Date: Jan. 16, 2019 3pm-4:30pm
Location: Dunton Tower: Room 2203
Speaker: Synthia Guimond, PhD
Title: Cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders
People with mental illnesses often experience difficulties with a variety of cognitive domains, which include speed of processing, attention, working and episodic memory, executive function, and social cognition. Reduced cognitive ability in psychiatric disorders is important to investigate because it drives disability and social economic burden. It makes it difficult for people to adhere to their treatment plan, take medication on schedule, retain stable employment, and have positive social interactions.
In this talk, I will present an overview of the prevalence of cognitive deficits in various mental health disorders. I will also present recent findings linking cognitive difficulties in youth to higher risk of developing a severe mental illness. To date, there is no medication that treats cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. Investigating brain markers of cognitive deficits and positive response to treatment could eventually help us develop novel and more personalized treatments. I will present recent studies investigating this question in individuals with psychosis and discuss future directions.