A special telebriefing with renowned brain and behavior researchers who will headline the 2008 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Annual Meeting
Bill Carlezon, PhD, Chair of ACNP's Public Information Committee
Roger Pittman, MD, Harvard Medical School/Mass. General Hospital (PTSD and Twins)
Bart Hoebel, PhD, Princeton University (Sugar-Bingeing)
Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs)
Carl Schwartz, MD, Harvard Medical School/Mass. General Hospital (Infant Behavior)
WHEN: Thursday, December 4 at 12 noon ET
Selected studies include:
- A decade-long study among identical twins with and without combat experience has provided new information on brain abnormalities found in people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study is the first to identify the origin of changes in the brain related to PTSD among combat veterans, and researchers say it represents a major step forward in determining whether such changes are acquired from the traumatic experience alone or whether the individuals also have an underlying physical predisposition to the disorder.
- New evidence from animal models suggests that sugar can act on the brain in ways similar to drugs of abuse. Eating large amounts of sugar when hungry, also known as sugar-bingeing, can cause behavioral and neurochemical changes in the brain that resemble those produced when someone takes substances of abuse including morphine, cocaine and nicotine.
- A group of prominent scientists is concerned about the growing popularity of using prescription medications to boost brain power. Experts from pediatrics, psychiatry, substance abuse and pharmacology will meet to explore the possibility that casual use of these drugs could have unintended long-term effects, particularly in people who do not need them to treat a psychiatric condition .
- Infant behavior and temperament linked to adult brain structure; May help identify adults at ten-fold increased risk for depression and anxiety. Scientists have discovered an important link between the temperament of a child during infancy and brain structure at adulthood. These findings provide new clues about the biology of mood disorders and could facilitate the development of improved treatments
- Researchers have discovered a potential way to identify stem cells in the human brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
- New research shows that dementia in very old people is associated with a different pattern of pathological changes in the brain than when dementia occurs in younger individuals.
- Mothers can apparently tell her own baby's cry from a room of screaming infants, but now researchers have identified specific brain regions that allow her to do this and support her parenting responses.
ACNP, founded in 1961, is a professional organization of more than 700 leading scientists, including four Nobel Laureates. The mission of ACNP is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields in the following ways: promoting the interaction of a broad range of scientific disciplines of brain and behavior in order to advance the understanding of prevention and treatment of disease of the nervous system including psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and addictive disorders; encouraging scientists to enter research careers in fields related to these disorders and their treatment; and ensuring the dissemination of relevant scientific advances.
Source: Sharon Reis