November 2011  << Back  

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Expanding the scope of our annual meeting

Donald W. Black, MD


The next meeting of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists (AACP) “Psychiatry Update 2012: Solving Clinical Challenges, Improving Patient Care” will take place at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, March 29 to 31, 2012. Instead of 1 or 2 major topics, we are planning to cover many clinical areas in this interactive and learning-focused meeting, including depression, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders across patient groups. We aim to be responsive to our AACP membership and meeting attendees by selecting topics they feel are pressing and important. Our outstanding faculty includes Drs. Marlene P. Freeman, S. Nassir Ghaemi, Fredrick K. Goodwin, George Grossberg, Philip G. Janicak, James W. Jefferson, Henry A. Nasrallah, Thomas Roth, and Rajiv Tandon. Attendees will receive up to 18 Category 1 Credits™. I feel that this will be our best meeting yet.

In this issue of Annals, Subhash Chandra Gupta, MD, DPM, and colleagues analyze the factor structure of mania in 100 adolescents and identify 5 factors, similar to those seen in adult populations. My colleagues and I report on the use of acamprosate to treat pathological gambling (PG). There are no standard treatments for PG. As this article demonstrates, acamprosate—FDA-approved for alcohol dependence—may help provide answers.

Electroconvulsive therapy remains the treatment of choice for many patients, even though psychiatrists and their patients worry about cognitive side effects. Ronald L. Warnell, MD, and coworkers show that a pulse width of 0.5 msec, even with bitemporal lead placement, generally has no more cognitive side effects than other lead placements. Because many of us prefer bitemporal lead placement for our patients, this is important news.

Thomas K. Chung, MA, and associates review the records of persons evaluated for tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disorder with physical, cognitive, and psychiatric manifestations. They assess psychiatric comorbidity, including behavioral disorders, and discuss these patients’ treatment experience. Patients with tuberous sclerosis generally have been ignored by psychiatrists, but as this article shows, we need to be engaged with this patient group.

Samuel Kuperman, MD, and colleagues report that aripiprazole may have value in treating impulsive aggression in youth with conduct disorder. Barbara L. Brody, MPH, and her collaborators show in a controlled trial that escitalopram is effective in treating major and minor depression in persons with age-related macular degeneration.

Cheryl S. Hankin, PhD, and her large group of collaborators mined Medicaid data in Florida to examine the health care cost burden of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Their not altogether surprising conclusion was that OCD patients share a similar burden with persons who suffer “pure” depression. This article also shows the value of exploring large existing data sets that too often are ignored.

Finally, Annals Editorial Board member James H. Reich, MD, has contributed a thoughtful good news/bad news review on legal difficulties many practicing psychiatrists experience. The bad news is that psychiatrists are at increased risk for disciplinary actions by their medical boards. The good news is that psychiatrists account only for a small proportion of malpractice claims.

I again remind readers that we aim to provide high quality articles that are clinically useful. If you have ideas for articles, please feel free to run them by me.

Donald W. Black, MD