Welcome Address

    Welcome Address

    Dear Colleagues,

    As the congress president it is a great pleasure to invite you to the 9th European Conference on Schizophrenia Research, which will be held from 5th –7th September 2024 in Munich, Germany, under the motto

    “ Identifying and Adressing Challenges in Preventive Psychiatry”

    Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. E. Meisenzahl

    Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. E. Meisenzahl

    Scientific advancements in the early detection of mental disorders have significantly improved our understanding and ability to identify early disease signs. As our understanding of the biological, genetic, and environmental factors influencing mental health grows, early recognition methods continue to evolve. Moreover, the development of scientific approaches contributes to a more nuanced and personalized approach to mental health care, with the potential to intervene earlier and improve long-term outcomes for individuals at risk and first-episode of mental disorders.

    Preventive Psychiatry  represents a paradigm shift in mental health care, involving clinicians and researchers above all at the interface between child/adolescent and adult mental health to address the crucial timing of mental disorders during adolescence and early adulthood, but also at the transition into the older age.

    The congress is dedicated to the understanding of the transitional process from health to at-risk mental health and first episode mental illness during adolescence and early adulthood at the level of biological, psychological, and social developmental trajectories that ultimately shape mental health and disease.

    Preventive psychiatry includes the development and refinement of toolboxes designed to quantitatively assess the multimodal and longitudinal aspects of mental health. These tools include digital phenotyping methods that provide ecologically valid information on the behavioral and interpersonal aspects of emerging mental disorders, as well as the use of advanced neuroimaging techniques to identify specific brain patterns associated with early disease stages. Exploring biomarkers in blood or cerebrospinal fluid may indicate the presence of diverse conditions at the interface between neurological and immunological abnormalities linked to mental illness. Finally, research on genetic predispositions and heritability factors may allow for the identification of individuals at higher risk or at the first episode of mental illness based on their genetic profiles with advancements in genetic testing supporting a personalized and objective risk assessments in the future. The application of machine learning algorithms allows analyzing and integrating these diverse data domains. This methodological progress has yielded patterns capable of predicting the likelihood of developing mental health disorders, leading to multimodal predictive tools that will improve the precision of risk evaluations.

    For the first time there is a large European scientific community of child and adolescent and adult psychiatrists and psychologists to organise this scientific congress together. Preventive psychiatry is a world-wide scientific but also a European agenda  to which we will turn much more attention in Europe in the future.

    I look forward to meeting with you in Munich at the ECSR.

    Sincerely yours,

    Eva Meisenzahl
    Congress President and
    President European Scientific Association on Schizophrenia and other Psychoses