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Great minds don't think alike! This night will explore different approaches to improving our mental wellbeing. Do we need to better tailor our drugs? Or do we need to treat society? We'll also take a long, refreshing draught on how alcohol works, and end the night with some fast paced Shots of Science!
How Alcohol Works
Jeff Barclay (Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Physiology)
Short and long term exposure to alcohol can have devastating consequences for the brain. Although people have used (and abused) alcohol for thousands of years, the exact way it alters brain function remains unclear. If we can understand how alcohol works, we can use that knowledge to design targeted beneficial therapies. Jeff discusses his research, which examines the actions of alcohol on the brain and how we can use that information to identify potential ways to counteract those effects.
Stress and Psyche- Not all Good, Not all Bad
Bertram Müller-Myhsok (Professor and Chair of Statistical Genetics)
The influence of stress on our well-being is clearly evident. Bertram presents current efforts to tailor psychiatric treatment, both via psychotherapy and medications, to individual needs based on biological and clinical assessments. Our genetic make-up is important in determining how we cope with stress and how successfully we can avoid stress related diseases and disorders. Things are not as simple as “lots of stress bad” and “no stress” good but are more intertwined and complicated. Not all is as it appears!
Our Turbulent Minds; Why we're all Crazy but None of us is Ill
Peter argues for radical change in how we think about mental health, rejecting the ‘disease model’, which sees emotional distress merely as a symptom of biological illness, and instead arguing that mental health problems are fundamentally social and psychological issues-how we understand and respond to the world. Instead of diagnosing and treating 'abnormality', we should replace ‘diagnoses’ with straightforward descriptions of our problems and shift away from use of medication towards social and psychological solutions.