Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology

logo_gatewaypsychiatric1The wonderful thing about having two blogs ( and is that there are two sets of readers for the articles that I post.

The problem is that sometimes I’m much more prolific in one area or another. For whatever reason, I have been writing more regularly on the Gateway Psychiatric website, which is where I post articles related to psychopharmacology in psychobiology and more traditional ways of thinking about treatment for mood disorders.

This leaves the readers of MoodSurfing perhaps without their usual update on how best to “live creatively with moods” – so I thought I might compensate to some extent by giving a brief update from the other site and links to posted articles that might be of interest to readers of this site.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the usually stuffy journal Biological Psychiatry devoted an entire issue to oxytocin, which some have dubbed the “love hormone.” Of course nothing is that simple in human biology, and in the fascinating set of articles I summarize in Oxytocin in Humans, I note that oxytocin may play an important role in conditions as diverse as autism, depression, love addiction, and schizophrenia. In addition it is clear that oxytocin plays an important role in the unloving but all too human tendency to exclude people who are “not like us” and perhaps even to attack “outsiders.”

There was some good news that came out of a recent study looking at benzodiazepines in the elderly which suggested that previous data that found a connection between benzodiazepine use and a higher risk of dementia was not accurate. I summarize that in Benzodiazepines and Dementia.

Finally, an FDA advisory committee not only recommended that a specific medication, vortioxetine, be approved with an additional indication for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction associated with depression, but gave its blessing to the idea that medications that specifically target cognitive dysfunction in depression might be a good idea. Vortioxetine for Cognitive Impairment in Depression.