Neuroscience Edition Editorial

Last updated 20 December 2023

Welcome to this Neuroscience themed edition of The Bridge.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is currently promoting the neurosciences in its curriculum, for training Psychiatrists of the future. One of the many reasons for this is to develop more “Parity of Esteem” between physical and mental health conditions, by highlighting the research evidence that links genetics and a range of neuroscientific findings, to the psychiatric disorders we see in young people.

I attended the third RCPsych Gatsby/Wellcome Neuroscience Conference in the spring of this year and two of the speakers kindly agreed to write for The Bridge. Prof Sir Mike Owen’s team (Doherty and Eyre) have written for us their view on “What does a CAMHS MDT need to know about the genetics of psychiatric disorder?”. Professor John Quinn and his team (Quinn and Bubb) have written a piece describing the importance of “A Mother’s touch” in the development of the baby’s brain. These are very readable summaries on the emerging field in genetics, epigenetics and development and also how neuroscience might help us in future clinical practice.

Prof Thomas et al’s Annual Research Review into the link between neuroscience and learning is also summarised here. They describe how neuroscience and the psychology of learning might fit together and the importance of “Brain Health” in the classroom. Schmidt et al’s study examines the link between EEG tracing, salivary cortisol and anxiety in children, and is summarised here. In 2018, Dafnis Batalle et al. compiled an Annual Research Review where they evaluated the current status of neuroimaging research in neonates and paediatrics to determine the origins of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Genetics and the neurosciences is a rapidly developing field that can feel complex and difficult to understand for non specialists. In the future, workers in CAMHS services may need support in developing skills in genetic understanding, communicating with young people and their families about genetic risk and resilience, and in offering potential future therapeutics, all underpinned by genetic and other neuroscientific understanding. I do hope you find this edition helpful.

I hope you enjoy reading this edition of The Bridge please share it with colleagues, and a PDF version is available to download The Bridge (August 2019).

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I am a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working clinically in a North Yorkshire CAMHS team. I am Associate Director of Medical Education in the trust I work in, also Training Program director for CAMHS higher training in Yorkshire.

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