Ciara McCabe and Phil Burnet presented their latest research findings in a lively BAP-sponsored session at Cheltenham Science Festival last week. After giving an overview of different types of food that can affect brain function, Phil explained the surprising truth that the bacteria in our gut have the potential to alter our mood and behaviour.
In the second week of May around two thousand scientists and clinicians descended on a hotel in Midtown Manhattan for the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Annual Meeting. The theme of the meeting was ‘Accelerating Scientific Translation’. Consistent with this, the plenary sessions updated us on progress in the identification of biomarkers, the challenges associated with drug development, and the emergence of novel treatment strategies. There was also tantalising glimpses of the results being obtained by several of the large-scale neuroscience projects currently underway, including the Human Connectome Project. Overall, the programme covered the entire spectrum of psychiatric disorders, as well as covering a significant amount of preclinical science and conditions traditionally thought of as neurological disorders, notably Alzheimer’s disease.