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Tackling mood disorders

05 May 2011

Professor Craddock during his visit to TokyoProfessor Craddock (centre) pictured during his visit to Tokyo

Japan’s first network of leading scientists, policy makers and patients interested in gaining greater understanding, treating and changing attitudes towards mood disorders has been set-up following a visit by University experts.

Modelled on the successful Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN) led by Professor Nick Craddock, School of Medicine – the network will help bring together researchers investigating the underlying causes of mood disorders.

Professor Craddock said, "Much of the world’s attention has focused – quite rightly - on the recent Tsunami in Japan and the devastating impact this has had on their country.

"The implications of this tragic event brings into focus the need for extra support for those people in the country who suffer or may suffer with mood disorders in the future.

"Japan already has a series of significant challenges – most notably, the high number of suicides amongst the male population. By establishing a network of experts – from academia, government and sufferers themselves this will add an additional focus and impetus to tackling these problems."

The setting-up of the group followed a visit by Cardiff experts to Japan, organised by the British Embassy. The trip saw Cardiff University’s Professor Craddock, Professsor Michael O’Donovan and Dr Ian Jones, School of Medicine, visit Tokyo to take part in the Japan Mood Disorder Workshop.

The Workshops brought together experts in mood disorders including scientists, media and senior government advisers. The three delivered lectures and talks on their research into mood disorders and the importance of creating a network to help effect change.

Professor Craddock added: "It’s satisfying to know that the work we’ve done here at Cardiff is helping to influence decision makers in Japan.

"Our recent visit was an ideal opportunity to share our knowledge and experience, which we hope will help influence decisions over the way mood disorders are seen and treated in future."