MAR 14, 2019 6:00 AM PDT

Keynote Presentation: Environmental Risk Mechanisms for Psychiatric Disorders

Presented at: Neuroscience 2019
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Director of the Central Institute of Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre Mannheim
    Biography
      Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg is Director of the Central Institute of Mental Health, as well as the Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Institute, based in Mannheim, Germany, and Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany. He is board certified in psychiatry, psychotherapy, and neurology. Before coming to Mannheim in 2007, he spent ten years as a scientist at the National Institutes of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA. Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Medicine, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nature Genetics, Neuron, PNAS, and others. He is has been continuously named as one of the most highly cited scientists in the world (www.isihighlycited.com) He is the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, associate editor of Science Advances and on the editorial board of a number of other journals such as Schizophrenia Bulletin, European Neuropsychopharmacology, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, and Neuroimage. His research interests focus on the development of novel treatments for severe psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia, through an application of multimodal neuroimaging, genetics and enviromics to characterize brain circuits underlying the risk for mental illness and cognitive dysfunction. In recognition of his research, Prof. Meyer-Lindenberg has received awards throughout his career, including: Bristol-Myers-Squibb Young Investigator Award (1998), NIH Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research (1999,2000,2001), NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2000), Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service (2006), Roche/Nature Medicine Award for Translational Neuroscience (2006), the Joel Elkes International Award for Clinical Research from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2006), A.E. Bennett Award of the Society for Biological Psychiatry (2007), NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award (2009), Kurt Schneider Scientific Award (2010), the Hans-Jörg Weitbrecht-Preis für Klinische Neurowissenschaften (2011), the ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award (2012), the Prix ROGER DE SPOELBERCH (2014), and the 2016 CINP Lilly Neuroscience Clinical Research Award.

    Abstract

    The size and burden of mental illness should ideally prompt a strategy of preemption and early intervention. On the neuroscientific side, this leads to the question of brain mechanisms of risk and resilience for these common and disabling disorder. The social environment plays an especially important role in risk, but the impact on the brain is just coming into focus. In this presentation, we review emerging evidence that combines epidemiology, social psychology and neuroscience to identify neural mechanisms of social risk factors for mental illness. In doing so, we discuss existing evidence on the effects of common genetic risk factors in social neural pathways and outline the need for integrative approaches to identify the converging mechanisms of social environmental and genetic risk in brain. On the environmental side, we focus on exposures that have a presumed social component such as urbanicity, migration/refugee status and social status. We propose a specific risk and resilience circuit mediating these effects that links perigenual cingulate cortex to subcortical structures such as ventral striatum and amygdala as well as dorsolateral and anterior medial prefrontal cortex. Social risk factors have a converging impact on structure and function of key nodes in this circuits, while resilience factors strengthen it. Understanding this neurobiology is helpful in designing preventive strategies through a better understanding of specific exposures contributing to resilience.
     
    Ref.: Tost, H., Champagne, F. A., & Meyer-Lindenberg, A. (2015). Environmental influence in the brain, human welfare and mental health. Nat Neurosci, 18(10), 1421-1431. doi:10.1038/nn.4108

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Participants should be able to name three environmental risk factors for psychiatric disorders that have been related to the social environment and describe the risk increase associated with them
    2. Participants should be able to describe a key neural system for environmental risk and it’s relationship to social stress.


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