Patient focused goals are key
‘Industry Science Exchanges’ focused on depression and schizophrenia:
- The latest understanding of major depressive disorder (MDD) neurobiology and how episode duration and disease trajectory can impact a patient with MDD
- How to best manage a MDD-related psychiatric emergency, focussing on initial assessment and treatment options
- Drugs targeting the range of schizophrenia symptoms including not only positive ones but also negative, cognitive, mood and hostility aspects
- Why patient ‘life engagement’ practices are becoming a focus for pharmacological treatment goals
- Patient reported and patient-centric outcomes as key parts of clinical trials and everyday practice
- Approaches to precision psychiatry whereby symptoms are matched to biology to provide more tailored therapy
Patient ‘life engagement’ is a key treatment goal
Social media and novel therapies
The ‘Campfire Sessions’ continued, with discussion of:
- How attachment involves bonding processes that can be shown neurobiologically and are involved in human resilience
- Science communication and public engagement is booming with formats including traditional books and columns and newer ones, such as podcasts and public-facing lectures
- Does reporting of ‘celebrity’ suicide still increase the societal rate of such and is it increased or helped by social media
Other interesting presentations included how animal-assisted therapy is becoming a popular and effective treatment for psychiatric and neurological disorders and potential mechanisms behind this; discussion on changing careers from academia to industry; and exploration of gene therapy for rare neurodevelopment disorders and how, once developed, it can best be delivered.
From gene therapy to animal-assisted therapy, new developments are becoming popular and effective for potential treatments
‘Educational Update’ Sessions highlighted price to address withdrawal of antidepressants with regard to controlling symptoms1 and the latest evidence regarding neurobiology of cognitive impairments and how understanding this may aid treatment, with ‘Innovative Format’ sessions including a panel discussion on how publication and outcome reporting bias in psychiatry might hinder drug development, if overestimation of treatment effects occur and, with mindfullness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders on the rise, questions remain regarding efficacy and mechanisms.
Neurobiology may inform therapy choice
Symposia including presentations regarding:
- How rapid-acting antidepressants may help people with rapid mood switches, with details on neurobiology and pharmacology
- Using rodent models of social interaction to help explain human social behavior and addiction neurocircuitry
- The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with schizophrenia with regard to health, treatment and care access
The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted access to healthcare
The Brainstorming sessions included:
- Advances in treatment and psychotherapy combinations for people with MDD and PTSD revealed in clinical trials and neurocircuitry studies2
- How discrepancy between regulatory indications for psychotropic medications and off-label prescribing may be addressed by identifying trans-diagnostic DSM syndromes and biological circuits3
- ImmunoPsychiatry, such as using anti-inflammatory agents in psychosis,4 is a growing field but how can it be advanced with regard to research foci?
Brain inflammation is fast becoming a focus of research and treatment
Dr Valery Grinevic’s Plenary Lecture discussed new studies regarding the peptide oxytocin.