Full course description
The course aims to provide the student with an overview of current thinking and unresolved issues in psychosis research. The process of psychotic disorder and psychosis transition has been the subject of intense study in the last decade. Early epidemiological approaches have been complemented with studies of cognitive mechanisms, psychopathology, neuroimaging and, finally, treatment trials. There is now evidence to suggest that the onset of psychotic disorder is the endpoint of a process of interactive aetiological forces that involve genetic background factors associated with low-grade, non-clinical expression of psychosis in the general population, environmental stressors such as cannabis use and childhood trauma and a number of cognitive vulnerabilities in the realm of neuropsychology and social cognition. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that the process of onset of psychosis is associated with neurocognitive changes and progressive sensitisation to dopaminergic stimulation, greater quantities of which may predict subsequent brain changes and poorer outcomes.
- a better understanding of psychosis, in particular its overlap with normal mentation;
- its ontogeny;
- diagnostic conundrums;
- linking brain mind, and environment;
- linking genes, experience, and social context;
- how to help patients.
- D.M.J. Hernaus