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This Week in Psychiatry — 4/18/11

April 15, 2011

Short Sleeves on Physicians Have MRSA, Too

To prevent the spread of bacterial contamination, recent guidelines in the UK have banned long-sleeved physicians’ white coats, instituting instead daily laundered short-sleeved uniforms. A new study, however, published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, found no statistical difference in the amount of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus present on long and short sleeves (or the wrists of physicians wearing short sleeves) after 8 hours. In fact, after 3 hours of wear short sleeves already contained 50% of the MRSA found at the 8-hour time point.

Food and Brain Reward Activation: Does That Savor of Addiction?

A new Archives of General Psychiatry report suggests that “food addiction” may have a neurobiological profile similar to other addictive behaviors. Researchers used fMRI to evaluate reward activation in 48 young women (ranging from normal weight to obese) during anticipation and receipt of a chocolate milkshake. Any food addiction spectrum score was associated with greater reward response during anticipation of food. A high food addiction score was associated with greater reward response during anticipation of food, but less activation in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex after receipt of food. This trajectory of higher anticipation until gratification is achieved compares with the reward trajectory in substance dependence, write the authors

Antenatal Depression, Race Risk Factors

Black and Asian women are more likely to experience antenatal depression compared to non-Hispanic White women, according to a recent study in General Hospital Psychiatry. Using data collected over 6 years (n=1,997), the researchers used logistic regression analyses to evaluate sociodemographic—among other—characteristics in the context of antenatal depression, as verified by the Patient Health Questionnaire. Just over 5% of the women in the study reported antenatal depression. The increased risk of such in Black and Asian women maintained its significance after controlling for multiple factors.

“This Week in Psychiatry” is written Lonnie Stoltzfoos

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