CNS Spectrums tackles the topic of violence head on

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CNS Spectrums, published by Cambridge University Press, has just published a special issue on violence

CNS Spectrums, a leading neuroscience journal, has just published a special issue on violence. This collection of ground-breaking articles and reviews by leading authorities in the field – including two co-authored by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Stephen M. Stahl – offers a thought-provoking exploration of violence from the neuroscientific perspective.

Dr. Stahl has co-authored, with experts at the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH), the article entitled “California Department of State Hospital Violence Assessment and Treatment (Cal-VAT) guidelines”. This set of comprehensive guidelines addresses the assessment and treatment of violence and aggression of various etiologies, from psychotic aggression to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“These guidelines have been developed from a collection of prescribing recommendations, clinical trial results, and years of clinical experience in treating patients who are persistently violent or aggressive in the California Department of State Hospital System,” said Dr. Stahl.

Dr. Katherine Warburton, medical director of the California DSH, was a co-author of the Cal-VAT guidelines, and also co-edited this special issue of CNS Spectrums with noted forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Scott.

“Violence and aggression arise from a complex interaction of personal and environmental factors”, write Drs. Warburton, Stahl, and their co-authors. “However, treatment of the violent or aggressive individual often proceeds without an adequate consideration of the sources of the patient’s threatening or violent behavior. Furthermore, there are no recent published guidelines about how to assess and treat violence in an inpatient forensic or state hospital system, where most of the patients have diagnoses of psychosis, especially schizophrenia”.

In order to make these guidelines easier to use in clinical practice, they are presented in a bulleted format with numerous tables and treatment algorithms.

A second article co-authored by Dr. Stahl in this special issue, “Treating the violent patient with psychosis or impulsivity utilizing antipsychotic polypharmacy and high-dose monotherapy,” investigates what to do when patients with psychosis and violent behaviors fail to respond to standard treatments or continue to exhibit violent behaviors despite control of their psychosis.

Together with co-author Debbi A. Morrissette from the Neuroscience Education Institute, Dr. Stahl reviews the neurobiological rationale as well as evidence- and practice-based treatment strategies that use dosing of antipsychotics above the range normally recommended in published treatment guidelines. The authors also investigate the somewhat controversial practice of combining antipsychotics for addressing psychotic and impulsive violence in patients with schizophrenia who fail to respond adequately to standard treatment.

Read the special October issue on violence here.


Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact:

Ken August, Department of State Hospitals, email: Ken.August(at)dsh(dot)ca(dot)gov, phone +1 916 651 5308, fax +1 916 654 3198.

Susan Soule, Cambridge University Press, email: ssoule(at)cambridge(dot)org, phone +1 212 337 5019, fax +1 212 337 5959.

About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Its purpose is to further the University’s objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research. Its peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 50,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.

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About Cambridge Journals
Cambridge University Press publishes more than 350 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide spread of subject areas, in print and online. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today.

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About CNS Spectrums
Published in collaboration between the Neuroscience Education Institute and Cambridge University Press, CNS Spectrums aims to be the premier journal covering all aspects of clinical neurosciences, neurotherapeutics and neuropsychopharmacology, particularly those pertinent to the clinician and clinical investigator. The bimonthly journal features focused, in-depth, illustrated, readable reviews, commentaries and original research articles. New therapeutics of all types in psychiatry, mental health and neurology are emphasized, especially first in studies on humans and proof of concept studies. Subject coverage spans the full spectrum of neuropsychiatry, focusing on translational issues and those crossing traditional boundaries between neurology and psychiatry.

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