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Letter from the Editor

Assoc. Prof. Christina Dalla , National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
ECNP 2022
Dear colleagues,

Millions of people world-wide are suffering from a brain disorder, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this devastating health and societal problem. Translational neuroscience is aiming to understand brain disorders -neurological and psychiatric alike-, find biomarkers and develop potential new treatments. Such novel treatments extend beyond the classical targets and mechanisms of action and include neurosteroids, neuropeptides, psychedelics, probiotics, as well as non-pharmacological treatments such as virtual reality and gaming.

New pathways of research, neurobiological findings and potential new treatments were presented at the yearly neuroscience applied congress of the ECNP, a European organisation committed to ensuring that advances in the understanding of brain function and human behaviour are translated into better treatments and enhanced public health.

This Medicom Conference Report provides a selection of highlights from the ECNP 2022 congress in Vienna. These highlights show that preclinical and clinical studies are starting to reveal the neurobiological and genetic changes associated with pain, prolonged grief, suicidal behaviour, pregnancy and post-partum. Several novel treatments for brain disorders, such as affective and stress-related disorders, as well as for schizophrenia and autism are also presented. Sex and gender seem to play an important role in the appearance and treatment of these disorders and sex steroids are involved in sex-specific disorders, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder and post-partum depression. Highlighted in this report are, among others, recent findings from the EMERGENT-2 clinical trial for psychosis, SKYLARK for post-partum depression, as well as the Psilodep-RCT trial for major depressive disorder.

Hopefully, these studies and many others, in the future to come, will identify new targets for the treatment of brain disorders and will result in safer, personalised and gender-oriented treatments. It is our goal to alleviate the burden of brain disorders for patients, caregivers and the society at large.


Christina Dalla




Dr Christina Dalla is Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, President-elect of the Mediterranean Neuroscience Society and member of Directors of the European Brain Foundation. The research of her group focuses on sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders and treatment with a special interest in animal models of stress and depression, as well as the role of neuroestrogens. She is also participating at a collaborative project called PEERS - An Open Science “Platform for the Exchange of Experimental Research Standards” in Neurosciences. Dr Dalla has received numerous awards and distinctions, such as the “L’Oreal-Unesco” for Greek Women in Science and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) fellowship award. She is an active member of the ECNP Preclinical Data Network Forum, the ECNP Educational Committee and a member of the Scientific Programme Committee of the 36th ECNP Congress at Vienna. She is Section Editor at the European Journal of Neuroscience and has served as an expert evaluator at the European Union Research Ethics and Integrity Unit. Finally, as a member of the FENS Communication Committee and the DANA-alliance for the brain, she has participated actively in public activities for brain awareness, such as publishing of books for the public, and in an Erasmus+ grant “Sharing Good Practices for Brain Education in Europe”.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

Dr Dalla has received through her University an honorarium from Janssen-Cilag for a (non-related) invited lecture and (non-related) research funding from Elpen S.A.

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