Friday, October 18, 2019

Neuroscience in psychiatric education

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) has published its first issue of PSynapse, the newsletter for its programme (that I've mentioned previously eg. see post), which has support from Gatsby and Wellcome, to transform UK psychiatric training by integrating modern neuroscience. The newsletter mentions that TrOn (the RCPsych online learning resource to support trainees preparing for its membership examinations) is looking for an additional specific neuroscience trainee editor in addition to its other trainee editors. It also mentions the third RCPsych neuroscience spring conference that marked the launch of the College neuroscience champions scheme, which creates a network of psychiatric trainees across the UK to ensure that neuroscience is properly integrated into their respective deaneries.

I’m not against trainees having a proper understanding of neuroscience. But I don’t think the College programme has incorporated critical neuroscience (see previous post). Wellcome has said it wants a radical new approach to mental health research (see previous post). Yet it’s also supporting the Psychiatry Consortium (mentioned in the PSynapse newsletter) of 6 drug companies, Alzheimer’s Research UK and MQ (mentioned in previous post), to accelerate innovative drug discovery in psychiatric diseases. The newsletter also has a report from the British Neuroscience Association festival of neuroscience in April 2019 which highlights ketamine as a potential antidepressant. The rest of the newsletter reports conversations with two of the leaders in the field of ketamine use for depression in the UK. But there’s no discussion of the potential risks of approving ketamine for antidepressant use (eg. see BMJ response by Mark Horowitz and Joanna Moncrieff).

There is a need for interdisciplinarity in mental health research (see previous post). I hope the College isn’t encouraging a neuro-turn in academic psychiatry (see another previous post). I’d like to see it also incorporating critical psychiatry into psychiatric training (see yet another previous post).

(With thanks to Frederico Magalhaes)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Duncan the push into neuropsychiatry is not only being partnered with pharmaceutical companies. Child development research conducted at UCL is imaging young children and babies brains to track the impact of deprivation and especially what is considered poor parenting. The Freud Centre and Kantor Ceter of Excellence which is partnered with UCL is funded massively by Moshe Kantor who is one of the richest Russian oligarchs in UK, Projects are being funded in a way very few of us can follow any longer. M K has publicly stated online that he and his family fund projects which conform to his family values. The revival of brain research has long precedents right back to measuring of heads - particularly of vulnerable groups perceived to be of low intelligence and in need of greater control/education. Social control using drugs combined with neur0psychiatry is a worrying development. susanne stevens