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Last Publications


libro personas mayores

A Practice Primer

English Version

May 2019


Vol.9 Sistema Dopaminérgico y Trastornos Psiquiátricos

Vol.10 Staging Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Implications for Etiopathogenesis and Treatment

June 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4614-7263-6

Next Course

November, 11th and 12th 2019

XIII Intensive Theoretical-Practical Course of update in Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Last Meeting

June, 20th-21th 2014

"Relevance of Staging Psychotic disorders as a Paradigm-shift for understanding disease progression and stage-dependent treatment"

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Vol.7 Genes and Environment Interplay in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Vol.7 Genes and Environment Interplay in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

December 2004

Editors: Tomás Palomo, Richard J. Beninger, Trevor Archer, Richard M. Kostrzewa

Publisher: Editorial CYM, General Oráa, 47, 28006 MADRID

ISBN: 84-934250-1-X

Pages: 575

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Also found within the publications are contributions presented at the meeting held in Mojácar in 2003.


An evening arrival at Almeria implies an hour-long drive along the coast-hugging, mountain defile, coastal-tangental levant-pillars of atlas highway, west-east, to the immediate Mojacar-Vera-Garrucha environs, a seemingly arid extent of hill-vale and coastal plain that awakens in the bloom of cactus flower and desert scrub with the first flush of rainfall. After all the hustle-bustle of changing from international flight modes to domestic, check-in security rituals, the anticipatory psychophysiology of the descent-over-sea dusk landing and bagage retrieval, this ’local-transport’, airport-parador, is ideal for the contemplation of the time-less quality of this little corner of the globe. This ride along a fast-moving thoroughfare provides the optimal priming in anticipation of the white built-up over and along the promontory, defining the structure and function of Mojacar in its Moorish identity, and culminates in the little courtyard of our much-awaited retreat, the Parador de Mojacar. Nevertheless, the undulating landscape, blessed in its covered-cultivations of Europé’s vegetables, had watched the arrivals, the mergers and taking-overs, the consolidations, the oustings and massacres, and the occasional assimilations of celt-iberians, phoenicians, carthiginians, romans, visigoths and vandals, moors, imperial grand-armee adventurers, tourists and sun-seekers. Here lies part of that stage-of-drama where twenty-two centuries ago Hannibal and the Barcas’ major base on the European continent was gradually eroded and dispersed by the youthful Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, where a hundred years later, Quintus Sertorius played his deadly game of hide-and-seek, catch-me-if-you-can that led to a fatal betrayal and ambush, with Caecilius Metellus Pius, Gnaes Pompeius and Lucius Lucullus, where Gaius Julius Caesar searched and destroyed the surviving adherents of Pompeus, Marcius Porcius Cato, and the ’bono men’ before returning to a third Dictatorship and the thirteen daggers at Pompeus’ theater on the Field of Mars, and where Nicolas Soult (taking a lesson from the previous example of Gaius Marius, whose exploited ’Spanish’ fortunes culminated in the fair hand of Julia Caesar and seven consulships of Rome) extracted several fortunes from the andalusians, by wreaking a complete destitution, to the advantage of himself and the Bonapartes. One must admit to the exquisite suitability of the venue for the fifth and latest Mojacar Meeting of ”Gene and Environment Interplay in Neuropsychiatric Disorders”, held at Parador de Mojacar during 16-20 October, 2003.

From its very beginning the International Meeting on Genes and Environment Interplay in Neuropsychiatric Disorders opened new and unexpected avenues for contemplating the diversity of encephalic universes that hide the secrets of what may be termed normal distinct from conditions termed disordered. It was undeniably ingenious, yet singularly high-time in the ‘age-of-the-genome’, to explicitly and wholeheartedly invest the always chancy business of meeting organisation into an arraignment of presentations that explored, recounted, analysed, explained and speculated the relative contributions of inherited characteristics and the accumulations of factors that constantly impinge on the foetus in its protected development, the necessary trauma of birth, the exuberance and tragedies of early, middle and late childhood, the devious, unpredictable and fluctuating idiosyncrasies of puberty, and the implacable march through early adulthood, middle-age, and (with the good graces of one’s chosen deity) senior citizenship. The presentations took us through amazing journeys of neuroscientific endeavour: the role of genes and environment in nosology and psychiatry to environmental influence on genetic regulation of behaviour to genetic relationships between major depression, personality and schizophrenia, beyond stress activation of glutamate transmission in the prefrontal cortex with implications for dopamine-associated disorders to brain-derived neurotrophic factor bridging the gap between dopaminergic and glutamatergic dysfunctions in schizophrenia. The interactive influences of gene and environment covered functional genomics strategies to identify susceptibility genes and treatment targets, the role of the GABA-B receptor and polymorphism DRD2 in alcoholism and alcohol dependence whereas insights pertaining to gene-environment regulation of addiction to other substance abuse/addiction issues were provided by studies of cannabinoids and gene expression during brain development, CNR1 gene variants and behavioural disorders and the role of the dopamine transporter in cocaine abuse. Gene expression and gene-environment interplay was addressed in studies of memory formation, incentive learning, fear memory consolidation, the inhibition of acquired fear and xenobiotic-induced neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as in movement disorders with studies pertaining to role of dopamine in motor dyskinesias, the Parkin-protein, Ariadne, in the ubiquitin pathway, neuronal induction of immunoproteasome in Huntington’s disease and the genetic background, e.g. relating to tau hyperphosphorylation, to Alzheimer’s disease. Neurogenesis in several different disease and normal states emerged as a major theme encompassing the influence of postnatal development and hippocampal neurogenesis on anxiety and depression, synaptic plasticity and antidepressant treatment, environmentally-induced long-term structural changes and the spectre of hope as offered by the therapeutic potential of stem cells in the neurodegenerative disorders. Finally and as in previous Mojacar meeting, the wastage and tragedy of schizopsychotic disorders for humankind was investigated in studies on phenotypes and genotype at a chromosome 1q42 locus linked to the disorder, neurobiological markers of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, linkage studies of schizophrenia, calcium binding protein markers of GABA deficits in schizophrenia and neurobiological consequences of prenatal immune challenges. Studying the gene-environment interplay serves at a personal level through the recognition of our own ‘inborn-acquired’ disabilities, but it is more functional to rid oneself of these items than to forge a weapon to bring personal distinction. Thus, one serves a long apprenticeship with method and the art of arranging the right words in their proper order, and even greater pains to learn the ‘tools of the trade’. As historians are marginally impressed by the “what” of Gibbon’s narrative but rather the “how” of its expression. Though sadly, one needs watch for preoccupation with ‘form of presentation’, since this course but be admirable, not for sagacity or penetration of thought, but for adroitness of phraseology and visual display of coloured complexity.

It is probable that after all the possible accidents and incidents, trials and errors, oversights and miscalculations, quirks of fate and ‘acts of the supernatural’, one need not be shocked over a mojacar meeting that incorporated Invited Speaker – Participants assembly, allocations of Parador rooms, time-keeping of presentations, meals, coffee breaks, post-speakers’ dinner manifestations and all the thousands-and-one other ingredients, that ‘ticked’ with almost clock-word precision. Again and yet again, one bows and acknowledges the concerted synchronisation of the Local Organising Committee in their collaboration with Diego and amazingly hospitable staff of the Parador de Mojacar. On this occasion, there was no absconding of any Bishop Jean, nor any Cardinal or Monseigneur, not even a Jesuit. There were no large-than-life figures, like Jack Reacher, Sharpe of the 95th or Thomas of Hockton, but rather a determined-looking assembly of neuroscientist intrepidly or implicitly preparing for the elocutive endeavours of presentating a paper at once timely, with frontline scientific conceptualisation, stringent methodology, unambiguous findings and with a touch of entertainment value. Verily, did Marcus Tullius, the nephew of Gaius Marcus, best friend of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, pathologically hated enemy of Gaius Octavianus Caesar and Marcus Antonius, unwilling accomplice of Gaius Longinus Cassius and Marcus Servilius Brutus in their wild and irresponsible aspirations, and consul of Rome, train his speech-making powers with pebbles in his mouth, coached by the most renowned Greek elocutors of the day. Happily, even the most uncertain of us, Invited Speakers, have probably not been called upon to emulate Cicero but rather one must wrestle constantly with that other ‘dragon of predicament’, pure and simple ‘stage-fright’. Sir Lawrence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Micheal Redgrave, Tyrone Power, Al Jolson, and most other highly successful ‘performers’ of stage, film, music hall or lecture theatre (the anecdotal material abounds) recognised and lived with this syndrome whether playing Macbeth, Hamlet, Ebeneezer Scrooge, Father Christmas, presenting a paper at Mojacar or even a 3-hour lecture for 1st year undergraduates at one’s own department. The ‘whole hog’, of orbitofrontal-limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis engagement from upto 24-hr pre-presentation ensures a physical, verbal and psychological ritual that incorporates a regime of physical exhaustion, verbal rehearsal and cognitive appraisals through primary, secondary and tertiary degrees in order to bear some semblence of coping with the physiological manifestations of the condition, quite simply to avoid panic. In this apparent confrontation, neither the imagery of the Imperial Guard of a Napoleonic Grande Armee nor the proximity of prancing dervishes in an Omdurman scenario maintain their thresholds of threat and fear – such may one manifestation of social phobia achieve expression. But Then, and What HO! Entering the venue aula itself one was confronted by the comely, expansive visage and comfortable gestalt of Jorge Manzanares intoning that a few minutes must be taken of presentation-time, but who cares! A friendly face, an encouraging companion, a fellow-traveller along the dusty, hazy and mendacious meanderings of philosophy, political chicanery and the history of warfare, disperses the doubts and uncertainties and there we were – ready to face the music.

If one has been very good and Lady Fortuna has decided to favour one, then the Day-of-paper-presentation will be followed by the evening of the Speaker’s Dinner. Then it is important to dress as well as one may, after having been revitalised by exercise-sea-exercises-pool-steaming bath, and assemble at the Reception lobby where one receives the most gracious compliments and fond affection of the fair Isabel, prior to taking one’s place in the coach that conveys and deposits this gathering of debating, discoursing and expectant students of brain function at the Restaurant of Don Tadeo at the Villarilos. As on every past occasion, we were given such a sincerity of welcome, intimacy of well-being and temptation of gustatory delight that our episodic memories recall the culinary heights of a previous Speaker’s Dinner as though it were less than 48-hours, rather than 2-years, thence. Bernard, El Manitas, emerged too, in all his finely nuanced fettle, beaming his greeting as if it were only the other day. And so the hours went by, conjuring dishes brought from the Day’s catch, sea bass and cuttlefish, turbot and squid, munk fish and giant scrimp, haddock and crustacean, prepared as only Don Tadeo is able and washed down by his good wine. When not the slightest morsel could be coaxed, Bernard presented his special creation for each Speaker, based on what he had read, observed, heard or imagined of each one of ours, an expression of whom we may be, of where our ambitions may lead us and of what we may or may not be aware of; for instead of presenting his observations and conclusions on human behaviour and misbehaviour in Peer Review Journals, Bernard expresses his notions in art forms which as with the Delphic Oracles are sometimes stunningly obvious but mostly bewilderingly ambiguous. Nevertheless, he bares his soul unfailingly in the offering of an ‘element of truth’, from which each must derive, for himself or herself, a ‘nutmeg of consolation’. A year later, surrounded, east-west and north-south, by the slopes and peaks of the hills and foothills that lead upto and beyond the mightily-inspiring Kanchenjunga massiv, dwarfing the ‘North Point’ of formative years where character was moulded through the good graces of Ignatius Loyola mediated through Fathers Stanford, Forestel and Van Wallaghem, and observing the huge, white and massive ‘phenomenon of nature’ dominating the northern horizon, its simplicity recollected astoundingly the unity of purpose, goodwill and harmony of our Mojacar Meeting.

Trevor Archer, Tomás Palomo, Richard J. Beninger and Richard Kostrzewa

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