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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 23, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 31
Symposium to Address New Findings on Bipolar Disorders and Depression

By Eric Vohr
Johns Hopkins Medicine

The School of Medicine will hold its 21st annual Mood Disorders Symposium, titled Bipolar Revisited: Where We've Been, Where We're Going, on Tuesday, April 24, to draw attention to new findings in basic and clinical research on depression and bipolar disorder.

The symposium, to be held from 12:45 to 6 p.m. in Turner Auditorium on the East Baltimore campus, will feature the just-published second edition of Manic Depressive Illness.

This revised edition, co-authored by Frederick K. Goodwin, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health and a current faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University; and Kay Redfield Jamison, of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins, describes a wealth of new discoveries about a disease that plagues an estimated 6 million people in the United States alone.

"The 17 years since the publication of the first edition of this text have been the most explosively productive years in the history of medical science," Goodwin said. "In every field relevant to our understanding of manic-depressive illness — genetics, neurobiology, psychology and neuropsychology, neuroanatomy, diagnosis and treatment — we have gained a staggering amount of knowledge."

Jamison and Goodwin drew from the vastly expanded scientific knowledge by enlisting the assistance of a distinguished group of collaborators, three of whom will participate in the symposium: James Potash and Frank Mondimore, both of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, and Harold Sackeim, of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. In addition, U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, who has had personal experience with bipolar disease in her family, will give families and patients her perspective on this illness.

Depression and bipolar disorder are implicated in the overwhelming majority of suicides, killing more than 30,000 people in the United States each year. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people. In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide. The worldwide economic cost of depression is estimated at $80 billion a year.

Intended for psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists and counselors, the event is also open to patients, family members and anyone who has an interest in learning more about bipolar disorders and recurrent depression. Registrants will participate in open discussions with researchers and clinicians.

The symposium is presented by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center and Johns Hopkins Continuing Medical Education.

For more information and to register, go to this page.


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