Understanding the immense problem related to the current opioid/opiate epidemic in America and around the world, faced with the unfortunate fact that for example, in Ohio state at least 23 people die from an overdose of heroin every week! The first conference devoted to the Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) – Inaugural Reward Deficiency Syndrome Summit (RDS-1) was concluded successfully on November 18, 2015. The three-day summit chaired by Prof. Kenneth Blum and Prof. Rajendra D Badgaiyan with the theme “Reward Deficiency Syndrome in the 21st Century: Epigenetics, Neurogenetics, Neuroimaging tools for Therapy and Recovery” was organized by United Scientific Group on November 16-18, 2015 at DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport Hotel, CA and attended by speakers and delegates from more than 10 countries. The summit witnessed 10 keynote presentations, around 30 oral presentations on various topics of addiction research and therapy, Reward Deficiency Syndrome on Dopamine and Psychiatry, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism and Neurobiology of Reward Deficiency Syndrome.
For this three day summit we have selected evidence-based scientifically sound abstracts pertaining to all aspects of addiction. These abstracts selected for presentation constitutes both animal and human studies and novel methods relevant to addiction research. Particularly, the areas covered in this conference on RDS involve genomics, epigenetics, pharmacogenomics, neuroimaging, nutrigenomics, molecular neurobiology, pharmacology, neurogenetics, and clinical trials. A number of abstracts involve genome-wide DNA methylation mapping and gene expression including histone replacement, messenger RNA interference (miRNA) as well any other epigenetic studies.
The first day of the conference started with keynote lecture by Dr. Kenneth Blum, University of Florida, on Genetic Addiction in Reward Deficiency Syndrome: Synaptamine Complex Variant (Kb220z) Induced “Dopamine Sensitivity” and it followed by Dr. David E. Smith, Co-founder of American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and founder of the “free clinic movement” in the world, keynote speech on Process Addictions and Addiction Transfer. The Day 1 was highlighted with the talk of some of the highly eloquent speakers and well know scientists working on Dopamine and Addiction medicine and Substance Abuse treatment. Dopamine function in obesity presented by Dr. Panayotis K. Thanos, important topics from legalization of marijuana presented by Dr. Peter Banys and a Keynote from Dr. John J. Giordano concerning his recovery from drugs and alcohol and his development of a holistic approach to addiction treatment and Dr. David Baron keynote on sports medicine and addiction liability are the other important topics of the first day. Most interesting moment of the day was an evening movie presentation by Michael R. DeLeon “An American Epidemic”. The first day ended with a great socializing reception in the evening.
Day 2 started with a keynote speech by Dr. Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, University of Minnesota, on Dopamine Neurotransmission in RDS and it followed by Dr. Timothy Brewerton speech on eating disorders and RDS and importance of neuroimaging of brain function presented by Dr. Marcelo Febo. While we cannot discuss all the other important oral presentations from Drs. Norman Miller, to Deborah Matteliano to Dieter J. Meyerhoff to Bryan Yamamoto to Rouba Kozak among many others we are very proud of our lineup and their important contributions to the field at large.
There were numerous presentations related to novel methods that utilize blood and urine analyses to monitor both prescription medication assisted treatment (compliance) and abstinence as well as genetic testing related to early diagnosis, especially in our young addicts. One such lecture was on the possibility of the commonality of Narcolepsy in ADHD by Dr. Edward Modestino on day 3. The last day of the summit was mainly focused on Neurobiology of RDS with some great presentations by Drs. David Nussbaum, Miyoung Suh and Marisela Morales from NIDA.
The proceeding of the conference will be published in the Journal of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (JRDS). We are looking forward to the 2nd International Conference on Addiction Medicine & Reward Deficiency Syndrome (ARDS-2017) to be held during March 17-19, 2017 in Baltimore, USA.