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Leading Experts in Schizophrenia to Discuss Latest Research on Prevention and Treatment at 27th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 2, 2010 – Internationally renowned schizophrenia researchers and clinicians, patients and their families will gather in Pittsburgh to discuss the latest in research and clinical advances at the 27th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference to be held Friday, Dec. 10, at the Sheraton Station Square, Pittsburgh. With more than 400 attendees expected this year, the conference is the nation’s longest-running scientific meeting devoted to exploring the latest research related to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that affects 3.2 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. People with schizophrenia may hear voices other people don’t hear or believe that others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them. These experiences can cause fearfulness, withdrawal or extreme agitation.

During this conference, leading experts in the field will provide information about new findings that have the potential to help people with schizophrenia. Scientific presentations will cover a diverse range of topics, including the associations between cannabis use and the development of schizophrenia, and impairments in the brain circuits that are associated with auditory processes relevant to schizophrenia. Additionally, patient-centered medicine as it applies to people with severe mental illness will be discussed by patients and families in a panel format.

The 2010 Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Award will be presented to Matcheri Keshavan, M.D., Stanley Cobb Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, vice chair of public psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Keshavan’s research focuses on individuals at risk for schizophrenia, the factors that lead to clinical symptoms and the importance of early interventions to prevent the progression of the illness. He will present a lecture titled “Prevention and Early Intervention in Schizophrenia: What We Know and How Well We Know It.”

The 2010 Gerald E. Hogarty Excellence in Schizophrenia Research Memorial Award will be presented to Robert W. Buchanan, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland and chief of the Outpatient Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. Dr. Buchanan’s research focuses on the neurobehavioral and neuroanatomical investigation of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the investigation of novel pharmacological approaches for the treatment of cognitive impairments, negative symptoms and treatment-resistant positive symptoms in people with schizophrenia. He will present a lecture titled “The Pharmacological Treatment of Cognitive Impairments in People with Schizophrenia.”

Also speaking at the conference are:

  • David A. Lewis, M.D., chairman and UPMC professor in translational neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, medical director and director of research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, on Cannabis, Cognition and Schizophrenia”
  • Robert A. Sweet, M.D., professor of psychiatry and neurology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, co-associate director for research, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, on Hard of Listening: Impairments of Auditory Cortex Circuits in Schizophrenia”

For more information about the Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference, call (412) 802-6905 or email BrianKL@upmc.edu.

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