Author Archives: rkennedy

FDA Removes Black Box Warning On Smoking Cessation Medications

The FDA has determined that the risk of serious side effects on mood, behavior, or thinking with the smoking cessation medicines varenicline and bupropion is lower than previously suspected.  Following case reports of serious changes in mood and behavior in … Continue reading

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AMA Releases Guidelines for mHealth Apps

Mobile health apps and associated digital health devices, trackers and sensors can vary greatly in functionality, accuracy, safety and effectiveness. While physicians enthusiastic and optimistic about digital health innovation and its potential medical benefits, some mHealth apps and devices that … Continue reading

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million.  Help raise awareness … Continue reading

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New Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Fee Schedule Improves Primary Care Reimbursement

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new, final Medicare fee schedule for 2017. The new fees will pay primary care clinicians for work that was previously not compensated or undercompensated – including patients with chronic illnesses and those with … Continue reading

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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members … Continue reading

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New Study Highlights Impact of Workplace Depression

A new study of 8,000 employees from Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa and the USA reveals that workplace depression is a major problem across different cultures and economies, with “wide and devastating” consequences for thousands of organizations … Continue reading

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Changes to ICD-10 Mental Health Codes October 1st

The mental health chapter of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-10) will take effect October 1 and reflect the updated diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Each year on … Continue reading

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FDA Approves Devices for Assessing Cognitive Function After Brain Injury

This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two computerized cognitive tests that can assess cognitive skills immediately following a suspected brain injury or concussion. The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and ImPACT Pediatric are the … Continue reading

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Patients With Bipolar Disorder Wait Six Years Before Receiving Diagnosis and Treatment

In a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 27 studies involving 9,415 patients and found that bipolar patients wait six years on average from the time their symptoms start to show up … Continue reading

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Brainwaves and Text Messaging

New research published in Epilepsy and Behavior shows that sending text messages on a smartphone can change the rhythm of brain waves.  People communicate increasingly via text messaging, though little is known on the neurological effects of smartphone use. A … Continue reading

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