September 12, 2008

Vanderbilt to play central role in mental health meet

Featured Image

Vanderbilt to play central role in mental health meet

A national mental health conference on Sunday, Sept. 14, will have a Vanderbilt connection as three physicians join experts across the country to address recent strides in mental health research.

NARSAD, formerly known as the National Alliance Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, will be presenting “Healthy Minds Across America — Breakthroughs in Mental Health Research,” to broaden public awareness of their achievements and potential.

NARSAD is a not-for-profit public charity organized to raise funds for scientific research into causes, treatments, preventions and cures of severe psychiatric brain and behavior disorders.

With this program, they hope to inform the public about psychiatric research, raise awareness of its potential, and announce a $200 million major fundraising campaign.

While it is a national conference, three of the chosen speakers are Vanderbilt faculty members. Herbert Meltzer, M.D., will speak on “New Directions in Targeting the Big Challenges in Prevention and Treatment of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Cognitive Impairment and Treatment Resistance.” The session by Randy Blakely, Ph.D., is “When Antidepressants Just Won't Do: Insights from Prozac-Insensitive Mice.” Ariel Deutch, Ph.D., will talk about “Schizophrenia and Brain Architecture: How Antipsychotic Drugs Modify Structural Brain Changes.” All three are members of the NARSAD Scientific Council.

Preceding each symposium will be a video presentation by the president of NARSAD's Scientific Council, Herbert Pardes, M.D., and two Nobel Prize-winning members of the council, Eric Kandel, M.D., and Paul Greengard, Ph.D.

The Vanderbilt portion of the conference will be open to the public in 208 Light Hall from 2-4 p.m.