El DSM IV vinculado a la industria farmaceutica

DSM-IV-TR, the current DSM editionImage via Wikipedia

Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry

The D.S.M. is used to diagnose a wide range of mental disorders. (Cary Conover)
More than half of the task force members who will oversee the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s most important diagnostic handbook have ties to the drug industry, reports a consumer watchdog group.

The Web site for Integrity in Science, a project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, highlights the link between the drug industry and the all-important psychiatric manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The handbook is the most-used guide for diagnosing mental disorders in the United States. The guide has gone through several revisions since it was first published, and the next version will be the D.S.M.-V, to be published in 2012.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Web site has posted the financial disclosure of most of the the 28 task force members who will oversee the revision of the D.S.M.

It’s not the first time the D.S.M. has been linked to the drug industry. Tufts University researchers in 2006 reported that 95 — or 56 percent — of 170 experts who worked on the 1994 edition of the manual had at least one monetary relationship with a drug maker in the years from 1989 to 2004. The percentage was higher — 100 percent in some cases — for experts who worked on sections of the manual devoted to severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, the study found. (For a Times story on that report, click here.)

The American Psychiatric Association allows members who work on the upcoming fifth edition of the handbook to accept money from drug firms. However, from the time of their appointment until the completion of the work, their annual individual income from industry sources cannot exceed $10,000. “We have made every effort to ensure that D.S.M.-V will be based on the best and latest scientific research, and to eliminate conflicts of interest in its development,” said Dr. Carolyn B. Robinowitz, president of the organization, in a press release.

The Integrity in Science group described the financial conflicts of interest by the task force members as ranging from “small to extensive,” including one member who over the past five years worked as a consultant for 13 drug companies, including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Merck, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Fuente: NYT

The Good Drug Guide : new mood-brighteners and antidepressants

The Good Drug Guide : new mood-brighteners and antidepressants:

‘via Blog this’

Could we live happily ever after? Perhaps. One’s interest in the genetically pre-programmed states of sublimity sketched in The Hedonistic Imperative is tempered by the knowledge that one is unlikely to be around to enjoy them. It’s all very well being told our descendants will experience every moment of their lives as a magical epiphany. For emotional primitives and our loved ones at present, most of life’s moments bring nothing of the sort. In centuries to come, our emotional well-being may indeed surpass anything that human legacy wetware can even contemplate. Right now, however, any future Post-Darwinian Era of paradise-engineering can seem an awfully long way off. Mainstream society today has a desperately underdeveloped conception of mental health.
        There’s clearly a strong causal link between the raw biological capacity to experience happiness and the extent to which one’s life is felt to be worthwhile. High-minded philosophy treatises should complicate but not confuse the primacy of the pleasure-pain axis. So one very practical method of life-enrichment consists in chemically engineering happier brains for all in the here-and-now. Yet how can this best be done?
         Any strategy which doesn’t subvert our inbuilt hedonic treadmill of inhibitory feedback mechanisms in the CNS will fail. Political and socio-economic reforms offer at best a lame stopgap. To the scientific naturalist, all routes to happiness must ultimately be biological – “culture” and “talk-therapy” alike must be neurochemically encoded to exert any effect on the psyche. Some of these routes to happiness involve the traditional environmental detours. They are too technical, diverse and futile to tackle here. If the quality of our lives is to be significantly enhanced in the long term, then the genetically predisposed set-point of our emotional thermostats needs to be recalibrated. The malaise-ridden norm typically adaptive in humanity’s ancestral environment must be scrapped. So while we wait until germ-line gene-therapy to promote mental super-health can become standard, it’s worth considering instead how ordinary early 21st Century Homo sapiens can sustainably maximise emotional well-being with only present-day pharmacology to rely on. No less importantly, how is it possible to combine staying continuously “better than well” with retaining one’s sense of social and ethical responsibility to other people and life-forms?
        Extracting reliable information on this topic is extraordinarily difficult for laity and professionals alike. The layman is more likely to be given heavily slanted propaganda. Unvarnished fact might confuse his supposedly uneducated and functionally diminutive brain. Career-scientists, on the other hand, are bedevilled by a different problem. Access to funds, laboratories, raw materials, journal publication, professional preferment, and licenses to conduct experimental trials is all dependent on researchers delivering results their paymasters want to hear. The disincentives to intellectual integritycould scarcely be greater; and they are cloaked in such reputable disguise.
        By way of illustration, it’s worth contemplating one far-fetched scenario. How might an everlasting-happiness drug – a drug which (implausibly!) left someone who tried it once living happily-ever-after – find itself described in the literature?

“Substance x induces severe, irreversible structural damage to neurotransmitter subsystem y. Its sequelae include mood-congruent cognitive delusions, treatment-resistant euphoria, and toxic affective psychosis.”

Eeek! Needless to say, no responsible adult would mess around with a potent neurotoxin under this description.
        Several excellent researchers play the game by the rules. They keep their heterodox opinions to themselves. Others find such cognitive dissonancetoo unpleasant. So they gradually internalise the puritanical role and tendency to warped scientific prose expected of them. [Whereas tortured non-humanexperimental animals, for instance, blandly get “used” and “sacrificed”, certain socially taboo drugs always get “abused” by “drug-abusers”] On the other hand, some of the most original and productive minds in the field of psychopharmacology – pre-eminently Alexander Shulgin – have already been silenced. Many more careers have been intellectually strangled at birth or consigned to professional oblivion. The danger of poisoning the wells of information, for whatever motives, is straightforward. When young people discover they have been lied to or deceived, over cannabis for instance, they will pardonably assume that they have been lied to or deceived over the dangers of other illegals too. And this, to put it mildly, would be exceedingly rash.
        Most recently, the Internet daily delivers up an uncontrollable flood-tide of fresh ideas to counter official misinformation. Some of the online literature, for instance Erowid, is first-rate. At its best, Wikipedia puts print publications to shame. Unfortunately, a lot of web-published material isn’t much more objective in content or style than the professional journals it complements. Medical ghostwriting, unacknowledged conflicts of interest and publication bias are endemic to “peer-reviewed” academic journals; but methodological rigour is scarce in the scientific counter-culture too. Devising one’s own system of filtering and quality-control to drown out the noise is a challenging task for anybody…..read more in the original post.

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