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State highlights: Los Angeles' new mental health program; N.C. considers Medicaid expansion; N.Y. nurses push for more staff

State highlights: Los Angeles' new mental health program; N.C. considers Medicaid expansion; N.Y. nurses push for more staff

The $756,000 initiative marks one of the county's most significant attempts to find a better way to treat people who have mental illness and wind up in the criminal justice system by offering them transitional housing, medical treatment and job-hunting help. Officials say the pilot program will start in Van Nuys and initially help 50 people at a time, but it is expected to spread throughout the county and could accommodate up to 1,000 people at once (Gerber, 9/17). [More]
State highlights: Report: Hospitals ill-prepared for Sandy; Iowa Supreme Court lets teleabortion go on while it decides

State highlights: Report: Hospitals ill-prepared for Sandy; Iowa Supreme Court lets teleabortion go on while it decides

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast nearly two years ago, hospitals found themselves dealing with surges in patients, lost power supplies and employees who couldn't get to work -- problems that a new federal report finds they were not prepared to handle (Mulvihill, 9/17). [More]
UAB researchers discover novel mechanism involved in formation of memory, learning

UAB researchers discover novel mechanism involved in formation of memory, learning

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham report the discovery of a novel mechanism in the brain involved in the formation of memory and learning. In findings reported online this week in Nature, the research team describes the role of a histone subunit known as H2A.Z. [More]
Scientists develop first blood test to diagnose major adult depression

Scientists develop first blood test to diagnose major adult depression

The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed by Northwestern Medicine- scientists, a breakthrough approach that provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. [More]
Recovery-focused CBT aids bipolar patients

Recovery-focused CBT aids bipolar patients

Cognitive behavioural therapy that is focused broadly on patients’ recovery may be an effective intervention for patients with recent-onset bipolar disorder, a pilot randomised trial indicates. [More]
Cyclothymic temperament linked to suicidality

Cyclothymic temperament linked to suicidality

The presence of a cyclothymic temperament in inpatients with bipolar disorder may indicate a high likelihood of hopelessness and suicidality, report researchers. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

State highlights: N.Y. sues drugmaker over Alzheimer's drug switch; Ariz. Republican resigns over Medicaid remarks

New York State's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit on Monday seeking to stop a pharmaceutical company from forcing patients with Alzheimer's disease to switch to a new version of a widely used drug. The lawsuit contends that the switch is designed to blunt competition from low-priced generic versions of the medication (Pollack, 9/15). [More]
Intimate partner violence may trigger irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia

Intimate partner violence may trigger irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia

One in five men in the U.S. reports violence towards their spouse or significant other, says a new nationally-representative study by the University of Michigan. [More]
Early intervention prevents aggressive children from becoming violent, criminal adults

Early intervention prevents aggressive children from becoming violent, criminal adults

Aggressive children are less likely to become violent criminals or psychiatrically troubled adults if they receive early intervention, says a new study based on more than two decades of research. [More]
State Highlights: Calif. prop 45 ad truth check; Medi-Cal autism coverage

State Highlights: Calif. prop 45 ad truth check; Medi-Cal autism coverage

Proposition 45 would give California's elected insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes, a power the commissioner already wields for auto and homeowners insurance rates. The campaign against it -- for which the insurance industry has so far put up $37.3 million -- is now airing a 60-second radio ad narrated by a nurse named Candy Campbell. [More]
State highlights: States want home care worker wage changes delayed; Ga. delays nursing home rate hike

State highlights: States want home care worker wage changes delayed; Ga. delays nursing home rate hike

State officials that argued against providing overtime and minimum wage protections to the nation's 2 million home care workers are asking the Department of Labor to push back a Jan. 1 start date for the policy to take effect. State Medicaid officials concerned that their costs will rise are asking for a delay and tweaks to the policy, even though the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized the rule a year ago. [More]
New study measures neurodevelopment in schizophrenia

New study measures neurodevelopment in schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is generally considered to be a disorder of brain development and it shares many risk factors, both genetic and environmental, with other neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and intellectual disability. [More]
Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

Research roundup: Prevention services for seniors; drug shortages

This policy brief reports the findings of a systematic review conducted by the Community Health Innovations in Prevention for Seniors (CHIPS) project. ... Clinical preventive services such as colorectal cancer screening and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce rates of premature death and disability. Yet, many older adults are not receiving the full set of clinical preventive services that have been proven effective and are considered "high value" in terms of their costs per life saved. Rates are particularly low among racial and ethnic minority older adults compared to national goals. [More]
Researchers find learning and memory components of neurofibromatosis using zebrafish model

Researchers find learning and memory components of neurofibromatosis using zebrafish model

Using a zebrafish model of a human genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF1), a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the learning and memory components of the disorder are distinct features that will likely need different treatment approaches. [More]
Breathing-based meditation practice can be effective treatment for PTSD

Breathing-based meditation practice can be effective treatment for PTSD

One of the greatest casualties of war is its lasting effect on the minds of soldiers. This presents a daunting public health problem: More than 20 percent of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a 2012 report by RAND Corp. [More]
State highlights: Scrutiny on for-profit surgery centers after Joan Rivers' death; Kaiser agrees to $4 million fine

State highlights: Scrutiny on for-profit surgery centers after Joan Rivers' death; Kaiser agrees to $4 million fine

A selection of health policy stories from New York, California, the District of Columbia, North Carolina and Georgia. [More]
Continuing to work during depressive illness may offer employees certain health benefits

Continuing to work during depressive illness may offer employees certain health benefits

The collaborative study between the University Of Melbourne and the Menzies Research Institute at the University of Tasmania is the first to estimate the long-term costs and health outcomes of depression-related absence as compared to individuals who continue to work among employees with depression in Australia. [More]
Get SET Early: New program to reduce mean age of ASD diagnosis in multiple cities

Get SET Early: New program to reduce mean age of ASD diagnosis in multiple cities

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is now estimated to impact one in every 68 children born in the United States. Yet despite its rising prevalence and the known benefits of early detection and treatment, toddlers in much of the United States are routinely not identified as possibly having ASD until well after their third birthday. [More]
American men have worse access to reproductive and sexual health care, shows research

American men have worse access to reproductive and sexual health care, shows research

Compared with women, American men have worse access to reproductive and sexual health care, research shows, a disparity fueled in part by the lack of standard clinical guidelines on the types and timing of exams, tests and treatments that should be offered to all men of reproductive age. [More]
Stages of symptoms in schizophrenia: an interview with Dr. Mark Opler, ProPhase

Stages of symptoms in schizophrenia: an interview with Dr. Mark Opler, ProPhase

I think there's a perception that schizophrenia is principally a disorder that involves hallucinations such as hearing voices, seeing things and believing things that aren't real. These are indeed part of the phenomenon, but the condition is much broader than that. [More]