106th Annual Meeting of the American Psychopathological Association
March 3-5, 2016 Crowne Plaza Times Square New York
Improving Psychiatric Research and Care through Differentiated Phenomenology
Since its early inception well over a century ago, research into psychiatric disorders and behavioral phenotypes has put a good deal of effort into describing mental phenomena. While the perception of mental illnesses and their treatments have changed over the course of the last 100 years, the quest to adequately describe psychopathological phenomena has never lost its appeal. This is underscored by continued research on diagnostic systems, as exemplified by the DSM, ICD, or RDOC efforts. They are all rooted in the notion that progress in understanding the underlying etiology of psychiatric illness will critically hinge on phenomenological approaches that delineate valid and homogenous groups of illnesses, traits, or functional domains. Similarly, in keeping with the principles of individualized medicine, clinicians increasingly use treatment strategies tailored to specific phenotypic patterns. The 2016 meeting is aimed at showcasing innovative efforts to leverage phenomenological approaches to advance our understanding and treatment of psychiatric illness. Can we integrate abundantly available genomic data with a vast array of phenotypic information to break up monolithic and likely artificial diagnoses into clinically meaningful disease entities? Can we describe brain morphological correlates of clinical symptomatology in schizophrenia? Do we have good diagnostic tools at hand to detect cases of catatonia? Are urbanicity or migration robust phenomenological indicators of specific psychopathology? Does psychotherapy benefit from a thorough pre-treatment assessments of psychpathological patterns? These and other question will be at the heart of the 2016 meeting discussions. Internationally renowned researchers will show how careful observation of phenotypes and the use of this information can deliver novel clues to our understanding of mental illness and its underlying biology. Special emphasis will be given to the application of novel diagnostic concepts like RDoC and the impact of environmental aspects and life experiences on the etiology and presentation of psychiatric illness over the life span.
Thomas G. Schulze, MD