September 2014

UKAAN Conference - 10th to 12th September 2014

ADHD - Mind, Brain and Body

Mermaid Theatre - London Blackfriars

Over 300 delegates from across the globe descended on the historic Mermaid theatre for the 4th Congress of the UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN) – Mind, Brain and Body.  This inspiring three day conference was held in conjunction with the European Network Adult ADHD (ENAA) and the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD), aimed at Healthcare Professionals and anyone interested in ADHD and mental health from adolescent years through to early, middle and later adult life.

This rapidly growing network aims to bring together opinion leaders, clinical experts and internationally recognised investigators across all disciplines of ADHD research, diagnosis and treatment, to impart and explore their knowledge and experience of ADHD across the lifespan.

The 4th Congress of UKAAN built on it’s vision  of raising awareness  of ADHD amongst health care professionals, political bodies and the general public  as well as  developing further understanding of the causal pathways involved in the persistence of the disorder and the development of clinical co-morbidities and complexities.  The conference also offered a unique perspective on ADHD in adolescents and adults, highlighting the broad range of functional, cognitive and mental health impairments and the relationship between ADHD, mental health and psychopathology.

President of UKAAN, Professor Philip Asherson, delivered the president’s welcome, speaking of UKAAN’s expanding worldwide community and the importance of developing an internationally shared understanding of this prevalent and pervasive disorder.  He continued by introducing the exciting conference programme to an enthusiastic audience.

The first day plenary talks included the topics of ADHD as a lifelong condition and the cultural differences between the US and Europe, delivered by Professor Eric Taylor and Professor Ilina Singh respectively.  Professor Taylor explored the difficulties of mental health and social adjustment for those experiencing ADHD symptoms that persist through adolescence and into adulthood.  He explored factors which impact on the trajectory of individuals’ personal and social difficulties.  Professor Singh described the VOICES project, which found differences in ecological niches between young people in the UK and the US.  The study also identified the perceived limitations to the provision of high quality services for young people which included not seeing their doctors as often as they would like, not feeling included in the clinic visit, and older children wanting more control in decisions about when to take their medication.  Professor Singh’s presentation highlighted the necessity for the development of our current clinical services.

The first day also saw a panel of leading experts and UKAAN committee members offer a Question Time themed discussion with the audience, complete with the Question Time music and stage set up!   It gave the audience the opportunity to discuss the prominent issues regarding ADHD as part of a lively and engaging debate  This was followed by a dramatic ‘stage reveal’, with the audience joining the panel for a drinks reception on stage for an informal discussion of the day’s events. 

The second day offered plenary talks from Dr Susan Young (Vice President of UKAAN) who explored the long term outcomes of treatment: a multi-model approach.  Dr Young identified the need for a life-span approach to the management and treatment of ADHD.  She acknowledged that long term outcomes can be bleak for those who do not receive appropriate treatment, and identified multi-modal combination treatments to be the most effective for positive long term outcomes.  Dr Young advocated the need for more research into effective interventions   that enable people with ADHD to fulfil their potential and improve their quality of life.  Dr Jeffrey Newcorn discussed the most up to date understanding of neuropharmacology and the brain. He discussed the important contributions of neuroimaging in developing a more in depth understanding of pathophysiology, as well as mechanisms of pharmacological treatments in ADHD.       

Delegates were fortunate enough to be able to choose between a range of parallel sessions, over two days, covering topics such as pharmacology, psychology, IMPACT, alternative treatments, co-occurring disorders and traits, European Network Adult ADHD (ENAA), criminal justice system, aetiology of ADHD, International Collaboration on ADHD and Substance Abuse (ICASA), education and occupation, neurodevelopmental disorders, and ADHD and Reward Deficiency Syndrome.   All sessions were delivered by leading experts in the field of ADHD, and the talks included cutting edge research to address the complex relationships between ADHD and the mind, body and brain.   The broad content of the conference ensured that it attended to all professional fields and personal interests.

The third day offered plenary talks from Professor Alexandra Philipsen and Dr Iris Manor.  Professor Philipsen discussed the efficacy of psychological interventions for adults with ADHD, and she identified that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment programmes can result in significant improvements in ADHD.  She also identified that a combined therapeutic approach (medication and individual or group CBT) can result in even greater benefits than pharmacological treatment in isolation for individuals with residual ADHD symptoms.  This engaging talk was followed by Dr Iris Manor, who explored the provisions of support during the transition from child to adult services. She highlighted that ADHD is being increasingly recognised as a chronic and disabling disorder across the whole life span, and it is essential that services attend to the associated functional impairments in relationships, social life and employment as well as the persistent symptoms of ADHD.  It is also vital that these services attend to the physical health issues identified to correlate with ADHD symptoms, such as sleep disorders and malignant obesity.

The audience was treated to an inspirational talk by guest speaker and three time Olympic medallist, Louis Smith. He gave an open and honest account of his personal experience of growing up with ADHD, the effects on his family and the ways in which ADHD impacted upon his life, referring to the benefits as well as the challenges of the disorder.  Louis Smith’s presentation was a stirring narrative of overcoming difficulties and achieving excellence, and he acknowledged that the love and support of his mother was instrumental in this.

Attendees had the opportunity to explore some current and most recent research projects spanning all fields interested in ADHD, during a poster session.  Attendees were also invited to enjoy art work by pastel artist and poet Tracie Koziura, who has a diagnosis of ADHD.

The final plenary presentation of the conference was delivered by Dr Sandra Kooij, who explored the future of ADHD in Europe. She highlighted that those affected by ADHD along with professionals in the field, have worked together to raise awareness and support the development of our understanding of this complex disorder.  Dr Kooij identified a number of developments that we may expect to see for adult ADHD in Europe in the future.

UKAAN would like to thank its sponsors and exhibitors.  Venue costs, Scientific and Administrative support for Faculty and Attendees was made possible through the sponsorship from Eli Lilly, Flynn Pharma Ltd., Janssen, Alcobra Pharma, Qbtech, and The TOVA Company and also an educational grant from Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Plenary Presentations

Ilina Singh

Susan Young

Jeffrey Newcorn

Alexandra Philipsen

Iris Manor

Sandra Kooij 


Parallel Session Presentations

Jan Buitelaar    Bill Colley Jeffrey Newcorn
David Grant - Specific learning difficulties David Grant - Higher Education Henrik Larsson 
Adnreas Reif      Iris Manor  Iris Manor -  Psychological aspects of ADHD in Women
Anna Rommel    Dora Wynchank       Geurt van der Glind
Iliyan Ivanov         J Russel Ramsay Jane McCarthy
Jane Padmore    Mate Kapitany Karen Glaser
J Ramos-Quiroga Mark Elliott Ottilie Sedgwick
Sandra Kooij  - ADHD in Women Simon McKay Ruth Cooper
Edmund Sonuga-Barke Susan Young  Jonathan Smallwood
Clodagh Murphy  Peter Lesch Jan Haavik
Ylva Ginsberg Fintan O'Regan  Alexandra Philipsen - DBT
Barbara Franke Tony Rostain/J Russell Ramsay  


UKAAN Symposium

Image Gallery

Below are a selection of photos taken at the conference.  

Day 1 - Photos taken by Emma Woodhouse

Days 2 and 3 - Photos taken by Robert Ginsberg - click on link below

Our thanks go to both Robert Ginsberg and Emma Woodhouse who took the photos.