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April 2011
Fourth Symposium of Biological Psychiatry in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A section of participants attending the 4th Symposium of Biological PsychiatryThis year's Symposium was organized by the Association for Biological Psychiatry / Psychopharmacology in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABPPFBH) and the Department of Psychiatry, Clinical Center Sarajevo and co-organized by the Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina (PABH) and Cantonal Hospital “Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić” Bihać. The Symposium titled “Depression” was held on 15-16 October 2010 at the Kostelski buk Hotel, in the vicinity of Bihać.

The Symposium was opened by the President of ABPPFBIH and President of the Organizing Committee Prof. Abdulah Kučukalić, and was welcomed by the President of PABH, Prof. Izet Pajević and also on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee by Dr. Andrej Ižaković.

The two-day work of the Symposium consisted of 21 invited lectures by eminent psychiatrists and lecturers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and the USA. The Symposium was attended by more than a hundred participants. We are delighted that more than half of the participants were members of PABH. The lectures provided an opportunity for us to improve our knowledge on unipolar depression. The latest evidence-based findings on the treatment of affective disorders were presented. This expert meeting focused on the preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation procedures in order to achieve a better quality of life for people suffering from depressive disorders (single or recurrent episodes). Special emphasis was given to the co-morbidity of depression in many somatic diseases, especially chronic diseases (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc.), but also to the relationship between depression and neurological diseases and other psychiatric disorders (anxiety, dual diagnosis of substance abuse, bipolar affective disorder, psychotic disorders and others). All this confirmed the already established practice of the integrative approach to psychiatry, and the interaction between psychiatry and other branches of medicine. This Symposium has also contributed to the recently marked World Mental Health Day (10th October), which this year had as the main motto relationship between psychiatric disorders with chronic somatic diseases.

In addition to invited speakers, four Mini Satellite Symposia were held during the Symposium which related to the theme of the Symposium. All the participants of the Symposium received newly issued Bosnia-Herzegovina Guidelines for Treatment of Bipolar Affective Disorder, written by prominent members of our Association - Abdulah Kučukalić, Alma Džubur-Kulenović, and Marija-Burgić Radmanović. The guidelines were published by the Association of Biological Psychiatry/Psychopharmacology of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sanofi-Aventis support. The Symposium was accompanied by an exhibition of 11 sponsoring pharmaceutical companies.

The organizers of the social component of the program hosted a Gala dinner which the participants enjoyed in the very impressive atmosphere of the Hotel Kostelski buk and its surroundings on the banks of River Una. Thanks to our hospitable colleagues from the Local Organizing Committee, participants attending the Symposium had the opportunity to see the beauties of the City of Bihać, the center of Northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This year's Symposium was successful in both professional and organizational aspects, and has been added to the list of psychiatric events of first rank in Bosnia and Herzegovina, slowly building a tradition on solid foundations in the coming years. We look forward to the Fifth Symposium of Biological Psychiatry/Psychopharmacology in Bosnia and Herzegovina next year which will be co-organized by our Association.

Izet Pajević, President of PABH                              
Abdulah Kučukalić, President of the Organizing Committee
Goran Račetović, Secretary General of PABH
Alma Džubur-Kulenović, Secretary of the Organizing Committee

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