The 2009 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Annual Meeting featured innovative research on PTSD, biomarkers for schizophrenia and treatment for gambling addiction. Study highlights included: Researchers Use New Techniques to Assess PTSD. Working with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, scientists have identified measurable traits that may be useful to evaluate PTSD and develop new treatments. Using blood analysis and brain imaging techniques, scientists have identified possible characteristics, known as candidate biomarkers, for patients with PTSD. Progress in this area could lead to earlier diagnosis and enable individuals to receive personalized treatment strategies, which could greatly improve the therapeutic outcomes for many veterans who have served in the U.S. military since September 11, 2001.

Sensory Deficits May Hold Key to Understanding and Treating Schizophrenia. Identifying visual and auditory sensory deficits in adolescents who are just beginning to develop schizophrenia might help restore sensory function and prevent illness development altogether. Researchers found that impairment in basic sensory processing abilities cause many of the more complicated cognitive deficits seen in people with schizophrenia. Scientists also were able to identify two biomarkers - biological signatures of illness - in the brain that will help identify individuals who can benefit from early intervention.

Pathological Gambling May Be Successfully Treated with Medications for Substance Addiction. Pathological gambling can be successfully treated with medications that decrease urges and increase inhibitions. Researchers found positive outcomes in gamblers treated with medications often used for substance addictions when treatment were individualized based on unique subtype (urge driven; lack inhibition). Source: Tamara Moore
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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