An overview of the programme from the President of BPNA:
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
In 2016, on the Thursday we will be taking a developmental perspective on adult disorders. Unsure of how to identify a neurodevelopmental problem but don’t really know where to begin- all will be explained.
We have known for years that aversive experience in childhood can lead to depression in adults- but have you ever wondered what the mechanism is and importantly why some people are resilient and some are not? Can the risks of adversity be passed between generations? The epigenetics of depression may hold the answers.
Epilepsy used to be simple- we had generalized seizures that were presumed genetic and focal ones caused by a lesion. Not any more- there is an increasing awareness of genetic focal seizures. How do we approach this in clinic? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and its management with Ritalin has been debated for years- but what are the effects on adults, and more importantly should we be doing for adults with these complaints?
The afternoon will hear this year’s JNNP lecture by Professor Francesca Happe on autism, the junior members’ prize papers and research updates on novel therapeutics in epilepsy and sleep and psychiatric disorders.
Friday will focus on language and its complexities. Thomas Bak will take us through a general introduction, outlining the structure and function of human language. Jonathan Schott will get us up to date with new understandings of primary progressive aphasia and what study of this group of degenerative disorders tells us about language. The term ‘knights move thinking’ seems to stick in every medical students mind but what actually is formal thought disorder in schizophrenia? David Linden will explain the complexities of this understudied condition. The commonest language disorder most of us encounter is aphasia after stroke- but we really want to know is what is its prognosis and what can we do to treat it?
This year’s BNPA medal will be awarded to Professor Chris Firth whose pioneering work in neuroscience will be known to many with his insights into the cognitive basis of schizophrenia, passivity phenomena, and delusions. He has currently started a new line of enquiry and his medal lecture “Co-operation and Consciousness” sounds fascinating.
The meeting will draw to a close with a debate the Rev Professor Alasdair Coles will propose the motion ‘ There is room in a modern concept of psyche for a soul and spirituality’, but as ever at BNPA debates it is what you the delegates think that may offer most insights.