The lecture is entitled "Clinical Psychopharmacology: Current Achievements and Challenges".
Psychiatric disorders are the most prevalent and disabling conditions with poor long-term outcomes, including ongoing morbidity and mortality from other medical diseases, impaired psychosocial function, and an increased tendency to relapse. Despite recent advances in clinical pharmacotherapy, significant improvement and remission are still infrequent outcomes in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, and a third or more of patients do not achieve or maintain a response to available medication. To date the neurobiological mechanisms underlying individual treatment responses are not clearly understood. Protagonists of pharmacogenetics (-genomics) suggest that divergences in antidepressant efficacy among patients may be related to heritable factors. However, so far, little progress has been made toward real translation of pharmacogenetic data into a personalized medication approach for everyday clinical practice. On the other hand, understanding the neural substrates underlying pharmacological action on different neurotransmitter systems is a key facet of neuroscience research and critical in the development of new treatments in psychiatry. Although the monoamine systems are the main target of pharmacological treatment of psychiatric illnesses, the mechanisms by which treatment-induced neurochemical changes in monoamines lead to neuronal changes in brain circuitry and ultimately to a clinical response remain unclear. Recently, pharmacological neuroimaging - the application of functional methods to examine the central effects of systemically administered drugs - has offered an in vivo whole-brain view of resulting changes in both neurochemistry and brain activity. The lecture will discuss the main findings of these studies and the new insights into psychopharmacological approaches that these insights herald.
Eduard Maron graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu in 1999 as a physician and defended his PhD thesis entitled Serotonin Function in Panic Disorder: From Clinical Experiments to Brain Imaging and Genetics in 2004. Eduard Maron has worked at the UT Clinic of Psychiatry since 2000, holding the position of Senior Research Fellow for the six years preceding 2011, when he was elected Professor of Psychopharmacology. His postgraduate studies have taken him to several universities abroad, most recently to the University of Bristol, where he worked at the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit under the supervision of Professor David Nutt, and to the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology of London Imperial College. Eduard Maron is a member of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The principal focus of his research is the study of neurobiological and genetic factors that affect the emergence and course of mood and panic disorders and the response to treatment of such disorders. In 2011, Eduard Maron received the Estonian national research award in the area of medicine.