Special lectures during the Summer Course on Mood Disorders 2 - 7 July 2017

Wednesday 01 February 2017
Each Summer Course, we present lectures and workshops by our own faculty but also a series of guest lectures by esteemed scientists from all over the world. This year we are very happy to welcome: dr. Valerie Voon (Cambridge), dr. João Bessa (MInho) and prof Rosalind Picard (MIT)
Abstracts will follow soon.
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Dr. Valerie Voon (Cambridge):
Valerie Voon is a Medical Research Council Senior Fellow and neuropsychiatrist at the University of Cambridge. The Voon research group focuses on mechanisms underlying impulsivity and compulsivity using a multimodal approach and explores their relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder. She completed her medical training in Canada, a movement disorders research fellowship at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in USA and a PhD in neuroscience at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in the UK. She has published extensively with over 130 manuscripts and book chapters including in high impact journals.
Dr. João Bessa (Minho)
MD (2001), PhD (2008), Board-certified psychiatrist (2009). Currently works as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Anatomy at the School of Medicine, University of Minho, Portugal. Principal Investigator at ICVS/3B´s Associate Laboratory, University of Minho and Assistant Psychiatrist at Hospital de Braga, Portugal. Co-author of several original research articles and book chapters. Expert reviewer for several scientific journals and international funding agencies. Recent primary research focus: neurobiology of depression, specifically the role of neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity in the actions of antidepressant drugs in animal models of chronic stress. Co-founder of the spin-off company Behavioural and Molecular Lab (BNML) dedicated to the preclinical testing of new compounds developed for neuropsychiatric disorders. Ambassador of the European College of Neurpsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Portugal since 2013.
Prof Rosalind Picard (MIT):
Rosalind Picard, ScD, FIEEE, is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Laboratory, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Empatica, improving lives with clinical quality wearable sensors and analytics, and Co-founder of Affectiva, providing emotional intelligence technology. Picard is the author of over two hundred and fifty peer-reviewed articles and of the book, Affective Computing, which helped launch that field. Picard’s lab at MIT develops technologies to better understand, predict, and regulate emotion, including machine-learning based analytics that work with wearables and smartphones, with applications including autism, epilepsy, PTSD, MS, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, biofeedback, migraine and pain.

Graduates 2016

Sunday 10 July 2016
Congratulations to our graduates 2016!
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Agorastos Agorastos: Soldier's heart revisited: diurnal autonomic dysregulation in battle-related posttraumatic stress disorder

Lai Fong Chan: Predictors of the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide attempts among patients with depressive disorders: a 12-month prospective study.

Davinder Hans: A pilot naturalistic study investigating the role of N-acetylcysteine administered by intravenous infusion to improve depression and suicidal ideation.

Georgios Schoretsanitis: Personal space regulation in schizophrenia

Mariá Riveros: Tuberomamillary nucleus- Infralimbic cortex axis, role in depressive symptoms in a rat model

Grant Ceremony

The following students received a grant during our Summer Course on Fear and Anxiety in Florence:

Katharina Rischer: Spinoza Grant
Anna Asratian: FENS - IBRO Stipend
Shlomi Cohen: FENS - IBRO Stipend
Bernardo Barata: FENS - IBRO Stipend


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Guest Lecture by Odile A. van den Heuvel

Thursday 18 February 2016
A guest lecture, entitled 'Brain structure and function in obsessive-compulsive disorder', will be given by Odile A. van den Heuvel (Amsterdam) on Tuesday July 5th during our Summer Course on Fear, Anxiety, Obsessions and Trauma.

Please click 'read more' for the lecture abstract.
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Illustration on how to use brain imaging studies to study mental disorders, with the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as model disease for anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

The literature on brain imaging studies in OCD is extensive. Although replication of results is an issue of concern in the field, after about 3 decades of imaging research some consistent findings appear. Insights in the underlying mechanisms of disease can help to adjust the traditional disease model of OCD1 and stimulate the development of innovative treatment strategies.

Functional imaging studies:
I will discuss the study designs and results of some functional imaging studies in OCD, focusing both on symptom provocation (pre-post neuromodulation design)2 and cognitive paradigms (endophenotype design)3. I will discuss the relevance of the findings in the context of future translation towards prevention and treatment.

Structural imaging studies:
I present published and yet unpublished results of some worldwide initiatives on meta- and mega-analyses on structural brain scans in OCD and related disorders, including the results of the OCD Brain Imaging Consortium4 and the OCD working group within ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuroimaging and Genetics through Meta-Analysis,

Future directions:
I will discuss some new developments in the field and promising future directions, related to lifespan analyses, treatment response prediction, and imaging-genetics.

Suggested reading prior to lecture:

1. Disease model/review:
van den Heuvel OA, van Wingen G, Soriano-Mas C, Alonso P, Chamberlain SR, Nakamae T, Denys D, Goudriaan AE, Veltman DJ. Brain circuitry of compulsivity. European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2016, in press (doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.12.005)

2. Symptom provocation (functional MRI) and neuromodulation (rTMS):
de Wit SJ, van der Werf YD, Mataix-Cols D, van Oppen P, Veltman DJ, van den Heuvel OA. Neural correlates of emotion dysregulation in OCD: experimental modulation with rTMS. Psychological Medicine 2015; 45: 3059-73 (IF 5.9)

3. Cognitive endophenotype functional MRI study:
de Vries FE, de Wit SJ, Cath DC, van der Werf YD, van der Borden V, van Rossum T, van Balkom AJLM, van der Wee NJA, Veltman DJ, van den Heuvel OA. Compensatory fronto-parietal activation during working memory: an endophenotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 2014; 76: 878-87

4. Multi-center mega-analysis on structural brain scans:
de Wit SJ, Alonso P, Schweren L, Mataix-Cols D, Lochner C, Menchon JM, Stein DJ, Fouche JP, Soriano-Mas C, Sato JR, Hoexter MQ, Denys D, Nakamae T, Nishida S, Kwon JS, Jang JH, Busatto GF, Cardoner N, Cath DC, Fukui K, Jung WH, Kim SN, Miguel EC, Narumoto J, Phillips ML Pujol J, Remijnse PL, Sakai Y, Shin NY, Yamada K, Veltman DJ, van den Heuvel OA. Voxel-based morphometry multi-center mega-analysis of structural brain scans in obsessive-compulsive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2014; 169: 1100-8
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