IASP training in Porto Alegre, Brazil


I first have to make a correction on my yesterday’s blog. The PRODAH research group is not part of the University of Porto Alegre, but part of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.

Today a full schedule was organized for my. In the morning we had the first half of the IASP training. We discussed the rationale for the IASP study and the ICASA Foundation. And I introduced the IASP research protocol and some of the instruments. The rest of the training will be tomorrow morning.

The Porto Alegre IASP project team with on my left-arm side local Project leader dr. Claudia Szobot and the director of the PRODAH group, professor Luis Augusto Rohde.

The two young people on the right part of the picture, Luiza and Rodrigo (that sounds like the latest Brazilian movie…), are in the process of translating in Portugese the CAADID interview, the structured interview for diagnosing adult ADHD, that we use in the IASP study. It is with people like them that we can do international research! Thanks!

During lunch time I had a meeting with Carmen Silvia Miguel, a neuropsychologist, conducting research on ADHD and SUD patients in Sao Paulo. We discussed possible collaboration she and professor Louza of her research group is highly interested in neurocognitive research and in the ICASA CASP study (please go to http://bit.ly/plDzmH for more information on this project).

In the afternoon Thiago, a child & adolescent psychiatrist guided me. We visited a federal mental health hospital, and a more private clinic for mental health issues. I visited in both hospitals the wards for adolescents, and in the private hospital also the ward for addicted men. On the outside the private clinic looked pretty much like western mental health institutes. But visiting the wards was astonishing. The ward for adolescent boys was very small, in the Netherlands to be used for a maximum of 10 patients. Here there were 34 adolescent boys with severe mental health issues, of whom the majority had a substance abuse problem. The federal mental health institution was worse. Although the youngsters had more square meters, the building and furniture was very old. There where youngsters of 12 years and even younger addicted to crack use. Thiago told me that especially in these young addicted children the prevalence of ADHD was extremely high.

I saw enough reasons for continuing efforts towards solving this complex puzzle: the linkage between ADHD and Substance Abuse. So tonight I will meet professor Bau, who is in charge of the adult ADHD research program of PRODAH and specialized in genetics. We will talk about ICASA and PRODAH. About genetic research in adhd-sud patients and about lots of other issues.

Tomorrow another day of training and meetings. I will keep you posted.


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