The Hon. Patrick J. Kennedy to deliver new approaches to mental illness keynote speech at the New York Academy of Sciences

Supported by Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen Research & Development, LLC, this event will address breakthroughs in neuroscience and strategies to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Published October 03, 2014

NEW YORK, October 3, 2014 - One in four Americans suffers from a brain disorder such as schizophrenia, depression, fear and anxiety disorders, autism, or other psychiatric conditions. Many at-risk mentally ill patients experience homelessness and incarceration rather than receiving medical treatment.

Today, prevention and better treatment of mental illness may finally be within reach due to recent breakthroughs in neuroscience-vastly improving our understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, molecular and cellular mechanism, structure, and neuronal circuitry underlying normal and pathological brain function. The conference New Frontiers in the Neurobiology of Mental Illness, on October 10, will explore the translation of these findings into pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and other interventions to improve mental health.

Former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island, The Hon. Patrick J. Kennedy, will deliver the keynote lecture on "Mental Illness: The Civil Rights Movement of our Time."

"Our society must change the way we think about brain disorders..." said Rep. Kennedy. "No one should feel shame or experience stigma because they have a biological difference in their brain that causes symptoms."

Husseini K. Manji, MD, FRCPC - the Global Therapeutic Head for Neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development, LLC - will open the event with a lecture on "The Quest to Make a Real Difference: the Science of Mental Illness."

“Although we are in a new golden age of neuroscience, more work is needed to translate scientific breakthroughs into therapeutic advances,” said Dr. Manji. “Equally important is a shift from a “diagnose and treat” approach to a “predict and pre-empt” model. Collaboration among the scientific community is vital to developing solutions including measurable outcomes. We are delighted to sponsor this event in the pursuit of sharing new concepts in neuroscience and understandings of what may be needed to provide innovative treatments for patients.”

Several other talks ranging from new approaches to mental illnesses in the era of the U.S. Brain Initiative, holistic care approaches for schizophrenia, treatments for severe depression, and understating the social brain in autism, will be presented by research scientists and medical doctors.

 "Johnson & Johnson Innovation is proud to support this scientific forum to promote the exchange of breakthrough ideas in neuroscience," said Seema Kumar, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation, Public Affairs & Global Health Communications, Johnson & Johnson. "We believe in the power of collaboration in science to benefit patients and society."

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For more information visit www.nyas.org/mentalillness2014. Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and Janssen Research & Development, LLC, support this event through their affiliate, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.

For press inquiries, including press passes to the conference, please contact Stacy-Ann Ashley (sashley@nyas.org ; 212-298-8696). Please note that this event is sold out to the general public.

About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 22,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large.

Please visit us online at www.nyas.org