The 2018 ASAM State of the Art Course in Addiction Medicine

 

Addiction Medicinepic
Addiction Medicine
Image: asam.org

A consulting psychiatrist for the Jennifer Mudd Houghtaling Postpartum Depression Foundation, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers also serves patients with mental illness and addictive disorders through Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Healthcare Alternative Systems in the Chicago area. Dr. Carol Lynn Childers is board certified with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

Since its establishment in 1954, ASAM has become a leading force in the field of addiction medicine. With more than 5,000 members, the society seeks to enhance the quality of available treatments, and support professionals serving those with addictive disorders.

As part of its mission, ASAM hosts numerous annual educational events to encourage further learning. Upcoming opportunities include the State of the Art Course in Addiction Medicine to be held in Washington, DC, on October 11-13, 2018.

The ASAM State of the Art Course in Addiction Medicine will feature breakthrough presentations on scientific research in the field of addiction medicine and specific topic sessions for advanced clinical knowledge taught by recognized experts from across the nation. Topics range from diagnosis and treatment to prevention, and include an interactive approach.

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Possible Causes of Major Depressive Disorder

 

Major Depressive Disorder pic
Major Depressive Disorder
Image: webmd.com

For more than three decades, Carol Lynn Childers, MD, has been working as a psychiatrist in Chicago. She currently serves as a consulting psychiatrist at both Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS). Prior to these roles, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers served as consultant psychiatrist at Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4), an organization dealing with chronic mental illness in patients across the Chicago area.

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness. This sadness is so intense in many situations that it impacts behavior, mood, and physical functions, such as sleep and appetite.

Although MDD affects roughly 7 percent of Americans over the age of 18, scientists are still unclear about what causes it. However, there are several factors that have been linked to the condition. One factor that has been linked to MDD is physical changes in the brain. In people with depression, the activity in the left frontal lobe decreases. Once mood is stabilized, activity in this area increases. This fluctuation between over-activity and under-activity in this region may be a biological cause of MDD.

Another factor is brain chemistry. Dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are all neurotransmitters that affect a person’s mood. When these neurotransmitters are imbalanced, it may cause depression. Since measuring the concentrations of these neurotransmitters is difficult, scientists can’t prove that depression is caused by this imbalance.

Genetics is a third potential factor, because depression is more common among people with blood relatives who have depression. Scientists don’t know which genes are responsible for causing MDD, but they believe there may be a causal link.

Finally, hormones are believed to have a possible link to MDD. Changes in a person’s hormones may be either triggered or caused by depression. These hormonal changes are often seen with pregnancy or in the weeks and months after delivery. Menopause, thyroid problems, and several other medical conditions also affect hormone levels.

Study Links Subtypes of Schizophrenia to Physiological Differences

 

Schizophrenia pic
Schizophrenia
Image: webmd.com

Carol Lynn Childers, MD, serves as a consulting psychiatrist at both Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS) and Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare in Chicago. With more than three decades of mental health experience, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers is familiar with substance abuse, chronic mental disorders, and severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.

In March 2018, researchers from around world discovered that certain types of schizophrenia may be linked to specific brain structures. They discovered this by looking at MRI scans of 145 people’s brains and comparing the scans of the 71 people with schizophrenia to the scans of the 74 without it. Further, they compared the brain scans of people with schizophrenia to each other to determine if there were any physiological differences based on their differing symptoms.

Their research revealed that there appear to be two subgroups of schizophrenics. Based on the scans, the frontal region of the brain was smaller in people who had schizophrenia for a longer period. This group of individuals was more likely to have hallucination episodes, as well.

Due to the results of this study, researchers have now expanded their analysis to include 3,000 brain scans. They hope that the additional scans will add further support to their initial findings and help researchers discover more structures that could assist with diagnosing schizophrenia or new subtypes of the condition.