide? Survey Asks At-Risk Youths

Half of suicidal adolescent show viewers in a hospital sample say the controversial television series '13 Reasons Why' contributed to their suicide risk, a new report conducted by Psychiatric Emergency Services Director Dr. Victor Hong.

U-M Program Helps Women Veterans Readjust to Civilian Life

After Her Service is a national program that focuses on improving women's mental health and professional success after they leave the military. Dr. Michelle Kees, clinical associate professor of psychiatry, serves as the program's lead.

Cannabis On The Ballot: What Researchers Think You Should Know

In November, Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana. Ahead of this decision, several U-M clinicians commented on knowledge about the drug and its derivatives. Click to read what Megan Martz, Ph.D., post-doctoral research fellow had to say.

Why Pediatricians Should Screen for Depression in Young Patients

New guidelines addressing adolescent mental health as part of routine primary care offer many benefits, says Dr. Nasuh Malas, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry.

How to Address a Drinking Problem

It can be tough to determine if a person's consumption is unhealthy - and even harder to get him or her to talk about it. Why having the conversation is crucial. Allison Lin, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry with the University of Michigan Addiction Treatment Services offers tip for addressing a drinking problem.

Why It's So Difficult to Recover from Substance Use Disorders

Impacted by genetics and life experience, addiction varies by individual. Learn about biological factors that make substance use recovery hard and treatments to help from Dr. Jonathan Morrow, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry.

How Anxiety Can Fuel a Panic Attack - and What to Do Next

Episodes of racing heart, shakiness or nausea, among other things, are normal responses to fear or danger. Learn more about reaction strategies and prevention from Dr. Elizabeth Duval, assistant professor of psychiatry.

Policy News:

  • Kate Rosenblum, Kara Zivin and Elissa Patterson provided invited recommendations to the transition team for Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer regarding priorities for access to care; quality of care; care delivery and fiscal systems issues; addressing the opioid epidemic and improving education and access to comprehensive pain management including non-pharmacologic options; and unmet behavioral health needs in Michigan overall.
  • Debra Pinals was announced as a clinical advisor for the Governor's new Michigan Team to End Drug Addiction (MITEDA). Learn more from the press release which was issued by the state: Lt. Gov. Brian Calley issues executive directive establishing a multi-agency effort to combat opioid epidemic.
  • In September Jennifer Severe was a speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was sponsored by Congressman Danny Davis of Chicago who has had a long interest in the health and well-being of black families across the African diaspora. Dr. Severe's talk was about the mental health of Black immigrant families, more specifically on ways to reinforce access to and utilization of care.

Research & Funding News:

  • Soo-Eun Chang had a paper published in Brain titled, Anomalous morphology in left hemisphere motor and premotor cortex of children who stutter.
  • A new press release covered research conducted by Dan Maixner and Kara Zivin that was published in JAMA Psychiatry. Read it here: ECT Emerges as Cost-Effective for Treatment-Resistant Depression.
  • The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research recently highlighted the 2018 Michigan Longitudinal Study article on resilience here: Quality sleep during childhood predicts resilience in young adults. Bob Zucker is the senior author on the paper, which can be found here.
  • Kate Fitzgerald was funded on a new NIMH R01 to study task control networks underlying childhood obsessive compulsive symptoms. Her collaborator, Dr. Rachel Marsh, will carry out a parallel R01 study at Columbia University.
  • The NIH announced that Mark Ilgen won a new award titled "Psychosocial Pain Management to Improve Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Outcomes." This project will assess the development of a portable and scalable intervention for addressing pain in patients with OUD through a phone intervention. Learn more.
  • Ivy Tso was awarded a NARSAD Young Investigation Grant for a project titled "Simulating abnormal gaze processing in schizophrenia: A continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) experiment to investigate neural mechanisms of social cognitive impairment." The two-year gran begins in January and aims to understand the brain mechanisms of social information processing in severe mental illness using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
  • Ben Hampstead was just awarded a new R01 for his research on "Treating mild cognitive impairment with high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS)" that will establish dose-response curves in those with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease. The 5-year project began in September.
  • Amy Bohnert was part of a group of U-M researchers awarded funding from the NIH to continue precision health opioid research. Learn more from the press release.
  • Lauren Gerlach, DO, was awarded a Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) R03 from the National Institute on Aging. Her project, "Use of psychotropic medications among older adults receiving hospice care" will inform how psychotropic medications are utilized for symptom management among older Medicare beneficiaries receiving hospice care. The funding period is through July 2020.

Highlighted Faculty and Staff members "In the News"

Publication of Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry