Leo Sher, M.D.
The 10th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry was held on May 29 – June 2, 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic. The Congress was organized by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP).
The opening ceremony was conducted on May 29th. Prof. Florence Thibaut, WFSBP President, Dr. Leos Heger, Minister of Health of the Czech Republic, Dr. Bohuslav Svoboda, Lord Mayor of Prague, Prof. Ladislav Hosak, Co-Chair of the Local Organising Committee, Prof. Siegfried Kasper, Chair of the International Scientific Program Committee, and Prof. Cyril Hoschl spoke at the ceremony.
The Congress included 4 Plenary Lectures, 85 Symposia, 6 Workshops, 8 Debates, 10 WFSBP Treatment Guidelines Sessions, 12 Free Communication Sessions, 4 Young Scientists’ Award Sessions, and several Poster Sessions.
The symposium, “Hormones and psychiatric disorders” was held on May 30th. This symposium was Chaired by me and Co-Chaired by Prof. Robertas Bunevicius. The talk, “The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and suicidal behavior” was given by me. I reviewed and discussed studies of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in individuals with suicidal behavior. Prof. Robertas Bunevicius gave the presentation entitled, “Thyroid axis and mental disorders: Epidemiology, clinical features, and molecular biology.” He reviewed recent publications on epidemiological, clinical and molecular findings related to the link between the thyroid axis and psychiatric pathology. The talk, “Pre-and postpartum depression and anxiety: Relationships with psychiatric and trauma history, stressful life events and thyroid-stimulating hormone, cortisol and oxytocin concentrations” was given by Prof. Cort Pedersen. He examined whether pregnancy and postpartum thyroid and oxytocin measures are related to perinatal depression and anxiety symptoms as well as history of major depression, anxiety disorders or trauma/abuse, and found that major depression, anxiety disorder and trauma history result in the emergence during the perinatal period of considerably more prominent relationships between lower normal-range thyroid (and possibly oxytocin) measures and greater depression/anxiety symptoms than are found in other physiological states. Prof. Robert Levitan presented the research report, “Sociobiological mediators of the Trier Social Stress Test.” He and his associates (Kevin Chopra, Hymie Anisman, Stephen Matthews, Arun Ravindran, and Tamara Arenovich) found that the temperament-based construct of Behavioural Inhibition and personality contruct of Neuroticism were both associated with blunted cortisol reactivity to a social challenge.
The Free Communication session, “Anxiety II” was held on June 1. The session was Chaired by Prof. Jorge Ospina and Prof. Michael Trimble. The first talk of this session was my presentation, “Suicidal behavior in posttraumatic stress disorder: neurobiological aspects.” I reviewed and discussed studies related to the neurobiology of suicidal behavior in PTSD. The second talk was entitled, “State of vegetative provision of women with anxiety-depressive disorders co-morbid with proliferate gynecological pathology” and given by Dr. Regina Nasyrova. She reported on the relation between vegetative dysfunction and mental state. The third presentation of this session was given by Dr. Michaela Filiou and was entitled, “Biomarker discovery in synaptosomes of a trait anxiety mouse model.” The cingulate cortex synaptosomes of anxious and non-anxious mice were compared and multiple differences were found. Dr. Nigel Chen gave the presentation, “Profiling the engagement and disengagement attentional mechanisms in social anxiety disorder during public speaking: Evidence from eye tracking.” He suggested that threat-related attentional bias in social anxiety disorder may be underpinned by speeded engagement to social-threat stimuli.
I attended two World Congresses of Biological Psychiatry (the 9th in 2009 and the 10th in 2011). These Congresses were truly international forums where participants could discuss scientific issues. The democratic and open nature of these Congresses is commendable.