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Happy Spring, Innovations Readers! We are back this month with Dr. Marlene Freeman, who serves this year as the new co-chair for the upcoming June Psychiatry Update Spring 2023 meeting in Chicago. In this issue, we discuss the upcoming meeting, new treatments for mood disorders to be covered in her Session VII: Moving Forward in Mood Disorders, her role as Editor in Chief of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and the great need to bring the evidence base to clinical care, what she has learned serving as Medical Director of the Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI) at Massachusetts General Hospital and her unique perspective on advancing research, and her upcoming Psych Update Spring talk, Updates in Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Read on for Dr. Freeman’s critical and candid insights.

Our last issue featured a special segment called “5 Minutes With” that put some of our foremost thought leaders in psychiatry in the hot seat—and they delivered! If you missed it, you can find that interview here, and Part 2 of this special segment will be in the June issue next month!

Register now! Medscape’s Psychiatry Update Spring 2023

June 8th to 10th 2023 | Marriott Marquis Chicago McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

  • the 2.5-day meeting explores the latest advances in the treatment and management of common and complex psychiatric disorders, as well as new developments in this field.
  • Provides interactive presentations, discussion and networking opportunities, and in addition to the scientific sessions, there will be informative Bonus Presentations and an exciting Keynote speaker.
  • Renowned faculty present the most up-to-date, clinically relevant information on Major Depressive Disorder, ADHD, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder. 
  • Features other clinically relevant hot topics such as healthcare resilience, updates and innovations in fast-acting antidepressants, and newly emerging digital therapeutics and updates in neuropsychiatry.
  • To register, click here. 

Also, don’t miss: Psychiatry Update Journal Club Wednesday, May 24 at 10AM. 

  • During this live event, Dr. Leslie Citrome will talk with Dr. Eric Lenze, Head of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis. Topic: Should I Stay or Should I Switch? Antidepressant Augmentation versus Switch in Treatment-Resistant Geriatric Depression.
  • Dr. Lenze is the lead of the multi-site OPTIMUM study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that compared augmentation with switching strategies for treatment-resistant depression in older adults. 
  • Dr. Citrome and Dr. Lenze will discuss how prior research into patient perspectives from the older population informed the trial's design and the implications of the results, which are somewhat surprising and counterintuitive, and may change minds about the relative benefits and safety of augmentation vs. switch in older adults.
  • We hope you can join us. There will be targeted questions and valuable interaction! 
  • Link to Paper: https://read.qxmd.com/read/36867173/antidepressant-augmentation-versus-switch-in-treatment-resistant-geriatric-depression. (Article found in Resource section below)
  • Click here to register! 

This month’s Psych Resource section will keep you updated with articles from Clinical Psychiatry News, Current Psychiatry, MDedge Psychiatry, New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA Psychiatry—check them out below. 

A huge thank you to Dr. Freeman for covering such a wide breadth of topics this month. Please contact me at colleen@cmhadvisors.com with any comments and/or suggestions, and thanks for reading! —Colleen Hutchinson

Catching up With Dr. Marlene Freeman, Psych Update Spring 2023 Co-Chair

Dr. Freeman is Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, Associate Director, Center for Women's Mental Health. Medical Director, CTNI, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

As the Conference Co-Chair of the 2023 Psychiatry Spring Update, how would you describe what this year’s meeting will be and what you’ve endeavored to add to the mix?

Dr. Freeman: I am honored to serve as Co-Chair for this exciting meeting. As you can see from the agenda, the scope of the meeting is broad, yet the program includes in-depth presentations that serve health care providers well on each topic. I always value the clinical relevance of the sessions the most, but the program is also enriched with cutting edge material that not only has promise to help patients, but also gives us great optimism for us about the future of our field.

You chair Psychiatry Update Spring 2023 Session VII: Moving Forward in Mood Disorders. Will the meeting be presenting pearls on new treatments for mood disorders that attendees will be able to translate to practice?

Dr. Freeman: I absolutely believe that Session VII: Moving Forward in Mood Disorders will be a valuable session. It was designed to enhance patient care, with emphasis on accurate diagnosis and effective treatments.

As Editor in Chief of The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, you wrote:In a new year, I would like to refer back to a quote I included in last year’s editorial. Dr Francis Collins, who retired from his leadership role at the National Institutes of Health, said that “Communicating our research is an important part of what all scientists are called upon to do. To be successful, a scientist needs to be aware of whether the information is actually getting across.” Does more need to be done to get the research across, or are we a pretty well-oiled machine in this regard?

Dr. Freeman: There is a great need to bring the evidence base to clinical care. Understandably, busy clinicians are inundated with information. There is often confusion about where to go for the best evidence-based educational materials to make sure one is current with the latest treatments, but also how to put them into context. It is a daunting task for health care providers to stay current with recent advances and also stay savvy with the existing evidence base. I think we can improve on how we translate research findings into clinical practice. When we are with a patient, our goal is to make certain we can meet that individual’s needs, so we have to have the tools to weigh the risks and benefits of the options available. We also have to be able to explain diagnoses and treatment options to patients and their families. Therefore, meetings like this Psychiatry Update and journals like The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry have the mission of ultimately improving patient care.

As Medical Director of the Clinical Trials Network and Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, you have a unique perspective on advancing research. What do you enjoy about this role?

Dr. Freeman: The Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI) at MGH offers resources to clinical research leadership to improve the quality of studies, many of which are large national or international studies. The work we do is focused on improving protocol design, decreasing placebo response, and the enrollment of the most appropriate patients into trials. My role as Medical Director has allowed me to participate in clinical research from the perspective of patient safety. Many of the studies we are involved with include early phase research, and it is a privilege to see how novel treatments are studied throughout the evolution of their development. I also appreciate how much thought, time, and resources go into studies that may lead to new treatments for our patients. I also have come to appreciate how rigorous the research needs to be in order to successfully bring new treatments to the public.

Can you give us an any pearls being shared in your talk, Updates in Postpartum Depression and Anxiety?

Dr. Freeman: As the case with much of our field, one of the most important yet challenging facets of postpartum illness is accurate diagnosis. I truly appreciate that more health care providers are becoming savvy about the recognition and treatment of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. One area I would emphasize is that the postpartum is a vulnerable time. Many women do experience postpartum depression—and severe postpartum anxiety, which in my experience is less frequently recognized. In the treatment of these postpartum disorders, breastfeeding and maternal sleep are important topics that need to be addressed, along with the treatment options. With the US FDA’s recognition of PPD as an indication for treatment, it is exciting that there is a broader appreciation for this disorder. Importantly, taking good care of individuals with postpartum depression and anxiety not only helps the parent, but also is critical in child development and affects the entire family.

Psychiatry Resource Section

New England Journal of Medicine Article: Antidepressant Augmentation versus Switch in Treatment-Resistant Geriatric Depression


JAMA Psychiatry Viewpoint: Serotonin 4 Receptor Brain Binding in Major Depressive Disorder and Association With Memory Dysfunction


MDEdge Clinical Psychiatry News Article: Donanemab Slows Alzheimer's Progression in Topline Data


APA Learning Center April Free Members Course: Medications for Co-Occurring Opioid Use Disorder in Mental Health Settings—CME: 1.0, Participation: 1.0


JAMA Psychiatry Viewpoint: Success Rates in Psychiatry


Current Psychiatry Commentary: Bipolar disorder: The foundational role of mood stabilizers