Message of the President
New developments

Last month I talked about our new journal Neuroscience Applied (NSA). This month it is European Neuropsychopharmacology’s (ENP) turn to be in the spotlight, with the release of the latest journal impact factors seeing ENP impressively rise from 4.600 to 5.415.

For what it is worth, to many an impact factor of 5.0 is seen as crossing a magical border which makes the journal that much attractive to publish papers in. In any given year, the impact factor of a journal is the number of citations, received in that year, of articles published in that journal during the two preceding years, and divided by the total number of articles published in that journal during the two preceding years. That is, the challenge is to retrieve enough high-quality papers and then to predict which manuscripts are likely to generate attention by the scientific community and subsequent citations. The rise is a fitting reflection on the excellent work done by our two editors-in-chief teams over the IF period – firstly Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg and latterly Eduard Vieta – and their respective editorial teams. They have done a great job of not just upholding the journal’s quality but maintaining its relevance in an ever more competitive publishing environment. On behalf of all of the College, I congratulate them on this achievement and encourage you all to continue to submit your best papers to ENP and – whenever relevant – to cite other ENP papers.

I also want to mention that our field is seeing some very interesting new therapeutic developments. An especially promising area, which also is my own scientific focus, has been the progress made on scheduled drugs. Ketamine was approved in 2019 by the European Medicines Agency as an add-on drug to serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treatment of major depression. Following some promising clinical trials, MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is now approved in 10 US cities by the FDA, to expand patient access to MDMA (also called Ecstacy) as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, the classical (5-HT2A receptor agonists) psychedelic drugs are now being explored, including psilocybin and LSD. The research on these substances as clinical applications in, for example, major depression, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, and chronic cluster headache, have given cause for optimism. The potential is clearly very significant, and the hope is that regulators’ approval of some powerful new additions to our treatment repertoire may be within sight, in spite of these drugs’ complicated history. After some difficult years following the stepping-back from neuropsychiatry by many of the bigger pharma companies, the emergence of a large number of smaller pharmaceutical companies, including in areas such as this, are encouraging signs that the field is growing and regenerating.

ECNP is supporting this work with a new Psychedelic Research Thematic Working Group (TWG), just launched, as part of the ECNP Networks programme, bringing together a range of leading European research centres working on these compounds. We will hear much more about that in October at the ECNP Congress in Vienna and I am also very pleased to announce that we will be devoting one of our upcoming New Frontiers Meetings in Nice, France, to the neuropharmacology of psychedelics. The New Frontiers Meeting is our ‘incubator’, where we explore the latest frontier trends in applied neuroscience. It will be an excellent opportunity to connect the players in this exciting new area. We’ll keep you informed as plans progress.

And if you haven’t already registered for the 35th ECNP Congress, 15-18 October, take a moment to do so. The number of in-person registrations has already now far succeeded that from last year.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

Feel free to contact me by reply e-mail.
Gitte Moos Knudsen
ECNP President
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