As the congress president it is a great pleasure to invite you to the 7th European Conference on Schizophrenia Research, which will be held from 26 – 28 September 2019 in Berlin, Germany, under the motto “Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders: Time for precision medicine?”
In recent years, psychiatric research more and more focuses on approaches apt to target therapies to the individual and to predict the course of illness from an early stage on. Respective concepts were labelled as personalised or individualised. Driven by new diagnostics and therapeutics, the more comprehensive term of precision medicine nowadays is used in this context. Precision medicine takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person in order to be able to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people with similar clinical characteristics. Since psychoses in general and especially schizophrenia present as quite heterogeneous disorders, a common “one-size-fits-all” approach obviously has problems to appropriately meet individual needs.
However, whether time for precision medicine has already come instead with regard to schizophrenia and other psychoses, is also not clear yet. Therefore, we have chosen the motto for the upcoming ECSR with the aim to evaluate recent technological advances and current evidence emerging from various disciplines like (pharmaco)genetics, imaging, specific psychotherapies, etc. to shed light on this question.
In order to provide this comprehensive scope of evidence, we count on your active contribution by presenting own research in the field and experience with clinical strategies to apply precision medicine.
The ECSR is being established as a platform to present new data and findings of schizophrenia research. Also in 2019, the ECSR will be the perfect forum for scientific exchange on all facets of our motto including remaining challenges and unsolved questions. The critical appraisal of current evidence of precision medicine with regard to psychoses hopefully will also lead to discuss a respective research agenda. By meeting with international experts the conference might even result in the initiation of consortia to collaborate on relevant topics further promoting precision medicine in schizophrenia diagnostics, therapies and care, and in the end translating knowledge into better outcomes.
I cordially invite you to submit your own work aiming at optimizing care for each schizophrenia patients. Please highlight the congress dates in your calendar and join us in autumn 2019!
I look forward to meeting with you in Berlin at the ECSR.
Prof. Wolfgang Gaebel