KGJN presenting at the World Congress of Psychiatry
The 16th world congress of psychiatry was held this year in Madrid. The world-wide meeting was aimed at bringing together psychiatrists, scientists and clinicians from all countries and continents, focusing on quality, access and humane care. Our KGJN center was represented by Tetyana and Johanne who presented their latest finding within ADHD genetics and epidemiology. Tetyana talked about the results from the largest genetic study on adult ADHD conducted so far.
The main focus was placed on the international determination to erase stigma and to develop better understanding, prevention and treatment for psychiatric conditions. One of the outstanding key-note speakers on this topic was Nora Volkow, who spoke about the neuro-circuits of addiction. Her exceptional work is crucial in abolishing the largest misconception of addictive disorders; proving that it is not a blemish of one’s character being weak, but a disorder of nervous system due to abnormal structuring of a brain. Dr Volkow is also among the first scientists to pioneer the concept of obesity being the result of addiction, rather than a stigmatic idea of just “being lazy”.
Populations differ in many ways, presenting some of the hurdles in international collaborations to refine psychiatric diagnoses and their genetic as well as environmental causes. Thus, it was encouraging to witness that there are also many similarities in psychiatric conditions and treatments across the globe.
Several studies were presented on the research focus of our center: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With the emphasis being placed on the patient care, a number of approached were proposed. For children, for example, a gaming app was developed, while for adults pharmaceutical solutions were discussed. An international collaboration between England, Scotland and Spain has measured the quality of life enjoyment in patients with ADHD treated with a variety of pharmaceutical compounds.
A growing interest was expressed in adult ADHD due to its prevalence, symptomatic persistence and especially high co-morbidity with other neuro-psychiatric conditions. Relevant studies offered both diagnostic and treatment protocols. In particular, co-morbidity of ADHD with substance use disorders was discussed, with emphasis on the need of new treatment options as the conventional ADHD medicine does not seem to be effective in co-morbid cases.
Studies from our K.G. Jebsen centre in Bergen were also presented. Taking advantage of the information-rich Norwegian registries, we have assessed perinatal circumstances as factors for developing ADHD in over a million individuals. We have also reported the largest genetic study on adult ADHD. This effort is taken within IMpACT consortium and provides insight into genetic architecture of adult ADHD on the level of both common and rare polymorphisms.