The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for almost everyone, and different populations have been hit in different ways. For people aged 18–30 years, it has had an outsized effect on mental health, especially in terms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Telemedicine has become an increasingly important mode of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain specialties lend themselves to telemedicine to a greater degree than others. One of these is psychiatry, thanks in large part to relevance of observation and conversation with patients and their families to obtain neuropsychiatric history.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently opened its innovative Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics. A joint clinical, research and education initiative, the new center brings together experts from neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery and neuroradiology to develop innovative treatment methods for brain disorders that don’t respond to medication.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have received two grants totaling nearly $30 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants will support two research programs — one designed to examine the effects of stress in post-menopausal women and the other to gather and analyze data that can be used to develop early-stage interventions for those at high risk for psychosis.
For over 20 years, the Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment (IMPACT) model has offered improved care for patients in need of psychiatric care in the primary care setting. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a collaborative care paradigm modeled on IMPACT is in the final stages of being rolled out to primary care practices throughout the system.
For many people, their first interaction with Brigham and Women’s Hospital is through the Emergency Department (ED). Usually, they are in a desperate state. As such, the ED is a critical place for patients who need acute psychiatric care.
The opioid epidemic in the United States is entering its third decade, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has had a longstanding commitment to deliver care to those facing addiction to opioids as well as alcohol and other drugs. The Brigham’s Bridge Clinic, established in 2018, is the latest program aimed at reducing barriers to treatment. The clinic provides urgent, on-demand care while also helping patients transition to other, longer-term programs.
It’s not uncommon for people who have neurological disorders to experience behavioral and emotional symptoms. The field of neuropsychiatry is dedicated to addressing this issue and bringing a neurobiological understanding to the field of psychiatry.
Thanks to imaging technologies like CT, MRI and PET, researchers who study the brain are able to peer inside its “black box” to learn how different parts of the brain interact and how those interactions change in response to disease or injury.
Arranging psychiatric care can be a logistical challenge. Appointments usually need to be scheduled months in advance, and missed visits may result in removal from patient rolls. This situation is often a critical obstacle to care, especially because people who require psychiatric care are likely to struggle to deal with these sorts of challenges.