The American Psychiatric Association (APA) hosted its prestigious 2024 Annual Meeting from May 4th to 8th in New York, NY. This event serves as a cornerstone for the psychiatry community, showcasing cutting-edge research and advancements in the field. Today, we will delve into some of the captivating research unveiled at the APA 2024 Annual Meeting, specifically focusing on anxiety-related topics such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and its associated comorbidities. Below, you will find the poster title, a brief summary taken from the research, and a direct link to access the poster.

Rapid and Durable Response to a Single Dose of MM120 (Lysergide) in Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Dose-Optimization Study

  • Evaluated the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of 4 doses of MM-120 (D-lysergic acid diethylamide D-tartrate) in patients with GAD.
  • Both 100µg and 200µg doses demonstrated clinically and statistically significant efficacy.
  • These findings suggest a rapid, robust, and durable clinical response to MM-120 in patients with GAD.
  • Full link

Effect of Meditation or Escitalopram on Work Performance in Patients with Anxiety Disorders

  • This study aimed to 1) examine how psychopharmacotherapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) influence absenteeism and job performance among individuals with anxiety disorders and 2) compare the effectiveness of these treatments in improving work performance.
  • The study finds evidence that MBSR improves work performance equivalently to SSRI medication among individuals with anxiety disorders.
  • Full link

Mood over Matter: literature review on benzodiazepine tapering, current practices and updates on adjunct mood stabilizers

  • Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia, but there is a significant risk for misuse and dependence.
  • This poster documents a brief literature review of current benzodiazepine tapering practices, review outpatient challenges of detoxification and address barriers to complete discontinuation with a specific emphasis on reviewing literature regarding mood stabilizer adjunct use.
  • Full link

Quantifying the Burden of Undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the US General Adult Population

  • The current study assessed variations in the economic and humanistic burden of GAD by diagnosis status among US adults.
  • The findings highlight the sizable, multifaceted burden of undiagnosed GAD in the US general adult population.
  • Full link

Screening Adults in the US General Population to Detect Cases of Undiagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • This study quantified and characterized the US general adult population who screen positive and may have undiagnosed GAD.
  • Nearly a quarter of the US general adult population screened positive for GAD. A large majority, 83.1%, of those were undiagnosed (approximately 49 million adults), underscoring a substantial unmet need. Younger, employed men were more often undiagnosed. 
  • Full link

An umbrella review of antipsychotic agents in anxiety disorders Advances in Gut-brain Communication

  • The specific aims of this umbrella review are to: (1) Evaluate the evidence of efficacy of FGAs and SGAs in anxiety disorders as an adjunctive treatment to traditional antidepressant treatments and other non-antipsychotic medications; (2) Compare monotherapy with antipsychotics to first-line treatments for anxiety disorders in terms of effectiveness, risks, and side effects.
  • This umbrella review indicates a lack of high-quality studies of antipsychotics in anxiety disorders outside of the use of quetiapine in GAD. Although potentially effective for anxiety, FGAs and SGAs may have risks and side effects that outweigh their efficacy. 
  • Full link

Coping Mechanisms and Their Associations with Depression and Anxiety Among Healthcare Staff in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • This study investigated coping strategies used by non-physician healthcare staff and the association of such strategies with depression and anxiety in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Our analyses revealed that whereas coping by avoiding was associated with both depression and anxiety, coping by substance use was more specific to depression and coping by social support was more specific to anxiety. Limitations included a moderate response rate and cross-sectional design which precludes making causal inference.
  • Full link

Increase in Anxiety Disorders in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) comorbid with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

  • The current study explores the occurrence of anxiety disorders in OCD and OCD+OCPD in order to elucidate the anxiety load that accompanies each clinical group.
  • An increase in anxiety disorders in OCD+OCPD compared to OCD alone suggests that rigidity and perfectionistic traits carry an additional anxiety diathesis beyond that observed in OCD alone. The three ‘core’ anxiety disorders (GAD, social anxiety, and separation anxiety), as well as agoraphobia are significantly increased. Hoarding and repeating compulsions are increased with OCD+OCPD suggesting an increase in the compulsive dimension of OCD when OCPD is present. 
  • Full link

Does school attendance prevent anxiety and depression? A literature review on the effects of school closures on children from marginalized communities

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching and inequitable consequences on the general welfare of students encountering varying forms of virtual learning environments. Evidence from varying studies concludes that psychiatric symptoms, particularly anxiety and depressive symptoms, increased during the pandemic for school-aged children during school closures and lockdowns. 
  • The findings of this literature review suggest that under-represented minority groups were exposed to more prevalent and longer-lasting periods of remote learning and school closures. In the mentioned setting, students were more likely to experience depressive and anxiety symptoms, exhibiting more hyperactivity, peer problems, and overall behavioral difficulties. These findings indicate a disproportionate negative consequence of pandemic lockdowns in school-aged children from under-represented minority groups. under-represented groups is investigated in the literature review.
  • Full link

Inflammatory Predictors of Postpartum Anxiety: Findings from a Prospective NYC Pregnancy Cohort

  • Previous studies have implicated inflammation in the pathogenesis of both depression and anxiety. However, less research has examined how this relationship applies during and after pregnancy, a period of large-scale immunological changes. Though some studies have examined the effect of maternal immune activation on postpartum depression and found an association between elevated prenatal inflammatory cytokines (particularly IL1β and IL-6) and postpartum depression, the relationship between pregnancy cytokines and postpartum anxiety has not been thoroughly explored.
  • These preliminary findings suggest a link between pregnancy inflammation and postpartum anxiety among those experiencing the highest anxiety symptoms. While specific mechanisms require further exploration, these findings add to the larger conversation surrounding the hypothesized role of maternal immune activation in postpartum mood disorders.
  • Full link

Thank you for joining us for this recap of the 2024 APA Annual Meeting. We recommend visiting this link to explore the entirety of these posters as well as the remaining posters that were showcased during the event. 

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