Potential Drugs of Abuse as Antidepressants and Anxiolytics:  Pluses and Minuses

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Keynote Description

Increasing data from research studies point to potential drugs of abuse as antidepressants and anxiolytics. This presentation reviews recent data and raises key issues regarding how to balance risk-benefit both for individual patients and society at-large.


Dr. Schatzberg received his MD from New York University in 1968, did his psychiatric residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center from 1969‐1972, and was Chief Resident, Southard Clinic in 1971‐1972. He was also a Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After serving in the United States Air Force, he joined the staff at McLean Hospital and the Faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1974. At McLean Hospital, he held a number of important positions including Service Chief, Interim Psychiatrist in Chief, Co‐Director of the Affective Disorders Program (with Dr. J. Cole) and Director of the Depression Research Facility. In 1988, he became Clinical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School but continued at McLean Hospital with his research program on the biology and treatment of depression. In 1991, Dr. Schatzberg moved to Stanford University to become the KennethT. Norris, Jr., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Schatzberg has been an active investigator in the biology and psychopharmacology of depressive disorders. He has explored norepinephrine systems in depression as a means of subtyping these disorders. His research has also given us major insights into the biological mechanisms that underlie the development of delusions in major depression and is now opening exciting and innovative therapeutic strategies. Dr. Schatzberg has also been an active investigator in the clinical psychopharmacology of nondelusional depression with a particular interest in chronic depression and pharmacogenetics. He has authored over 600 publications and abstracts, including the Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology, whose sixth edition was published in 2007 and which is co‐authored by Dr. Jonathan O. Cole and Dr. Charles DeBattista. He also co‐edited with Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff the Textbook of Psychopharmacology whose fourth edition appeared in 2009. He is Co‐Editor‐in‐Chief of the Journal of Psychiatric Research and sits on many other editorial boards as well, including the Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Biological Psychiatry, and others. He is a Past President of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and has been the Secretary‐General of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology.

He was awarded the 1998 Gerald L. Klerman, MD, Lifetime Research Award from the NDMDA, the 2001 Gerald L. Klerman, MD, Award from Cornell University Medical College, the 2001 Edward A. Strecker, MD, Award from the University of Pennsylvania, the 2002 Mood Disorders Research Award from the American College of Psychiatrists, the 2002 American Psychiatric Association Award for Research, the Forum Award from the 3rd International Forum of Mood and Anxiety Disorders (IFMAD) in 2002, the 2005 Distinguished Service in Psychiatry Award from the American College of Psychiatrists, the 2005 Falcone Award from NARSAD, and the 2007 Chairman’s Distinguished Scientist Award from Brown University. In 2003, he was elected into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He was the President of the American Psychiatric Association in 2009‐2010.