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Early Career Psychiatry

Marlene P. Freeman, MD

Published: November 15, 2009

Early Career Psychiatry

In this issue’s Early Career Psychiatrists section, we have 3 articles that add to the literature in important clinical areas. First, Smid and colleagues address an area of psychiatry in which more data are needed to assess the impact of trauma. They conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess prevalence rates of delayed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They found that in cases of PTSD in studies meeting their inclusion criteria, 24.8% of cases met criteria for delayed onset. Military combat and Western background were risk factors for delayed onset of PTSD.

In another article included in this section, Blasco-Fontecilla and colleagues report findings from a study of suicide attempts and presence of cluster B personality disorders. Compared to other cluster B personality disorders, the authors found that those with narcissistic personality disorder had more lethal suicide attempts, adding to the data regarding suicide risk factors.

Wingo and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis regarding the cognitive effects of lithium. In studies in which subjects taking lithium could be adequately compared to controls who were not taking lithium, they found small but significant cognitive effects from lithium use, including an impact upon immediate verbal learning and memory and creativity, and psychomotor effects with long-term use. Most areas of cognition tested were not significantly affected by lithium treatment compared with controls.

The authors of this issue’s Early Career Psychiatrists section provide new information regarding the characterization of PTSD onset, cognitive effects of lithium, and suicidal risk factors pertaining to cluster B personality disorders. We are delighted to include these articles that represent clinically important, broad topics in psychiatry.

In addition, we are delighted to feature a special commentary section from psychiatry journal editors in this month’s issue on the topics of peer review and publishing. Please see page 1598 for this special offering.

For feedback about the Early Career Psychiatrists section, please contact me at

Marlene P. Freeman, MD

Volume: 70

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