Brief Recap of the 15th annual Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology Conference

Mass General Deptartment of Psychiatry

A message from Dr. Jerrold F. Rosenbaum

Exceptional patient care informs exceptional education

During the conference, more than two dozen clincian-researchers from Mass General discussed the entire spectrum of psychiatric disorders that affect children and adolescents, from ADHD to psychosis to substance use. Here are a few pearls that stand out:

  • Course Director Dr. Joseph Biederman discussed the search for solutions to some of the current problems practitioners confront daily, such as the paucity of data from controlled clinical trials, limited number of trained child psychiatrists to meet current demand, and the lack of FDA approval for the use of many psychotropic drugs in youth.
  • Dr. Biederman emphasized the importance of a solid diagnosis through careful evaluation of the child and family before using psychotropic medication, and discussed multiple etiologic factors of ADHD including changes in brain structure and catecholamines.
  • Dr. Pradeep Bhide detailed behavioral, biochemical and structural consequences of prenatal nicotine exposure that results in long term adverse behavioral effects.
  • Dr. Roy Perlis discussed intensive research efforts towards genetic coding and mapping, yet at this time that there are still no validated genetic tests for common psychiatric disorders as of yet.
  • Dr. Thomas Spencer highlighted research that shows stimulants not only treat ADHD symptoms, but have protective effects on major depression, anxiety disorders, conduct disorders and ODD symptoms.
  • Dr. Timothy Wilens discussed the efficacy of atomoxetine in the treatment of ADHD and comorbid anxiety disorders, pointing out that atomoxetine is effective in reducing heavy alcohol use if the individual is abstinent before starting the medication.

    For more information about our other professional education opportunities in child psychiatry and beyond, visit The Psychiatry Academy, and to learn more about our department, visit the Department of Psychiatry.

    Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School

Department Facts
• #1 ranking in psychiatry for past 16 years, U.S.News & World Report’s annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey
• 600+ faculty
• 80,000+ outpatient visits annually
• $60 million in research conducted annually
• 500+ peer-reviewed articles published annually

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