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Department of Neuropsychiatry

Department overview

The Department of Neuropsychiatry was established in 1945, and its predecessor is in Wakayama Medical College. The current professor, Dr. Kazuhiro Shinozaki, is the fifth professor and he has presided over the department since June 2003. Department members consist of associate professors, lecturers, assistant professors, internal assistant professors, and graduate students other than the full professor at present and they perform medical treatment, research, and educational activities.

Regarding characteristics of our medical treatment, we are in charge of a wide range of areas, from primary care in psychiatry to advanced specialized medical services, as a residency training hospital certified by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Education overview

We perform educational activities for medical students, graduate students (doctorate and master’s courses), and junior or senior residents.

General study goal for medical students

To learn what psychiatric medicine should be in performing holistic therapy as a biological, psychosocial, and ethical medical model; to understand pathophysiology and diagnostic treatment related to mental and behavioral disorders; and to study about problems that physicians can solve for patients and support that physicians can provide for patients based on a good relationship of trust between patients and physicians.

Educational overview of master’s courses

Psychiatric medicine expands its research and treatment focus to behavioral disorders in addition to higher cognitive impairment and psychiatric disorders as the science of brain, mind and behavior, and is developing comprehensive treatment methods as biological, psychological, and social models.
In lectures, we promote students’ further understanding of the diagnosis system and therapeutic theory (psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, somatotherapy, and rehabilitation) on the basis of evidence. Especially regarding mood disorders, we study about suicide prevention, anti-depressant effect of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, and basic psychopharmacology.

Research projects of graduate students in doctorate courses

  1. Development of transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy for mood disorders
  2. Epidemiological research on suicide prevention
  3. Research on high risk for schizophrenia
  4. Neurophysiological research on dementia

Research overview

As part of our research in early intervention for schizophrenia, we performed clinical studies regarding development of a biological indicator for high-risk groups, aiming to prevent its onset, somatotherapy for auditory hallucination in schizophrenia and major depression resistant to pharmacotherapy (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, rTMS), measures for decline in social functioning including suicides caused by bipolar disorder (cognitive deficit or impulsive), and others. We used prepulse inhibition, rTMS, NIRS, SPECT, diffusion tensor image, and tractography in our research.