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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Musings about Food: Food and the Brain, Food for Thought, and New Orleans Food

I started off my afternoon with research poster sessions by new investigators, primarily students, residents, and other trainees. I had a fascinating discussion with one of the young investigators about cancer treatment and mental illness in the elderly. This was an epidemiologic study by Simha Ravven, which raises interesting questions about whether psychiatric history affects access and response to cancer treatment. Later on I went to a fascinating session chaired by Dr. Nora Volkow as part of the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) track at the meeting. She talked about overeating as an addiction and the role of dopamine and frontal lobes in the modulation of eating behavior. I decided I still needed to stimulate my dopamine brain pathways with a great dinner with my wife and great friends at Commander Palace. This is a restaurant with a tradition of great food with a wonderful ambience. After letting my frontal lobes go off line enough to enjoy my evening, it was back to feeding my mind today. Today I spent some time at the Scientific Program Committee, which started planning for the APA meeting in Hawaii. It should be a good one, both from the science and fun aspects. I then attended informative sessions on the neuroscience of dementia, and a medical update on overlap of medical and psychiatric disorders in causing psychiatric symptoms. All in all a satisfying couple of days and evenings.

Iqbal “Ike” Ahmed, M.D.
Member, APA Scientific Program Committee
Deputy Rep., Hawaii

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