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IoPPN at Twilight


The lecture series IoPPN at Twilight included talks by some of IoPPN's world-class experts.

What made you the way you are – your personality, your mental health and, specifically, how well you did at school? Professor Plomin discusses conclusions he has reached after his 45 years of research trying to understand the genetic and environmental influences that make us different, our nature and nurture. He concludes that inherited DNA differences are the major systematic force, the blueprint, that makes us who we are as individuals.

Professor Robert Plomin, MRC Research Professor in Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Watch 'Predicting school performance from DNA.'

This talk covers core features of autism and identifiable, additional mental health problems. Professor Simonoff shows how mental health problems in autistic people are often overlooked and confused with core symptoms of autism due to a concept called 'diagnostic overshadowing'. Professor Simonoff discusses the theoretical basis for the high levels of mental health problems in autistic people and reflects on what interventions are currently available and research priorities for the future.

Professor Emily Simonoff, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Head of the Department and Academic Lead for the CAMHS Clinical Academic Group in King’s Health Partners.

Chair: Rebecca Gray

Watch 'The mental health of autistic people – research to improve fictional outcomes and quality of life'.

Eating disorders have a historical link with Guys and IoPPN. Anorexia nervosa was identified by Sir William Gull and Professor Gerald Russel identified bulimia nervosa.

Professor Janet Treasure, Professor of Adult Psychiatry and Director of the Eating Disorder Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Professor Ulrike Schmidt

Watch 'The rising tide of eating disorders'.

Naloxone saves lives. It is an antidote to heroin and other opioid drugs. This emergency injection is used by A&E doctors and ambulance crews all over the world to reverse opioid overdose. But that isn’t where overdose deaths occur. More than 100,000 people die every year of opioid overdose in the community, at home or in public places - and the number keeps growing. We need technology transfer - we need to place naloxone where the problem might arise. We need to teach the public how to intervene. Professor Strang's talk describes his work bringing training to communities and research to develop better forms of naloxone such as the new naloxone nasal spray - and will explain how Quentin Tarantino helped turn the world on to naloxone.

Professor Sir John Strang, Head of Department of National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Emily Finch

Watch 'Preventing heroin overdose deaths with citizen training and take-home naloxone: how Quentin Tarantino helped us change global policy and practice'.

The Covid-19 pandemic has raised specific issues about differential rates of morbidity and mortality among ethnic minorities not only in the UK but also the USA and elsewhere. It is critical to explore and understand the reasons for these variations whether social determinants play a role or are there other factors that we need to be aware of so that we can advocate for vulnerable groups.

Professor Dinesh Bhugra, Professor Emeritus of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Professor Allan Young

Watch 'Covid-19 pandemic and BAME communities'.

Why are talents in music, maths, art or memory so much more common in autism than in any other group? Professor Happé discusses aspects of the autistic mind that may contribute to striking talents. Being less aware of others’ thoughts may allow autistic people to have more original ideas, un-blinkered by prevailing views. It is the autistic eye for detail, however, that seems to be the starting engine for talent, and to explain why genetic influences on individual differences in autistic traits overlap with genetic influences on talent.

Professor Francesca Happé, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Professor Cathryn Lewis

Watch 'Autism and Talent: The beautiful otherness of the autistic mind'.

Attitudes to cannabis use are changing. Canada and many US States have legalized recreational use. Other countries including the UK, allow "medicinal" use. RCTs show that cannabis or its constituents (THC and CBD) are useful in chronic pain, nausea, multiple sclerosis, and in childhood epilepsy. However, the cannabis industry advocates its use in a huge range of other illnesses including opiate addiction, COVID-19, and anxiety. Unfortunately, evidence is piling up that prolonged cannabis use increases risk of psychosis; indeed, the highest incidence of psychosis across Europe is now in Amsterdam and London where high potency cannabis is most available. Thus cannabis poses a dilemma for society in how to balance the enjoyment of the many with the harm to a minority.

Professor Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Dr Sotiris Posporelis

Watch 'Cannabis: the Good, the Bad, and the Mad'.

Thirty years ago, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was still by many considered a myth of naughty children suffering from poor parenting. The past three decades of neuroimaging, however, have shown that ADHD is associated with differences in brain structure and function, and ADHD is therefore now considered a neurodevelopmental disorder.

One of the most revolutionary insights we gained from neuroimaging is that the brain is extremely plastic - even in adulthood - with a bidirectional pathway between brain and behaviour. This insight has led to the advent of neurotherapies that can modify brain function abnormalities and with that, behaviour.

This talk reviews brain structure and function abnormalities in ADHD, discusses neuroplasticity, and reviews recent brain modulation therapies such as fMRI-neurofeedback and non-invasive brain stimulation such as transcranial magnetic, direct current and trigeminal nerve stimulation.

Professor Katya Rubia, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Chair: Dr Juliet Foster

Watch 'Neurotherapies for ADHD'.



Demystifying Impact 6

21 June 2024

Demystifying Impact 2024

IoPPN researchers and NHS Trusts staff discussed the effect and importance of partnerships and…