Godfrey Pearlson, MD: Most Impactful Advances in Neuropsychiatry

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Godfrey Pearlson sat down at APA 2019 to discuss his opinion on what the most significant recent advances in neuropsychiatry have been and how they have impacted practice.

Every year, advances across the field of psychiatry are a main topic of discussion at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

At this year’s meeting, Godfrey Pearlson, MD, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Yale School of Medicine, led one of those discussions while he presented on the topic of using biological measures to reclassify psychosis. Afterwards, Godfrey sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss his thoughts on what has been the most impactful advance in neuropsychiatry in recent years.

MD Mag: What are the most impactful advances in neuropsychiatry and how might they impact practice?

Pearlson: So, some of the things that are more theoretical are what we are deriving from genetics. So, Steven McCarroll's finding of schizophrenia risk genes that are related in the compliment family to schizophrenia risk that are now determined to reflect brain development and pruning get us closer to the etiology of schizophrenia. He's also looking at inflammation in diseases, like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, that are driven by the same gene and we've known for years and years that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are much less likely to develop schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses. So, I think this is an interesting link to pull our understanding of 2 disease's together — it's not going to lead to a treatment anytime soon but, something that will lead us to a treatment is what was discovered with ketamine that's led to the development of esketamine as a new clinical treatment in psychopharmacology. So, that's something that has had direct results that led from an initial finding at Yale, 15 or more years ago, to something that's now made it all the way to clinical practice.

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