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PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Highlights from the 2017 NEI Psychopharmacology Congress
December 22, 2017   

Highlights from the 2017 NEI Psychopharmacology Congress

The NEI Psychopharmacology Congress, held annually every Fall, is a four-day conference that brings mental health clinicians together to learn about the latest research, new treatment advances, and updated clinical care guidelines, with emphasis on how to translate these developments into clinical practice. The 2017 NEI Congress, held November 8–12 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, began with two pre-conference workshops: one on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, chaired by Timothy Wilens, MD, and the other on Treatment-Resistant Psychiatric Disorders, chaired by Stephen M. Stahl, MD, PhD. Topics for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry pre-conference workshop included an update on pharmacotherapy for ADHD by Dr. Wilens, and best practices for the treatment of pediatric mood disorders by Dr. Adelaide Robb. Topics for the Treatment-Resistant Psychiatric Disorders pre-conference workshop focused on how to manage side effects by Dr. Rajnish Mago, and the most current research on how to handle treatment-resistant illness by Dr. Stahl.

The main conference kicked off with Dr. Stahl’s presentation on pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. He discussed the underlying molecular principles of personalized medicine, how to identify genetic polymorphisms associated with various mental disorders and treatment responses, and how to interpret pharmacogenomic test results. He also addressed how to communicate findings from these tests to patients and families.

Additional topics covered best dosing practices for antipsychotic depot medications and treatment modification for major depressive disorder.

The second day of the main conference continued with exciting topics, ranging from how to differentially diagnose patients with symptoms that resemble depression by Dr. Stahl, to the relationship between metabolism, inflammation, and brain-based disorders by Dr. Roger McIntyre, to psychosis associated with neurodegenerative disorders by Dr. Jonathan Meyer.

A unique wellness approach for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder was presented by Dr. Mary Moller. She addressed the biological, social, and spiritual consequences that fear disorders can have, and she presented current wellness models, such as the Be Smart program designed to help patients with PTSD have control of their own wellbeing and to view themselves as strong and courageous, instead of victims. She also discussed the success of such programs, focused on holistic and wellness approaches.

Dr. Stahl presented a lecture on the most current research regarding lifestyle behaviors that can retard the aging process and preserve brain health—such as proper nutrition and exercise. He addressed cellular, genetic, and anatomical changes due to normal aging, along with exciting findings on how to prevent aging effects on the brain.

The second day of the main conference concluded with a unique panel of experts on how to cope with patient suicide. The panel was led by Dr. David Goodman, and consisted of Drs. Roger McIntyre, William Sauvé, and Thomas Schwartz. Prior to the panel discussion, approximately 50% of clinicians in the audience felt comfortable discussing their personal experience with patient suicide with a colleague. After the panel discussion, nearly 100% of clinicians reportedly felt comfortable discussing their personal experiences.

The third day of the main conference opened with Dr. Andrew Cutler’s lecture on emerging treatment options for tardive dyskinesia, followed by Dr. Roger McIntyre’s talk on current treatment guidelines for depression with mixed features.

Dr. William Sauvé brought us the most current research findings on how various brain stimulation techniques, such as cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be effective for the treatment of many neuropsychiatric conditions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), has been particularly effective for treatment-resistant depression; however, novel research findings suggest that it has therapeutic effects for a wide range of other neuropsychiatric symptoms, from addiction treatment to the treatment of tics associated with Tourette’s syndrome. Dr. Sauvé addresses some of the most exciting findings in our exclusive podcast interview with him.

Other lectures focused on distinguishing between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder by Dr. Goodman, novel approaches to antidepressant treatment by Dr. Andrew Cutler, and therapeutic potential of illicit substances by Dr. Sauvé.

The last day of the main conference began with Dr. Verinder Sharma’s lecture on mood disorders during the peripartum period, followed by a lecture on antipsychotic pharmacokinetics and best dosing practices for oral medications by Dr. Rona Hu. The conference concluded with Dr. Ira Glick’s presentation on combining psychosocial pharmacologic strategies for the long-term treatment of severe mental illness with an emphasis on psychotic disorders.

Click here to view all 2017 NEI Congress Encore Presentations as they become available

We look forward to seeing all of you at the 2018 NEI Congress in Orlando, Florida!