Media Coverage

Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry is quoted in an article about the difficulty in developing drugs to treat depression. Many approved drug treatments affect neurotransmitters, but that impact doesn’t mean that’s definitely how the drugs work for depression. “There are 20 to 30 things that antidepressants are known to do,” says Dubovsky. “There is some debate about which of those are most relevant to the treatment of depression.”
A story about common reasons for relationship failure mentions a 2013 study by Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, that found about 50 percent of married couples with differing alcohol habits were divorced before their tenth anniversary.
A writer in Romper quotes Sourav Sengupta, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, in an opinion piece about wanting to raise children who feel “free.” Sengupta tells Romper that anxiety can be passed down through generations and is “relatively highly transmissible from parent to child.” Sengupta, who directs UB’s child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program, said one of his child patients has a parent who was raised by an anxious parent, “and that anxiety sort of flows through the generations, across multiple generations.”
A story describes efforts by Uriel Halbreich, MD, professor of psychiatry, and international colleagues to launch a global movement to make well-being a more interdisciplinary concept encompassing social and economic well-being in addition to mental health. “We want to move beyond psychiatry, even though it starts with psychiatry,” Halbreich said.
Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, in interviewed for a story on how the national attention on white victims of the opioid crisis has pushed minorities to the sidelines, even as the number of opioid-related deaths among non-whites is on the rise. Leonard said racial bias and the stereotyping of patients of color also play a role in the rate of prescriptions and overdoses among non-white Americans. “There is a bias issue there in terms of either believing [minorities are] more likely to be substance abusers or they can endure more pain,” he said.
An article looking at suicide prevention in the wake of three very public local incidents interviews Yogesh D. Bakhai, MD, associate professor of clinical psychiatry, who said he wouldn’t be surprised if none of those involved had ever seen a psychiatrist or mental health counselor. Bakhai said that while difficult to detect, those contemplating suicide often leave clues in their language or behavior that they are struggling with life.
The struggles clinicians face in balancing their professional workload and social and familial responsibilities has grown more challenging in recent years. This struggle is familiar to Sourav Sengupta, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program. In an essay appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, he describes how he ultimately realized he needed professional help to overcome these difficulties.
Research by Jessica A. Kulak, PhD, a former postdoctoral fellow in UB’s Primary Care Research Institute, and Kim Strong Griswold, MD, professor of family medicine and psychiatry, suggests that shifts in illicit substance use among American youth will compel primary care physicians to monitor new products and how they are used. 
In an article about ongoing efforts to lessen health disparities between racial and ethnic groups in Western New York, Linda F. Pessar, MD, professor emerita of psychiatry at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of its Center for Medical Humanities, which seeks to increase the level of trust between physicians and patients who live in areas with poor health outcomes, is interviewed. “Our primary work is to make students aware of different communities and their experiences with physicians,” Pessar said. “We figure out ways to meet (the community’s) needs and reduce barriers to health care because among different ethnic groups there is a great deal of dissatisfaction and distrust.” The article also looks at the work of UB’s Community of Excellence in Global Health Equity and interviews Kim Strong Griswold, MD, professor of family medicine and research professor of psychiatry, who said the area “still has huge gaps” when it comes to making sure refugees have access to health care.
Articles about prescription drug addiction in older adults quote Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addiction, who discussed the tendency for these patients to sometimes combine opioids with benzodiazepines because of an increased tolerance for these drugs. “They’re not using these medications to get high or for risk-taking but they’re using them to manage their pain,” he said. “Sometimes they combine them with benzodiazepines that they are prescribed. And many of the deaths that we see involve a combination of opiates and benzodiazepines.”
An article about a Florida man who was high on erotic-themed whippets when he crashed a car and killed a lawyer quotes Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions. Leonard described how whippets, which are cannisters of nitrous oxide, have taken a beat seat, in terms of usage and public policy, to other illicit drugs. “I haven't heard much about whippets for some time either. Opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, along with cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids remain among the top concerns (along with alcohol and tobacco),” Leonard said.
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics has found that adolescent athletes who sustained concussions while playing a sport recovered more quickly when they underwent a supervised, aerobic exercise regimen. First author on the study is John J. Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics. Senior author on the study is Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry. Leddy is the director of the University at Buffalo Concussion Management Clinic and Willer is the director of research. Their findings contradict the conventional approach to concussion, and an editorial accompanying the publication has called the work “a landmark study that may shift the standard of care.”
A study by John J. Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics, and Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry, published in JAMA Pediatrics shows that adolescents who followed a supervised, sub-symptom threshold aerobic exercise program after sustaining a sport-related concussion recovered more quickly than adolescents with concussion who did simple stretches. “We think exercise actually restores control to the autonomic nervous system, which is clearly affected by concussion,” Leddy said.
A new study by John J. Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics and director of UB’s Concussion Management Clinic, and Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry, found that teens who suffer a sports-related concussion are likely to improve more quickly if they start aerobic exercise within a few days under the guidance of a health care specialist. “The data provide preliminary evidence that a primary benefit of early subthreshold exercise treatment is a reduced incidence of delayed recovery (greater than 30 days), which is potentially a very important result,” the authors write.
Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, comments on the November shooting at a Florida yoga studio that left two women dead and five others injured. He noted that while most mass murderers don’t have a history of domestic violence, it’s common for people who commit a violent crime to have a violent past. “Someone who’s violent in one area is more likely to be violent in another area,” he said.