Charles Raison, MD
Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families; Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology; Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Director of Clinical and Translational Research, Usona Institute,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Given the famous dictum that nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution, it is striking how little evolutionary understandings play in our thinking about the challenging disorders we treat every day in the clinic. In fact, it is just as striking that we, as a field, don’t really have a consistent scientific framework for how we understand mental illness. With a focus on mood disorders, this session will seek to redress these shortcomings by demonstrating how evolutionary theory provides a consistent and actionable framework for understanding why these conditions exist, why they have the symptoms they do, and why our treatments are not more effective than they are. Finally, Dr. Raison will examine ways in which evolutionary understandings can be employed to identify potential new antidepressant strategies.