Winners of NMSIS scholarship award

Two winners have been selected for the Promising New Investigators Travel Scholarship Awards given annually by the Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Information Service (NMSIS).

First place was awarded to Angelica Kloos D.O. of Children's National Medical Center, who authored, "A Novel, Patient-Rated Scale for Assessment of Side Effects of Psychotropic Medications," and Second place was awarded to Robert O. Cotes, M.D. of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, who authored, "Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome and the Incidence of Antipsychotic Polypharmacy in the Chronically Mentally Ill: An Analysis of the Literature from 2003-2010."

Dr. Kloos is graduate of New York University located in New York, and is currently a Chief Fellow at the Children's National Medical Center Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry located in Washington D.C., and member of the "American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society of Greater Washington, American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association," and Dr. Cotes is a graduate of Wake Forest University located in Winston-Salem NC, and is currently a Resident in Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center located in Lebanon, NH, and member of the American Psychiatric Association.

The Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Information Service (NMSIS) Promising New Investigators Travel Scholarship is awarded based on a scholarly paper addressing "New insights on psychotropic drug safety and side effects" consistent with its mission to advance pharmacotherapy and patient safety, the scholarship promotes education and research by early career psychiatrists.

Two cash prizes are given to help cover travel costs to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting held this year in New Orleans, LA during May 2010. The scholarships will be presented during the APA event so that the recipients can attend the educational sessions and workshops that are vital to their professional careers.

Papers address specific issues related to the award theme and may include literature reviews, case reports, and original studies that are not in the press or published. Primary author must be a student, resident or fellow. Papers are judged on originality, scholarship, relevance and methodology.

This scholarship is supported by an educational grant from Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., administered by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome is a rare but potentially life threatening adverse effect of antipsychotic medication characterized primarily by mental status changes, fever and muscle rigidity.

Anyone prescribed antipsychotic medication is at risk.

The incidence of mortality, once reported at 20-30% is now estimated at 5-11.6%. Death usually results from respiratory failure, cardiovascular collapse, myoglobinuric renal failure, arrhythmias, or diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC). Morbidity from NMS includes rhabdomyolysis, pneumonia, renal failure, seizures, arrhythmias, DIC, and respiratory failure.

Symptoms include the development of severe muscle rigidity and elevated temperature associated with the use of antipsychotic medication plus two or more of the following: diaphoresis, dysphagia, tremor, incontinence, changes in level of consciousness ranging from confusion to coma, mutism, tachycardia, elevated or labile blood pressure, lucocytosis, and laboratory evidence of muscle injury (e.g., elevated CK).

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