In this talk, Dr. Charles Raison will apply an evolutionary lens to address the urgent question of why treatments for mental illness have not made the type of progress that has occurred in other fields of medicine, especially oncology. Focusing on depression, the talk will show that all current antidepressants operate primarily by having the non-specific effect of making the world seem like a safer, less stressful and more restful place. While of clinical value, this approach only provides sustained symptom relief for a minority of patients with major depression, highlighting the need to identify novel treatment strategies. This talk presents one such strategy based on the use of adaptive stressors to enhance overall emotional wellbeing. After describing an evolutionary and pragmatic rational for the use of adaptive stressors, the talk provides whole body hyperthermia as an example of an evidence-based adaptive stressor that is already available for clinical use.
Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation: Non-Specific Treatments, Adaptive Stress and the Future of Depression-Enduring
This lecture is part of a virtual learning series. If you would like to receive continuing education credits please visit the course information page from University of Wisconsin-Madison and register/enroll. If you are interested in the topic and would like to view the lecture, click here.
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