All psychiatric drugs were more or less discovered by serendipity. They were not discovered by an understanding of how the brain works and somebody saying, ‘Oh, well, geez, since this is how the brain works, and this is what’s going wrong in that disease, why don’t we design a drug to go do that to fix it?’ Never. It’s all been, ‘Wow, we tried it for blood pressure and those people seem less depressed. Maybe we could use it as an anti-depressant.’
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is highly prevalent and heterogeneous. Its increasing complexity is often caused by the presence of comorbid conditions, which have become the rule rather than the exception. Lifetime prevalence of ...
The Neuroscience of Free Will. A collection of Scientific American articles about recent research forcing scientists to question whether people really have conscious control over their actions. Jun 1, 2014 |By The Editors ...
[Abstract] Over the past three decades numerous imaging studies have revealed structural and functional brain abnormalities in patients with neuropsychiatric diseases. These structural and functional brain changes are frequently found in multiple, discrete brain areas and may include frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortices as well as subcortical brain areas. However, while the structural and functional brain changes in patients are found in anatomically separated areas, these are connected through (long distance) fibers, together forming networks. Thus, instead of representing separate (patho)-physiological entities, these local changes in the brains of patients with psychiatric disorders may in fact represent different parts of the same ‘elephant’, i.e., the (altered) brain network. Recent developments in quantitative analysis of complex networks, based largely on graph theory, have revealed that the brain's structure and functions have features of complex networks. Here we briefly introduce several recent developments in neural network studies relevant for psychiatry, including from the 2013 special issue on Neural Networks in Psychiatry in European Neuropsychopharmacology. We conclude that new insights will be revealed from the neural network approaches to brain imaging in psychiatry that hold the potential to find causes for psychiatric disorders and (preventive) treatments in the future. - by Pol HH et al., European Neuropsychopharmacology, in Press, Available online 8 February 2013
The central theme of personalized medicine is the premise that an individual’s unique physiologic characteristics play a significant role in both disease vulnerability and in response to specific therapies.
The major goals of personalized medicine are therefore to predict an individual’s susceptibility to developing an illness, achieve accurate diagnosis, and optimize the most efficient and favorable response to treatment. The goal of achieving personalized medicine in psychiatry is a laudable one, because its attainment should be associated with a marked reduction in morbidity and mortality.
In this review, we summarize an illustrative selection of studies that are laying the foundation towards personalizing medicine in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. In addition, we present emerging applications that are likely to advance personalized medicine in psychiatry, with an emphasis on novel biomarkers and neuroimaging.
Excerpt From the Conclusion:
The prospect of personalized medicine in psychiatry more or less reflects ideals still largely unrealized. Currently, the field is at the information-gathering infancy stage.
The greatest progress can be expected at the intersections of the categories described above, such as gene × environment and genes × biomarkers, which will poise psychiatry to make biological system-based evaluations. Furthermore, some of the emerging applications, including imaging genomics, strengthen our conviction that the future for personalized medicine is highly promising.
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