Programme Highlights


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Read about some of the major highlights from the EPA 2019 Scientific Programme.


BIPOLAR DISORDER: FROM PREDICTION TO INTERVENTION

Bipolar disorder is a highly debilitating disorder for which the use of smartphones seems promising for symptom monitoring, interventions delivering and psychoeducation. The FACE-BD (FondaMental Advanced Centres of Expertise for Bipolar Disorders) will give their first results at the next EPA congress, based on a 3-year follow-up study. We will learn how the use of a dimensional approach (such as affective lability) might help the prediction of suicide attempts, how predictors of recurrences might be specific of type I versus II bipolar disorder, and how an app might help preventing relapses and support people at risk of suicide.


BURN-OUT AMONGST STUDENTS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: A MATTER OF GREAT CONCERN

The EPA Committee of Education will organise a symposium analysing why the amount of dropout due to burnout amongst medical students, residents, junior doctors and staff consultants are on the raise, mental health professionals being no exception. All those feeling too much stress, uncertainty, workload or lack of consideration are concerned, which means the vast majority of us! Participants will work on the concept of burnout, and what we can do about it. We will also learn more on how to prevent ourselves from being victims and what actions should be considered to stop this epidemic.


EARLY INTERVENTION IN PSYCHOSES: THE STATE OF THE ART

There is now enough evidence to justify the implementation of early detection and intervention in first episode psychosis for improving mental health. Four eminent speakers (Anita Riecher-Rossler, Merete Nordentoft,  Johanna Wigman and Mirella Ruggeri) will discuss specific aspects, such as (1) the discrepancy between the evidence supporting the implementation of those services for patients all over Europe, and their uneven distribution over Europe, (2) how such services also reduce long-term risk of suicide for young people, and how (3) taking a transdiagnostic, personalised and developmental approach can help to design the most appropriate care.


ADOLESCENTS' NON-SUICIDAL SELF-INJURY

When clinical concepts are being officially defined, clinicians need to become familiar with a lot of new information. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Section of the EPA will organise a symposium on Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), a new individual diagnosis of DSM-5. It will therefore be interesting to learn more on this concept, such as its (1) links with suicide, its (2) risk factors, including life events, school type and ADHD, its psychopathology (3), with a focus on stress sensitivity in adolescents, and also the different (4) treatment possibilities. Gil Zalsman, Judit Balazs, Romuald Brunner and Lars Mehlum will be in charge of this interesting symposium.


EATING DISORDERS, ANOREXIA NERVOSA, NOVEL CLINICAL FEATURES AND BIOMARKERS FOR DIAGNOSIS

Eating disorders remain astonishingly hard to understand and treat, an update on how we conceptualize them is then really needed, especially as recent works increased insight on environment, socio-emotional and neurocognitive associated factors and biomarkers. We will have excellent European specialists in the field with Fernando Fernandez-Aranda (Barcelona) and Ulrike Schmidt (King's College London) defining the socio-emotional and neurocognitive functioning in AN. Philip Gorwood will propose that physical activity and addiction are a core aspect of anorexia nervosa, and Nicolas Ramoz (Paris, France) will show that epigenetic biomarkers are changing according to the clinical state of patients.


METABOLIC SYNDROME IN PSYCHIATRY: RECOGNITION AND MANAGEMENT OF PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG-INDUCED METABOLIC EFFECTS

All psychiatrists know that the premature death of patients with psychosis might be more easily explained by weight gain and related conditions rather than suicide. A symposium will therefore be devoted to the latest development on the prevalence, causes, pathways, clinical consequences and management of cardiometabolic disturbances in psychiatry. Prof. Correll will discuss evidence-based clinical recommendations to minimise such effects, while Prof. Eap will discuss the use of early thresholds in weight or lipid level increases to predict obesity or dyslipidemia. Prof. Kahl will then present how exercise can modulate visceral adipose tissue, and Prof Mueller will present new GWAS data on antipsychotics-induced weight gain and discuss the potential usefulness of predictive tests.


Click here to view the full scientific programme.


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