Dr. Aristotle Voineskos, Director, Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition, surveyed a full house of attendees at the Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition’s opening conference on December 1, and reminded the room that mental illnesses are the costliest group of non-communicable diseases in Canada.
Keynote Speaker Dr. John Kane, Chairman of Psychiatry at the Zucker Hilllside Hospital in New York had an equally strong message: we need to start doing more earlier to prevent early psychosis in young people.
Extolling the importance of teamwork and commitment to our work with these patients, Dr. Kane quoted Alexander the Great – "Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all".
Patients are typically reluctant to take medication to address early psychosis (a reluctance often shared by their families), although research shows that without medication they are five times more likely to relapse, Dr. Kane said.
Dr. Kane is doing research that explores how patient social media strategies can reduce the duration of untreated psychosis. He outlined ways that social media, smart phone apps, and even ingestible microchips have the potential to help young people who are experiencing psychosis.
During the conference, Dr. Aristotle Voineskos and Gary and Donna Slaight were pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Slaight Research Awards:
Mera Barr: Evaluating rTMS on Cannabis Abstinence and Working Memory in First Episode Schizophrenia
George Foussias: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Negative Symptoms in At-Risk Youth
Nathan Kolla: A Multiple Biomarker Approach to Understanding Psychosocial Treatment Response in Justice-Involved Youth with Conduct Disorder