Cannabis Use and Mental Health

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Virtual Event: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 7pm

Join us for an informative and captivating presentation by Professor Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine where he is a leading expert in cannabis and in particular the relationship between cannabis and psychosis.

  • What is cannabis? Is it marijuana? CBD? Both?
  • How does cannabis work?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of cannabis?
  • Is cannabis addictive?
  • What about medical cannabis?
  • Can cannabis cause mental illness?
  • Can cannabis be used to treat mental illness?

 

 


About the Speaker: 

In addition to research at Yale, Professor D’Souza offers clinical expertise as a staff psychiatrist at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, where he directs the Neuropsychiatry Program for veterans with serious mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

Professor D’Souza runs the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale (SNRGY), studying the pathophysiology of psychosis and cannabis, using a combination of brain imaging, pharmacological and electrophysiological approaches. Part of this work uses ‘psychopharmacological probes’, such as ketamine, amphetamine, THC and nicotine.

More recently, Professor D’Souza has been investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds in the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions, including depression and migraine.

Professor D’Souza’s research has been funded by major US-based funders, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

His work has been published in a number of prestigious psychiatry journals including Molecular PsychiatryLancet PsychiatryBiological PsychiatryAmerican Journal of Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology. He is a principal editor of Psychopharmacology, and a co-editor of the book Marijuana and Madness.

Read a letter from March 2019 Dr. D’Souza wrote to the General Law Committee in regards to HB-7871.

 

More About the Speaker

Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD is a Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS). He received his medical degree from John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India in 1986 and completed his psychiatric residency at State University of New York Downstate in 1992 followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Psychopharmacology and Neurosciences at Yale University School of Medicine. He then joined the faculty in the Dept. of Psychiatry at Yale and VA Connecticut Healthcare System. He is an active clinician, teacher and researcher, with more than 25 years of experience.

He directs the Neuropsychiatry Program at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, the clinical service that cares for veterans with serious mental illnesses including psychotic disorders, mood disorders and personality disorders. He also chairs the Research and Development Committee at VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

He is actively involved in teaching residents. In recognition of his contributions as a teacher, he received the Yale Psychiatry resident’s teaching award in 2008. He also directs the VA Schizophrenia Research Fellowship program the training ground for a number of current researchers.

He directs the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale (SNRGY). He has employed three approaches to his work. He has been using psychopharmacological probes such as ketamine, amphetamine, THC, nicotine, salvinorin A to evaluate the contributions of various neurotransmitter systems to the pathophysiology of psychosis, cognitive deficits, and reward dysfunction. He also uses in vivo neuroreceptor imaging to study schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder. In parallel to these studies of pathophysiology, he has conducted phase 1 – 4 clinical trials to develop new treatments for schizophrenia, MDD and cannabis use disorder. More recently he has been investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds in the treatment of neuropsychiatric conditions including depression and migraine. His research is funded by the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), VA R&D and several foundations. His work has been published in the highest impact Psychiatry journals including Molecular Psychiatry, Lancet Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=qDmD8DsAAAAJ&hl=en). He is a principal editor of the journal Psychopharmacology.
He is involved in public outreach – he serves on the Physicians Advisory Board for Connecticut’s Medical Marijuana Program. He is recognized as a leading expert on the relationship between cannabinoids and psychosis, and has been involved educating the general public about the relationship between cannabis and psychosis.

 


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