Here's the rub. Dr. Charles Nemeroff is the presenter for this continuing medical education activity entitled Add On Atypical Antipsychotics Efficacious in Short Term for Unipolar Depression. This post concerns slides 5, 6, and 9, which reference the aforementioned ARISE-RD study, which examined the use of risperidone as an add-on to citalopram (Celexa) in treating depression. The full presentation is available for your examination.
Slide 6 reads in part:
- Global Impressions of Sexual Functioning scores improved significantly in men and women (p < .02) with RIS augmentation.
- RIS may ameliorate sexual dysfunction associated with SSRIs.
Slide 9 reads in part:
- Augmentation options for treatment-refractory depression include adjunctive atypical antipsychotics.
-Controlled studies: short term efficacy with OLZ, ARI, RIS [risperidone]
In fact, here is what the lead author (Mark Rapaport) of the ARISE-RD study had to say about its results in a letter to the editor (currently in press):
The paper repeatedly states in Abstract, Methods and in Discussion that continuation of risperidone augmentation therapy was not more beneficial than placebo, and hence the working hypothesis was disproven...Compare and contrast: Nemeroff's presentation indicates that the study was a controlled trial showing that risperidone was more effective than placebo. The lead author admits that the study was a "negative finding" and that risperidone was "not more beneficial than placebo."
I would like to thank the reviewers and the editors of Neuropsychopharmacology for having the courage to allow us to publish this negative finding.
To summarize, Nemeroff did the following:
- Claimed that a peer-reviewed study showed risperidone improved sexual functioning, when the effects of treatment on sexual functioning were not even mentioned in the paper.
- Claimed that the study showed risperidone to demonstrate efficacy over placebo, which it in fact did not.