Vulnerability, adolescent brain development, and the emergence of psychosis

- This event is a production of the Atlanta Science Tavern.
- Dinner starts at 7:00 pm.
- The evening's presentation begins around 7:45.
- Seating will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
- The capacity of the venue is 80 people.
- We expect a turnout of around 60% of day-of RSVPs.
- Refer to our Open Seating Policy for details.
- There is a $3 contribution requested from non-students.

Vulnerability, adolescent brain development, and the emergence of psychosis

Elaine Walker
Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Emory University

Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders typically have their onset during late adolescence or young adulthood. While the specific origins are still unknown, researchers are gaining new insights by studying brain changes that occur during adolescence and prior to the first sign of clinical symptoms. The findings from this research are providing new insights into both normal and abnormal brain development, and are setting the stage for clinical trials of preventive intervention.

This presentation will provide an overview of the congenital origins of vulnerability to psychosis, from molecular genetics to psychosocial stress, and describe the nature and trajectory of the brain mechanisms that appear to give rise to the first psychotic episode.

About our speaker
Dr. Elaine Walker is a Candler Dobbs Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Emory University. She has studied the precursors and neural mechanisms involved in psychosis for most of her career. Dr. Walker is currently a collaborator in an international NIMH project aimed at the identification of risk factors and biomarkers of psychosis onset. 

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  • Jeri W.

    Excellent! Cheers to Dr. Walker and other professionals who are researching this difficult problem so many families face. For such a complex problem, I think she presented the topic in an understandable format for the nonscientific community.

    So glad I came.

    September 28, 2014

  • Mary D.

    that was an excellent presentation. I'm thinking of questions I wish I'd asked. For instance, If stimulants are associated with teen-onset psychosis, I'm wondering about Ritalin and all the kids who are taking it for ADHD. I'm also wondering about possible beneficial effects of herbs like Rhodiola, which are believed to reduce cortisol. It would be great if we could have an encore!

    1 · September 28, 2014

  • Kathy

    Excellent overview of a very complex subject.

    2 · September 27, 2014

  • John Y.

    Plenty of people here, anyway.

    September 27, 2014

  • Anna

    This will be my first meetup with this group, I'm very much looking forward to it

    4 · September 12, 2014

    • Anna

      Disappointed that I won't be able to attend after all, it looks like it's going to be fascinating

      September 27, 2014

  • Bill B.

    I've tried to notify this group that I will not make
    today's meet-up at Manuel's Tavern. Wish I could.
    I've been involved in this type area for over 40 years!
    AND, still appalled at the many misdiagnoses, over
    medication AND not giving the right meds AND
    confusing ADD, ADHD etc... with certain food
    allergies like corn or wheat or ... l

    September 27, 2014

    • Marc M.

      Thanks for the heads-up, Bill. The easiest way to notify the group that you won't be attending is to change your RSVP from "Yes" to "No."

      1 · September 27, 2014

  • Susan T.

    This happened to a friend of mine. (Became friends about 2-3 yrs. ago.) He had a psychotic break at 14 or 15. (1960's) Never returned to HS. Exceptionally bright. Took GED, then graduated from GT with honors in Applied Physics. Worked contractually with NASA in the 80's. Personal life has been rough going.

    1 · September 1, 2014

    • Kathy

      Very interesting, Susan. Thanks for sharing.

      1 · September 2, 2014

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