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Today's Geriatric Medicine
E-Newsletter    April 2024
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Editor's E-Note

The increasingly severe shortage of behavioral health providers is the subject of a new paper published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric Services that calls for the need for a range of federal policies.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at www.TodaysGeriatricMedicine.com, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at TGMeditor@gvpub.com. Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter, too.

— Kate Jackson, editor
In This E-Newsletter


E-News Exclusive
Increasing the Behavioral Health Workforce

The United States is facing a severe shortage of behavioral health providers—those who care for people with mental health or substance use issues. In recent years, demand for behavioral health treatment has grown, and this shortage is now dire. In a new paper published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric Services, Stony Brook University IDEA Fellow Briana Last, PhD, and coauthors provide a comprehensive review of one federal policy that has been increasingly used to address the country’s behavioral health provider shortage crisis: loan repayment programs (LRPs).

The authors’ review found that while LRPs can help recruit new providers to areas in the country with severe shortages, these programs alone cannot address some of the root causes of the crisis. They point to the need for a variety of federal policy strategies to address it.

Professional behavioral health associations and policymakers agree that the United States is in a behavioral health crisis, and policy solutions are needed to address it. In 2023, the Health Resources and Services Administration estimated that 165 million Americans live in behavioral health provider shortage areas. By 2036, the Health Resources and Services Administration projects the country will be short over 85,000 behavioral health providers.

Other Geriatric News
Iron Deficiency
HCPLive reports on recent research that reveals the prevalence of iron deficiency in hospitalized geriatric patients and points to the need for systematic screening.

Is Aging a Disease?
The authors of an article published in Cureus argue against the World Health Organization’s classification of aging as a disease, citing no scientific or theoretical support for the position.

The Transmission of Alzheimer’s Disease
Science News reports on research published in Nature Medicine about the rare transmission of Alzheimer’s disease between people. The findings are the first reported instance of iatrogenic Alzheimer’s, occurring at an unusually young age in five individuals who, as children, received contaminated injections of a growth hormone.

A Brain Map
Neuroscientists have created a comprehensive map of the parts of the brain that become dysfunctional as a result of a number of conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and dystonia. Newsweek reports on the research from Berlin’s Charité Universitätsmedizin and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, published in the journal Neuroscience.
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Current Issue
Nutrition Needs of Aging Adults
Guidance for registered dietitians about the macronutrient and fluid needs of aging adults and other dietary solutions.

When the Past Is Present
The evidence has been building over decades for the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

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