Psychopharmacology: A Master Class

August 19, 2019 – August 23, 2019 all-day
Martha's Vineyard

This seminar will begin with an updated review of modern neurobiology ranging from genomics, epigenetics and neurotransmitters systems to brain circuitry and imaging. The seminal role of child abuse and neglect in increased vulnerability to mood and anxiety disorders will be explored with a focus on the long-term persistent effects of early life trauma on the brain and the body. An update on the pathophysiology of the major mood and anxiety disorders will be described as well as the latest data on suicide.

Treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and women’s psychiatric disorders will be described. The evidence-based effectiveness of antipsychotic medications will be emphasized in psychotic disorders and as augmenting agents in major depression. Bipolar disorder and its treatment will be examined with particular emphasis on bipolar depression. The use of lithium as the gold standard of treatment will be emphasized. A comprehensive review of primary depression as well as depression co-morbid with medical illnesses will be highlighted, particularly the role of depression in cardiovascular illness and the necessity for treatment.

The neurobiological mechanisms of anxiety and anxiety-spectrum disorders (including GAD, OCD, and panic disorders) as well as their treatment will be reviewed with a focus on management of treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medications for depression in women through the course of their lifecycle will be presented.

Advances in personalized or precision medicine will be a major focus of the course including both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. The controversy concerning the use of pharmacogenomic tests to predict antidepressant treatment response will be discussed in detail.
The seminar will emphasize the establishment and importance of the therapeutic alliance when prescribing all psychotropic medications.

Charles Nemeroff, MD, PhD (see bio on website)