State of the Art Symposia

State of the Art Symposia

1) Dealing with an overdose crisis

The current emergency in North America is the worst public health crisis in history, comparable to the beginning of the HIV epidemic. Vulnerable individuals are dying. Young early users with a low opiate tolerance, people suffering from pain or severely traumatized mentally challenged opiate users. The numbers of overdose and related fatalities is increasing over 10 years. It is of high relevance for Psychiatry as a discipline too, because it is due to a mental illness and Psychiatry is not playing an active leadership role addressing it. In this symposium we want to present the full extent of the crisis, some positive experiences how to resolve a similar situation and the role innovation could play.

Keywords: overdose crisis, Substitution, Switzerland, Addiction Psychiatry


The biggest public health crisis in North America since the HIV epidemic – a serious reflection!

Innovation as part of the response, a web-based risk assessment and management platform to prevent overdose fatalities

From the open drug scene to accessible quality substitution treatment in Switzerland, a model for the rest of us?

WHO-UNODC Stop-Overdose-Safely (S-O-S) Initiative

2) Web based mental health services a paradigm shift for Psychiatry?

The web has changed our communication, our education system and the way we produce dramatically. It is also beginning to change the way of healthcare delivery. That is providing opportunities as well as challenges. In essence it is a major opportunity to proactively reform the way we deliver healthcare, build capacity and improve the quality of psychiatric services. Based on ongoing research and development in Australia, South America in North America we will present recent experiences in order to raise awareness and mental health professionals to become actively involved in this process. This may provide the opportunity to close important gaps, improve access to care and create the next stage for psychiatry for the centuries to come.


E- mental health, Virtual care, paradigm shift, health care reform, youth EMH


E-Mental health as catalyst for mental health care reform for youth?!

The potential of web-based care for poor countries

Delivering interventions for substance use disorders over the Internet: 21st century solutions to 21st century challenges

Ready for a paradigm shift? Challenges for a future architecture of virtual mental health care


3) Psychiatric genetics:  around the genome and around the globe

Though heritable influences on psychiatric disorders have been known since the inception of modern psychiatry, it is only recently that precise genetics risk factors have been identified.  Thanks to large collaborative efforts, rapid, accurate, economic genetic assays and new statistical methods, massive amounts of data have been generated, in turn, the data are providing unique insights.  The insights impinge on numerous facets of clinical psychiatry, including diagnostic systems, biomarkers, treatment and health policy.  A welcome aspect of this work is the active involvement of several countries outside the North American-Europe nexus.  Our goal is to educate and update the audience about the latest results in psychiatric genetics, with an accent on clinical applications.


Late breaking news in genetics of psychiatric disorders

Oligogenic inheritance of rare heterozygous variants from functionally relevant genes in schizophrenia: Evidence from family based studies

Towards the implementation of pharmacogenetics in psychiatry

Genetic explanatory models in psychotic disorders in Costa Rica and their relation to mental health policies


4. An update on child, adolescent and adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent mental disorders of childhood (with prevalence rates varying from 5% to 10%) and it can continue through adolescence and adulthood. ADHD also is one of the most common cause of referral to family physicians, pediatricians, pediatric neurologists, and child and adolescent psychiatrists. ADHD’s impact on society is enormous in terms of financial cost, stress to families, disruption in schools, and the potential for leading to criminality and substance abuse.

There is extensive literature on ADHD, but relatively little emphasis has been placed on regional, cultural differences, and diversity variables. More over services and intervention available for persons with ADHD varies a lot across the World. This session aims to describe a diversity of approaches in diagnosing and treating ADHD across the World with the emphasis on the latest studies on child, adolescent and adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Learning Outcomes- by the end of this session:


  1. Participants will learn about the diversity of approaches in diagnosing and managing ADHD.
  2. Participants will become aware of the latest studies on ADHD across the World.
  3. Participants will learn about the best ways to manage ADHD using optimal recourse.


Psychopharmacological approaches to ADHD across the lifespan

Changes in definition of ADHD

Service provision for neurodevelopmental disorders in Singapore: An Asian perspective


5. Update on obsessive compulsive and related disorders

This symposium will cover all major recent developments in the clinical management of OCD and related disorders (OCRDs), focussing on phenomenology and diagnostic issues relating to the ICD-11 including areas of differentiation and overlap between the OCRDS and anxiety disorders, new staging models and advances toward early therapeutic intervention in OCDs, recent advances in pharmacotherapy and somatic treatments including the FDA approval of rTMS for OCD and an update on the emerging obsessive-compulsive disorders of problematic internet usage, that are increasingly presenting to clinicians for treatment


Classification of obsessive compulsive and related disorders – an update

New staging models in obsessive compulsive and related disorder

New interventions for obsessive compulsive and related disorders

Problematic Usage of the Internet; A Clinician’s Perspective


6. Update on eating disorders

The symposium is organized by the WPA section eating disorders and presents the state-of-the-art epidemiology, disorder concepts, and treatment options. While treatment options and effectiveness are limited, eating disorders are often chronic or recurring, come with somatic and psychiatric comorbidities, and have a high risk of mortality. Therefore, the aim of the symposium is to emphasize what is currently known about eating disorders and how those affected can best be understood and helped.


Epidemiology of eating disorders

Emotion dysregulation as core mechanism of eating disorders

Treatment of eating disorders: state-of-the-art and unmet needs


7. Updates in old age psychiatry

Increasing life expectancy is a historically new phenomenon that challenges societies. In ageing societies, old age psychiatry is becoming increasingly important. In some countries there is already a corresponding special title, in others not. Is there a special competence, how should the area be defined? In some countries, older people in particular are demanding the right to assisted suicide. In countries such as Switzerland and The Netherlands, the corresponding figures have risen sharply in recent years. How should old age psychiatry comment on this? What consequences will this have for efforts to prevent suicide in this phase of life? For many, dementia is the most important disease in old age. Despite intensive research into causes and therapy, the results of anti-dementia studies in recent years have been disappointing. The last article deals with an area that challenges interdisciplinary cooperation in psychiatry. Delirium is common. In recent years, successful prevention strategies have been developed.


How should we define Old Age Psychiatry?

Suicide prevention and physician assisted suicide

Antidementia drugs: no progress?

Delrium prevention: multifaceted interventions


8. Substance use disorders and addictive behaviors throughout the lifespan and the world

This symposium will discuss the state of the art as it relates to substance use, its consequences,   treatment and policy. Experts in the fields of classification science, epidemiology, treatment and policy will discuss their work in the context of other global efforts. They will cover behaviors not previously accounted for in the diagnostic criteria; use, misuse, and nonmedical use of substances including vaping, among children 10 to 17 years of age; sex differences in comorbidity of substance use disorders; and opioid overdose and its management. Finally, we will hear about the overall WHO activities from alcohol policy developments to cannabis regulations.

Gaming disorder: who, what, when and where

Drug use and its consequences among youth 10 to 18 years of age: a national study

Substance use disorders and their comorbidity: sex differences

Opioid overdose management programs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Recent developments in international alcohol and drug policies

9. Autism: Comprehensive National Programs  


Bangladesh’s National Autism Plan

Bhutan’s National Autism Plan

Qatar’s National Autism Plan

Thailand’s national Autism Plan

10. Affective disorders: Novel thinking and novel approaches to treatment

This ‘state of the art’ symposium seeks to update clinicians and researchers on recent developments in research approaches to the course and treatment outcomes of mood disorders. The session commences with a presentation by Jan Scott who reports on a series of studies of the evolution of familial and non-familial mood disorders over time. Using new statistical approaches to mapping trajectories, these cohort studies explore the inter-relationships between subthreshold and threshold syndromes of unipolar and bipolar disorders. The research highlights that not only do threshold conditions show homotypic and heterotypic continuity over time, but that this phenomenon is also observed for subthreshold conditions. The presentation then considers the optional ‘unit’ of psychopathology for exploring illness trajectories i.e. is the prediction of the evolution and course of mood disorders over time best represented by models focused on lifetime comorbidities, transitions between subthreshold and threshold disorders, or by symptom clusters and networks.


Mapping illness trajectories in mood disorders: new approaches and new insights

Stimulation of the middle forebrain bundle as possible novel treatment for refractory depression

Let there be (blue depleted) light- recent advances in chronobiology and mood disorders