Sovereign Health’s Chief Scientific Officer Veena Kumari, Ph.D., Presented on ‘Nicotine Addiction in Schizophrenia’ at Yale University School of Medicine – Sovereign Health Group
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Sovereign Health’s Chief Scientific Officer Veena Kumari, Ph.D., Presented on ‘Nicotine Addiction in Schizophrenia’ at Yale University School of Medicine

San Clemente, Calif. — Sovereign Health, a national behavioral health system, is proud to announce that Sovereign Health’s Chief Scientific Officer, Veena Kumari, Ph.D., CPsychol, AFBPsS, an internationally renowned authority on the neurobiology of schizophrenia presented on “Nicotine Addiction in Schizophrenia’ on Wednesday, May 24, at West Haven Campus of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

The rate of smoking in people with schizophrenia is two- to four-fold of the rate seen in the general population. Smoking rates in schizophrenia are also somewhat higher compared to that seen in people with other mental disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia find it difficult to quit and are more likely to relapse than others. Research suggests that the widespread smoking behavior seen in this patient group is in fact a manifestation of a common underlying physiology, and that these patients smoke in an attempt to self-medicate.

Dr. Kumari’s presentation discussed the reasons for the elevated smoking rates in people with schizophrenia. emphasizing that theories on this behavior is related to sensory gating (blocking or inhibiting certain stimuli) and cognitive deficits in this disorder that have been viewed as major support for the self-medication hypotheses.

As the Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Kumari represents a significant increase for Sovereign’s leadership role in applying novel scientific and technical advances to improve addiction and mental health treatment. Dr. Kumari is an undisputed leader in the psychiatric and neuroscience research fields. She has made significant contributions to the fields of the neuroscience of personality and sex differences, cognitive psychopharmacology, information processing deficits in schizophrenia and their pharmacological normalization, the neurobiology of cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis, and neurobiology of violence in schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder.

Dr Kumari has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles in reputable psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience and served as the Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member for a number of peer-reviewed journals. She has received numerous national and international awards for her mental health and addiction research, including the prestigious Humboldt Research Award in 2014.

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